Competitions

Competitions Students on campus have the opportunity to compete in the Wisconsin Engineering for Sustainability Challenge (left) as well as national competitions such as the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Competition (right).
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The Wisconsin Energy Institute invites all UW-Madison students to contribute their own creative solutions to the Wisconsin Energy & Sustainability Challenge. The competition occurs annually during the Energy Hub Conference.

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The Force for Positive Change competition began in 2016 with the goal of celebrating both for-profit and nonprofit organizations focused on creating lasting beneficial impact in, by and for Wisconsin. In its second year, the competition expands to embrace those organizations working to make a difference in the areas of: Food/agriculture/environment; Workforce/urban development; Finance/lending/housing; Manufacturing/art & design/construction; Water/cleantech/energy; and Education/youth programming.

Off-Campus Competitions

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The Start Up Energy Transition Award is an international competition for start-ups and young companies worldwide who are working on ideas affecting global energy transition and climate change. There are five different categories applicants can present their projects in, all with the aim of clean energy promotion. The three most promising start-ups in each category will pitch their business ideas at our annual summit – the SET Tech Festival – which brings our impressive network together on April 09, 2019.

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The Battery Challenge by LG Chem is a startup innovation competition designed to accelerate the adoption of new battery technologies and business models around the world. Having access to safe, clean and independent energy is becoming universal. Transformative battery solutions in transportation, electricity grid, home storage and new applications will be the key to unlocking the next wave of the clean energy transition. The Battery Challenge is here to help startups make that happen. Winners of The Battery Challenge have the chance to partner with the leading global battery manufacturer and more.

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Foxconn is committing $1 million in award prizes over the next three years to the initiative, aimed at generating new ideas from Wisconsin students, faculty and staff at the state’s universities, colleges and technical schools as they work to develop smart, connected communities and systems throughout Wisconsin.  The competition focuses on smart mobility, smart buildings, smart homes, smart energy and smart health, as well as quality of life, efficiency, productivity and management of resources.

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Cleantech Open Midwest, a startup accelerator program for sustainable technology companies, is accepting applications for 2018. This program provides entrepreneurs the resources needed to launch and create sustainable clean technology companies through training, mentoring, infrastructure development, and funding opportunities. Accepted companies will receive 5 months of mentoring, networking, and visibility, along with a 12 week series of workshops to help launch your start-up company. Applications will be accepted through May 1.

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Participants are encouraged to look beyond incremental solutions and propose bold ideas to leapfrog to solutions that address the complex sustainability challenges facing North America. Ideas will be evaluated based on four criteria: innovation, impact, feasibility/replicability and profitability.