Make an Impact. Make a Difference.
The spark of an idea is all it takes to start down a path that can make a real impact & difference in the world. The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge can help foster the most creative and innovative ideas into viable business plans. Teams that participate in this competition can go on to deploy their clean energy technologies to help solve the world’s most pressing economic, social and environmental challenges. Make an Impact. Make a Difference. Start Here.
Have a great clean energy idea?!
Develop a viable business plan.
Take the challenge and compete!
1st place wins $100,000 cash.
CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge – Apply by February 24th
The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is one of the regional competitions in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The competition is hosted by CU Cleantech, which is housed within the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Along with the sister competitions at M.I.T., Rice University, Caltech, University of Maryland and Clean Energy Trust, we’re working to inspire the next generation of energy entrepreneurs that work to solve some of our nations biggest challenges. By engaging with students and allowing them to turn their ideas into actions, the CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge Business Plan Competition gives students an entrepreneurial experience that can not only change these students’ lives, but also maybe even change the world.
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The National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition allows the best and brightest to use their entrepreneurial skills to tackle the energy challenges our Nation continues to face.
Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy
Seed Stage Funding
The top prize for the CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is $100,000 cash to help your team launch your business. The $100,000 in cash can not only provide bridge funding while your team further develops the technology, but it provides significant validation of your company’s future success and can improve your team’s ability to raise follow-on funding down the road. If you’re wondering how to start a cleantech business when you’re full of ideas and empty of capital, the CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is a great opportunity for you.
Mentor Driven Learning
We’ve built up an impressive pool of mentors made up of cleantech entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and academics. Each team will be assigned a mentor to help them through the process of creating a business plan by helping the team define the market validation & analysis, industry attractiveness, product & solution, business model and risk vs. talent narrative. In addition to the mentor, the Venture Team will work with each team to review their business plans and make sure each team has the best possibility of success.
With the help of CU Cleantech staff, mentors, and competitions we have refined our business and almost have a concrete business model! We have won several awards both at a university level and a national level and are currenly competing in the world’s largest and most successful clean tech business accelerator program, the Clean Tech Open.
Daniel Higgs, Superior EcoTech
Comprehensive Feedback Process
Throughout the competition, your team will receive valuable feedback on your ideas to help you form the most effective strategies to commercialize your innovative clean technologies. Feedback will be provided by your mentor, the Venture Team, the community, and of course the judges. By iterating after each round of feedback, teams can shape their initial rough ideas into viable businesses. For all judging rounds, comprehensive feedback – both quantitative and qualitative – is provided back to the teams using the industry leading PitchBurner software.
World Class Partners
The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and the Cleantech Open provide an amazing array of resources, including connections, expertise, exposure, experience, and practical advice. Both organizations are providing in-kind support to the top teams. NREL is offering 40 hours of their technical experts time through their commercialization assistance program and entry into the NREL Industry Growth Forum. The Cleantech Open offers free entry into the semi-finals round of their accelerator program, and teams will have the chance to compete for even more monetary and in-kind prizes.
Appreciate the feedback! It will be extremely useful for our team moving forward. We are grateful to get the advice and expertise of such experienced & knowledgeable judges.
Ashley Stratman, BioRecyclean
We’re looking to spur new businesses and actually pair them up with folks that can finance.
Merle Skyes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of EERE, DOE