What is the 2014 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge?
Established by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge is part of the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition designed to create a network of student-focused clean energy business competitions. The Ohio Challenge supports DOE’s strategy to establish broader innovation and commercialization efforts, and to build a nation-wide energy entrepreneurship ecosystem. DOE selected the Clean Energy Trust in Chicago, to administer the Midwest Regional Competition, composed of eight states, including Ohio. The winner of the Ohio Competition will receive the $10,000 state prize and go on to compete for the $100,000 grand prize at the Midwest Regional Competition in Chicago, and a place in the National Competition in Washington, D.C.
Six Phases of the Ohio Challenge
Phase 1: Team Development
Sept. 1–Oct. 4, 2013 During the team development phase, student entrepreneurs interested in developing a team should:
- Identify a technology around which to build their business plan.
- Review Challenge eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, and application instructions.
- Contact their school’s Challenge Champion (university or college Challenge coordinator).
- Seek cross-disciplinary team members.
- Attend one of the Challenge Overview Webinars.
Challenge Overview Webinars:
During Challenge Overview Webinars, Challenge organizers will provide detailed information on the Challenge phases, key dates, and the application process; followed by a Q&A session. Two Challenge Overview Webinars are offered. Please note that the content will be identical for both webinars.
Fri., Sept. 13: Noon–1:00 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 17: Noon–1:00 p.m.
To register for one of the Challenge Overview Webinars, click here
Phase 2: Intent to Apply
Deadline: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
Student teams interested in applying to the 2014 Challenge are asked to register and submit their completed Intent to Apply electronically through the Ohio Student Challenge track on the Clean Energy Exchange application portal by Fri., Oct. 4, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The Intent to Apply form will be available on the Clean Energy Exchange beginning Sept. 4 and will be editable until the Oct. 4 submission deadline. Information provided in the Intent to Apply will allow Challenge organizers to provide additional guidance and resources to assist teams early in the skill building and application development phase. Teams should complete the Intent to Apply to the best of their ability with the information available at that time.
The Intent to Apply will include the following:
- Company/team name & affiliation
- Team members
- Advisors & mentors
- Technology/product description
- Technology type
- Source of intellectual property
For information on registering your team and the Intent to Apply, click here
Phase 3: Skill Building & Application Development
Oct. 7–Nov. 22, 2013
During the skill building and application development phase:
- All team members are encouraged to participate in the Skill Building Webinar Series designed to address key topics in the Challenge evaluation criteria.
- Teams should seek support from their institution and should work closely with their school’s Challenge Champion, entrepreneurial centers, technology transfer offices, and faculty advisors to prepare their application.
- Teams should access business development resources on the Clean Energy Exchange.
Skill Building Webinar Series:
Fri., Oct. 11: Noon-1:00 p.m. Topic: EERE Mission Impact, Solution/Product
Fri., Oct. 18: Noon-1:00 p.m. Topic: Market Validation and Analysis, Industry Attractiveness
Fri., Oct. 25: Noon-1:00 p.m. Topic: Business Model, Risk vs. Talent
Fri., Nov. 1: Noon-1:00 p.m. Topic: Presentation Quality
To register for the Skill Building Webinar Series, click here
Phase 4: Application
Deadline: Fri., Nov. 22, 2013
Student teams will submit their completed application electronically through the Ohio Student Challenge track on the Clean Energy Exchange by Fri., Nov. 22, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The application will be available on the Clean Energy Exchange beginning Oct. 28 and will be editable until the Nov. 22 submission deadline.
Complete applications will include:
- Basic company information, team information, funding history and needs, technology type, stage of venture, and source of intellectual property (teams can also upload an optional pitch deck);
- Answers to the six-part application questionnaire that will address specific areas of the business concept;
- A link to your 3-minute video investor pitch;
- The completed and signed Intellectual Property Disclosure Statement and Intellectual Property Declaration Form.
For more information on the how to apply, click here
Expert judges will evaluate applications and select the semifinalist teams that will advance to the Ohio Competition live pitch event on Jan. 29. Semifinalist teams will be announced on Fri., Dec. 6 and will participate in the Ohio Mentorship Program.
For more information on judging and evaluation criteria, click here
Phase 5: Ohio Mentorship Program
Dec. 9, 2013–Jan. 28, 2014
The semifinalist teams advancing to the Ohio Competition will be matched with experienced entrepreneurs and technical experts who will work closely with teams to refine and strengthen their commercialization strategy and live investor pitch for the Ohio Competition on Jan. 29.
For more information on the Ohio Mentorship Program, click here
Phase 6: Ohio Competition
Wed., Jan. 29, 2014
The Ohio Competition will take place on Jan. 29 at the Student Center located on the campus of Cleveland State University. During the Ohio Competition, semifinalist teams will present their live investor pitch to a panel of expert judges composed of venture capital and private equity professionals and entrepreneurs, and a live audience. The Ohio Competition will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and multiple opportunities for the student teams to interact with representatives from academia, government, the private sector and the venture capital community. Semifinalist teams will also attend the Opening Reception on Jan. 28 where they will have an opportunity to display a team poster and interact with energy leaders in Ohio. The winner of the Ohio Competition will receive the $10,000 state prize and go on to compete for the $100,000 grand prize at the Midwest Regional Competition in Chicago, and a place in the National Competition in Washington, D.C.
For more information on the Ohio Competition, click here