EnergyTech University Prize

Grid Catalyst is proud to be the Northern Plains convener for the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP). Please refer to this page for updates on resources and events.

Key Dates

  • January 17, 2023 – Recruiting Webinar and Team-Building Networking Event
  • January 26, 2023 – Abstracts due (registration closes)
  • February 9, 2023 – List of teams competing in regional events announced
  • February 24, 2023 – Northern Plains Regional event
  • March 23, 2023 – Business plans due from regional winners and National Lab IP Licensing Bonus Prize winner
  •  March 30, 2023 – Final presentation files due from all regional winners
  • April 3, 2023 – Final National Competition at ZPryme Energy Thought Summit
Energytech up 2023 hero image with logo

EnergyTech University Prize: Northern Plains Resource Toolkit

So you want to compete in the EnergyTech University Prize Competition, but you aren’t a business plan expert. That’s OK! Anyone can build a business plan – here are some tools that might help.

I want to register for the Energy Tech University Prize.

Make sure you read the EnergyTechUP 2023 Competition Rules. You’ll find everything from basic eligibility criteria to what you’ll be judged on for each stage of the competition. Then, register here by clicking Solve This Challenge! 
  • As part of registration, teams provide information about their team makeup and submit an initial 200-word summary that addresses the energy technology to be leveraged and the business opportunity. There’s also an optional slide deck. 
  • This 200 word summary will be evaluated on how well the team understands their technology of choice and has evaluated the relevant market, outlined a vision for the role the business could play in the energy transition, and considered what would be necessary to achieve success. Make sure to read the rules document for more information. 
  • Up to 12 teams will then be chosen to compete in the Regional Explore Event.
You can also review recordings of two past informational webinars for more explanation:

How do I start making a business plan?

Get familiar with the Business Model Canvas, an entrepreneurial tool which helps you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. 
  • Watch this introductory video (9:41) which gives quick explanations of each of the 9 key elements of the Business Model Canvas.
  • Download the Business Model Canvas template
  • Watch this video (13:44) to see an example of business model canvas elements applied to TikTok. The video example goes through what TikTok is, how it works, how it makes money, whether you can make money from it, and what the “secret business model ingredient” is that makes it so popular. 

I’m ready for more business plan details!

Dive deeper into parts of the Business Model Canvas. Check out MIN-Corps resources and learn how to  Check out the rest of MIN-Corps’ Value Proposition Design Workshop YouTube Playlist for more videos on product-market fit, the commercialization pathway, market assessment, and customer discovery (most videos are between 4 and 12 minutes long).

I made it to the regional competition! Now, how do I turn my abstract into a great pitch?

A presentation is not required for the initial registration. However, if you’re one of the 12 teams selected to compete in the Northern Plains Regional Explore event, congratulations! Now is the time to make a pitch deck.
  • The presentation should show the team has a clear understanding of the technology and its commercialization potential, the existing market, and a plan for commercializing their chosen technology. Refer back to the Competition Rules for content suggestions and how judges will evaluate your presentation.
  • The Regional Explore Phase presentations have strict time limits. You will only have 7 minutes to present your slides, with an additional 3 minutes of Q&A. This means your slides need to be very concise – If you have 7 slides, aim for 1 minute or less per slide.
Check out the recording of last year’s national pitch event to see examples of past EnergyTechUP competitor presentations. Here are more examples of what makes a good deck. Remember that some of these examples may have slides that aren’t applicable to your plan. It makes sense to tailor your content to consider your time constraints and how you’ll be evaluated for the competition.  

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