General requirements:

    1. At least 50% of your team must be students (undergraduate or graduate) attending accredited universities and colleges in the U.S. or graduated within 12 months.
    2. At least 1 member of your team must be a U.S. citizen.
    3. Teams may apply from across the country. However, special attention is paid to applicants from these states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
    4. Applications should focus on advancing technologies and/or services which address the DOE-EERE’s mission (as listed on their website) and having a demonstrable impact in these areas: Energy-Saving Homes, Buildings, & Manufacturing; Renewable Power; and Sustainable Transportation.
    5. If your technology is consistent with the Department of Defense’s operational energy mission (see mission here) please consider flagging your application for that prize track. Note that competitors in this prize track at the national competition will need to present a prototype.

Prior Investments:

  • Companies/Teams cannot have raised more than $200,000 in equity capital before entering the competition.
  • A venture attracting more than $200,000 in financial support after submission and prior to the Berkeley CUP may still participate.
  • However, in the cases of investment greater than $1 million, the Berkeley CUP and its Judging Panel reserve the right to award the top prize to the second place winners.

Other notes:

  • Innovations in technology will typically be the foundation of your application, but are not required to be patented at the time of submission.
  • Your company does not have to be incorporated at the time of application, but will need to be incorporated in order to receive the award.
  • Service businesses are also eligible if they represent either novel applications of new or existing technologies or innovative financing models.


DOE-EERE Programs and Research Areas:

DOD: examples of operational energy technologies

  • Making tents and shelters more energy efficient
  • Making Environmental Control Units (ECUs) more energy efficient
  • Increasing the efficiency of tactical vehicles
  • Waste to energy
  • Thermal management
  • Renewables, such as solar
  • Reducing the amount of fuel a fuel supply convoy uses
  • Technologies that increase the capabilities of Warfighters (mobile solar, water purification, kinetic harvesting, batteries)

Other questions? Please write to sara.mulhauser@berkeley.edu