Students and technology entrepreneurs have a chance to launch their innovative energy product ideas as part of the MegaWatt Ventures’ cleantech business competition, sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (US DOE) and UCF. Applications are now being accepted through February 19th, 2016 for this annual event. Teams are selected to compete based on the quality of their proposed technology and the potential market for their innovation. The grand prize is $50,000 to help launch their “big” idea.

“The MegaWatt Ventures competition is designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to present their technology to a panel of experts who can gauge the marketability of their idea,” explains Tom O’Neal, Ph.D., associate vice president of the Office of Research & Commercialization at UCF. “Every team walks away with resources to help them take that next step. The networking, exposure and advice they receive as a result of their participation is invaluable.”

Although teams ultimately have their sights set on the grand prize, top finalists are also awarded with valuable resources. Ten finalist teams will be accepted into an eight-week startup training program, while the top three finalists will be invited to the national DOE Cleantech UP showcase in Denver where the MegaWatt Ventures winner will be able to compete for an additional $50,000 prize.  All participants have the opportunity for networking with venture capitalists, executives and experienced tech entrepreneurs.

The MegaWatt Ventures competition, first started in 2011, has distributed over $600,000 in awards and training support to entrepreneurial cleantech teams. These teams have raised an additional $4 million in follow-on funding.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • At least 50% of team members must be students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university within the current academic year.
  • Technology must fall within the scope of the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
  • Teams are recommended to have diverse backgrounds in business and technical fields
  • Equity capital raised of less than $200,000
  • About MegaWatt Ventures:
    MegaWatt Ventures is an annual clean energy business plan competition that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Central Florida. The competition has an over-riding mission of encouraging the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies from the lab bench into the marketplace. Innovations submitted through the competition are vetted by industry experts and cleantech industry experts.  Student/faculty teams from American universities or early-stage companies headquartered in the U.S. are eligible to participate in this exciting annual program that brings innovation, entrepreneurship and the cleantech industry together. For more information, call Jack Henkel at 407-882-0663.