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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Can you build scalable, sustainable social enterprises that harness the power of energy to transform the lives of 10million people by 2025? This year’s Hult Prize challenges student teams not to invent the energy systems of the future but to deploy them at scale by listening closely to customer needs, designing scalable business models, and executing plans that are capable of transforming the lives of 10 million people through the use of energy.

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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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Our second annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new innovative solutions that leverage technology for social impact from student entrepreneurs around the world. The Challenge is open to students and recent alumni from any college or university.

$300,000 USD in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.

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The Urban Future Competition debuts the world’s most revolutionary smart mobility, smart city, and smart grid technologies by bringing the brightest entrepreneurs together with mission-driven investors, policy leaders, and corporate sponsors for a prestigious pitch competition in NYC.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is pleased to invite clean energy startup companies to apply to the 2018 Industry Growth Forum. Each year, the Industry Growth Forum recruits the most innovative, emerging clean energy start-up companies from across the globe to apply to present.

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At American universities across the nation, our best and brightest young minds are discovering innovative new solutions to our energy challenges. However, turning a game-changing technology into a commercial product requires a lot more than time in a lab. Aspiring student entrepreneurs often lack the business development skills, market exposure, and investor feedback they need to launch viable new businesses.

Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) business plan competitions provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with the mentorship, business development skills and training, and investor feedback they need to turn their clean energy ideas into businesses offering real-world solutions.

As one of eight regional partners for the Department of Energy’s Cleantech UP, Clean Energy Trust will showcase the most innovative and promising university-based cleantech companies in the Midwest, of which one will receive a $50,000 grant.
 

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Village Capital, in partnership with the Autodesk Foundation, will support ventures solving challenges in the transportation-energy nexus. We seek early stage ventures from across the United States presenting disruptive innovations to improve energy efficiency in transportation, including in aviation, shipping, long-haul trucking, rail, and personal mobility.

In this 2017-2018 program, we also seek companies that have incorporated sustainability into their supply chain and manufacturing processes. Hardware solutions that limit carbon emissions and environmental impact in product development will therefore be given special attention.