The Clean Energy Challenge, a clean tech startup accelerator program administered by the Clean Energy Trust, is growing. In 2015 the program will offer a total of $1 million in funds to more than 60 startups in the clean energy arena, with a focus on companies in the Midwest. The awards are available to new, innovative companies focussed on solar power, wind and other forms of clean energy.
“We are looking forward to awarding a record amount of $1 million in total investment funding at the Clean Energy Challenge in April,” said Amy Francetic, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. “Every year we have been able to grow the Clean Energy Challenge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, judges and mentors and we are eager to see some of the best clean energy startups in the U.S. compete for the prize funding.”
Since it launched in 2011, the Clean Energy Challenge has issued $2.2 million in startup funding to early stage and emerging stage companies. In all the awardees have raised $46 million more and created more than 300 jobs since the challenge launched.
The largest prizes are the Emerging Growth Awards, which can be up to $500,000 for Illinois-based companies in the Emerging Growth track. Those awards are financed through the Illinois Clean Energy Fund. Other top prizes include the Pritzker Foundation Prize and the Wells Fargo prize. Each are worth $100,000. The Pritzker prize is awarded to an Illinois-based student or startup company while the Wells Fargo prize is for an early stage startup from the Midwest.
Other prizes include the $75,000 U.S. Department of Energy Student Prize, which is awarded to a startup team from the student track in the Midwest region. That awardee will also compete in the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The $50,000 Boeing, United and UOP Honeywell Advanced Biofuels Prize is awarded a startup in the advanced biofuels sector.
The $25,000 McCaffrey Building Efficiency Prize is for companies focussed on large scale building and urban energy efficiency. While the $25,000 Hanley Family Foundation Prize is intended for a startup focussed on sustainable practices in everyday life. The ComEd Female CEO Prize is for $20,000 and is rewarded to a woman-led startup. The remainder of funds, up to $1 million, will be disbursed on a discretionary basis, the organization said.
The challenge is accepting applications through Jan. 13, 2015. The Clean Energy Challenge itself will take place on April 14, 2015.Tweet