FAQ

Does my idea belong in this competition?

All ideas that advance clean technologies and/or services are encouraged to apply. Applications that focus on advancing technologies which address the EERE’s mission are given special consideration. For more information, please see the list of last year’s teams or contact us.

Do we need to have progressed to a specific stage in order to be considered?

Teams will be considered at all stages of development, including as early as ideation or conceptual phase. See the eligibility page for limitations on funding already received.

What is the timeline for the program?

Applications for 2018 are due February 26th, 2018. We hope to notify teams of acceptance by March 2nd. Our workshop will be held in Berkeley on March 16th (all teams should plan on attending). Our competition will be held in Berkeley in April, date TBD. For teams that advance, the national competition is typically held in June, date and location TBD.

How much travel is required?

Travel to a workshop held in Berkeley, California is highly encouraged, but not required. Remote participation and/or workshop recaps can be made available given enough advanced notice. However, the final pitch competition requires all team members to be physically present at UC Berkeley.

How much travel is required?

Travel to a workshop held in Berkeley, California is highly encouraged, but not required. Remote participation and/or workshop recaps can be made available given enough advanced notice. However, the final pitch competition requires all team members to be physically present at UC Berkeley.

Is travel to the competition reimbursed?

There is no travel reimbursement for the competition, however, many universities offer travel reimbursement to students competing in programs such as the Berkeley Cleantech University Prize. Please check with your institution for reimbursement opportunities. If no reimbursement are available, and travel expenses are a barrier to participation, please reach out to us at sara.mulhauser@berkeley.edu, and we will try to assist you.

Is the Berkeley CUP only for Berkeley students?

No. Any team in which at least 50% of the formal team members are students actively enrolled in a accredited U.S. university or college can apply. See the eligibility requirements here.

Do I need to legally form a company before I apply?

No. If you are selected as one of the semifinalists, however, you will need to legally form a company before you can accept the award.

Does the program take any equity in my company?

No. Even if your company wins the Competition, the program does not own any stake in your company.

What kind of video is required for the application video submission?

We are looking for a short (35 minute) video presentation in which you introduce your company, briefly explain your technology, and outline how it addresses needs of an identified market. Ideally we’d like to see a few simple slides with narration. Focus on content – we won’t be assessing production value or presentation style.

If you have trouble making a Powerpoint narration, you can view this instructional video.

If you send a powerpoint file, please ensure the narration is embedded. Otherwise, please send an mp4 file.

We have some non-student team members; can they participate in the competition?

Non-student team members are welcome to join all mentoring events/workshops. For the regional and national competitions, non-student team members may be present on stage to consult with students during Q&A, but students shall respond to all questions.

What are the requirements for student team member equity in the company?

All formal team members must demonstrate ownership by way of equity in the incorporated entity that emerges from the regional competitions. Student members of the formal team must have combined minimum equity of 20% of the company.

Can I apply for multiple prize tracks (DOE and DOD)?

Yes – just select all tracks you would like to be considered for in your application. Selecting more than one will not harm your application – if you are selected, we will notify which prize tracks we believe you are eligible for.

Can I win multiple prize tracks?

At the regional competition level, yes, although it is worth noting the DOE-EERE prize track is the only one with a cash prize at the Berkeley CUP. The DOD prize track win at the regional level is an invitation to compete for prize money at the national competition.

Can I apply to multiple regional Cleantech University Prize competitions?

Yes, and this is encouraged.

When is the national competition?

The national competition is typically held in June. Location and date still being finalized.

Do I need to produce a prototype?

Prototypes are always wonderful but are only required for teams competing in the national competition for the DOD prize. Teams competing at the Berkeley CUP for entry in the DOD national competition should be in a position to produce a prototype of some kind by June of 2018.

Does my idea belong in this category?

You may have a technology that applies to both the DOE-EERE mission and the DOD operational energy mission. If so, select both. If not, select the one that best matches your technology.

Contact: Please direct any inquiries regarding the Berkeley Cleantech University Prize (CUP) to sara.mulhauser@berkeley.edu.