2012-2013 Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge


The Clean Energy Venture Challenge is a six month program that enables teams to go from an idea to venture launch.  Teams will not only present their ideas, they will put them into practice.  They will be given training and paired with mentors who will help them move their company forward.  They will learn the skills needed to start a successful company, both through classroom learning and trial and error.

Participating teams will learn cutting edge entrepreneurial skills such as customer discovery and business model canvas development.  They will meet regularly with mentors and venture capitalists and have access to a micro grant program offering up to $2,500 in grants for each team to move their business forward.

On the final day of the venture challenge, all participating teams will present their results during a full day event that will showcase clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship.  All participating teams will receive recognition for their accomplishments and a few teams will also be awarded additional prizes and potential investments totaling $50,000 or more.



Competition Organizer

University of Michigan

Local US Event
Ann Arbor, MI
*Available in all states*

Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Who's Eligible
  • Teams must be comprised of two or more members.
  • Students from any Michigan college or university are eligible for the prize.
  • The team should be able to demonstrate ownership, or access in a manner that can be converted to ownership, to the technology they intend to develop into a venture.
  • Business concepts, core technologies or market solution must meet one of the clean energy challenges defined in the Clean Energy Definition
  • Teams may add or remove team members throughout the competition.
  • The proposed business may be for a consumer or an industrial product or service. The business may be for-profit or non-profit, though most competitive businesses demonstrate high growth and/or large market potential.
  • Only current students of a Michigan college or university may present the business before judges. Teams may contain faculty, students from other schools, or non-students but only students from a Michigan college or university are eligible to present and receive prize money.
Competition Prizes

First Place – $50,000

Second Place – $20,000

Category Prizes – $5,000 each

  1. Resource Conservation
  2. Increased Energy Efficiency
  3. Advances in Building Techniques and Materials, Green Building
  4. Smart Grid, Energy Storage
  5. Alternative Energy Sources
  6. More Efficient Movement of People and/or Goods
  7. App or Computer based program that meets a Clean Energy goal consistent with any of the other categories

Special Achievement Prizes – $5,000 each

  1. Best Prototype
  2. Most Disruptive
  3. Best team assembled
  4. Best pivot(s)
  5. Judges choice