How many team members must be students?

At least 50% of formal team members identified in the competition submission documentation must be enrolled at least as half-time students (“Student Members”). Only student members can present the business plan, but all team members (students and non-students) are allowed to answer questions from the judging panels.

Are student team members required to be US citizens or studying in the US?

No, student team members are not required to be US citizens or studying in the US.

Is at least one US citizen required to be on the team?

No, a team may be comprised of all non-US citizens. However, teams with no US citizens may not be eligible for all prizes. In addition, prize-winning teams that are incorporated or otherwise organized as a legal entity outside of the US may be may be subject to fees when they receive their prizes.

What percentage of equity and/or voting rights must be held by student members?

In the case of a for-profit business, (a) for a corporation, student members must collectively control at least 50% of the team’s company equity and voting interests upon incorporation; and (b) for other forms of for-profit business entities (e.g., LLCs, partnerships), student members must collectively control at least 50% of the voting rights (e.g., to elect the board of directors or other governing body) of the team’s company upon formation of the business entity.

In the case of not-for-profit business entities (e.g., 501(c)3), student members must collectively control at least 50% of the voting rights to elect the board of directors or other governing body of the team’s business entity upon formation of that business entity.

Does our company need to be incorporated?

Teams must be incorporated or otherwise organized as legal business entities, either in the US or abroad, to be eligible to receive the Category Winner and Grand Prize awards, as prizes must be awarded to entities and not individuals. Teams are advised that, in general, the earlier they incorporate or otherwise form their legal entities (e.g., LLCs, partnerships, 501(c)3), the greater the tax benefits. Award payment delays may be experienced if teams who have been awarded prizes are not incorporated at the time of award.

Prize-winning teams organized as legal business entities outside of the US may be subject to fees when they receive their prizes. In addition, teams with no US citizens may not be eligible for all prizes. Please contact the CEP leadership at cleanenergyprize@mit.edu for individual clarifications.

What category is most appropriate for my team?

Teams may only compete in one track. If you are unsure as to which track to pick, you may contact the CEP leadership team at cleanenergyprize@mit.edu and we will help you pick an appropriate track. Alternatively, you may select multiple tracks in the application and the CEP leadership will assign you to the track we feel is most appropriate.

When will I hear back?

The first round of judging will take place in the first week of March 2019. Results from the first round will be sent to applicants via email within a week of judging.

Will the CEP pay for my travel and accomodations?

If your team is based outside of the northeastern USA, you may be eligible for partial travel cost reimbursement. Such reimbursements will be granted on a case-by-case basis after review by the executive board. However, the CEP is unable to guarantee a total reimbursement.

How long will we have to pitch and answer questions?

Teams will have a maximum of 7 minutes to pitch to the panel of judges, followed by a 7 minute Q&A session.