Program Overview

The Berkeley Cleantech University Prize (CUP) Program provides selected student teams with 8 weeks of cleantech entrepreneurial training, focused mentoring by providing access to expertise throughout the UC Berkeley Innovation Ecosystem.

Benefits of the program:

  • Semifinalist teams will be able to participate in an interactive training workshop covering topics such as technology commercialization, target market discovery, value proposition development, market strategy, pitch coaching, and developing further funding strategies.
  • Teams will be partnered with our mentors for focused sessions (physically or digitally) to help identify opportunities and overcome the challenges necessary to achieve specific team milestones, and to identify and connect teams to resources.
  • Semifinalists will also benefit from extensive networking with investors, industry experts and other leaders in cleantech and business startups through the training program and annual competition event.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $50,000 in seed funding in addition to the benefits above. The top three Competition finalists will be invited to compete at the National Cleantech UP Competition for another $50,000.

Throughout the 15 week program, participating teams will have regular meetings (physically or digitally) with competition staff to discuss their progress, next steps and current challenges in achieving their milestones.

Teams will ultimately be evaluated on two criteria:

  • A submitted pitch deck developed and refined throughout the course of the Program
  • Their live pitch to our Competition Judges in April

The $50,000 Grand Prize winner along with 2 finalists will be formally selected and announced at the following a pitch competition in April. These top 3 teams also earn a chance to compete in the DOE National CleantechUP competition in June. Additionally, up to 2 teams could be selected as finalists and invited to compete for DOD prize money at the national competition.

Department of Defense (DOD) national prize track:

DOD is offering a single $35,000 prize at the national competition to one winning team. DOD is focused on operational energy for this prize track. Any team competing in this prize track will be required to have a prototype. One judge from the DOD will be at the Berkeley CUP competition, and will have the option to extend an invitation to the national competition for this prize track to 1-2 qualified teams.