Do you have the next big idea in solar but need money to turn your idea into reality? The US Department of Energy is accepting bids through July 16 for the first stage of the American-Made Solar Prize, which provides $3 million in cash prizes to solar entrepreneurs at different stages of business growth. If you have an idea for how to improve solar manufacturing in the US, now’s the time to apply!
The American-Made Solar Prize
The Solar Prize is a competition with the goal of finding the next great, American-made innovation in solar. The Prize focuses on ideas that can revolutionize and revitalize American manufacturing of solar equipment and sets up this innovation in a competition format.
Throughout the course of the competition, participants have access to a wide network of industry resources, from fellow entrepreneurs who have successfully launched new products to well-established national laboratories that can provide a wealth of technical and industry data.
Stages of the Solar Prize
There are three different phases to the Solar Prize: Ready!, Set! and Go! Given the competition format of the Solar Prize, the first stage of the Solar Prize accepts a wide range of winners before whittling the participants down in the next two stages, supporting the winners as they bring their ideas to fruition the entire way through the contest.
The requirements and guidelines for the contest become increasingly more challenging as participants move through the competition, building their idea into a proof of concept, and their proof of concept into a business with strategic partnerships in the industry.
The current round is the second opening of the Ready! stage. The finalists from the first round of the Solar Prize were announced in June, and both the semi-finalists and finalists are eligible to participate in the Set! stage, which kicks off after a demo day for participants.
How to compete
As both recipients of multiple grants from the US DOE and proponents of new solar technology, we at EnergySage highly encourage participation in this great event! If you’ve identified a problem to solve, you can compete in the Ready! stage of the Solar Prize by submitting a 90-second video describing the solution you’re proposing, who you’ll work with, and how you’ll complete your proposal. With this video, and a brief, introductory project plan, you’re all set to compete. The complete list of guidelines for participation is on the Solar Prize website, and you can submit your entries here. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!