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DOE FLoW National Clean Energy Business Challenge Western Region

National University Clean Energy Business Challenge
Win $200,000 in Prizes and Start a New Company

First Look West (FLoW) invites student teams with game-changing ideas throughout the Western U.S. to participate in the Department of Energy’s first ever, business plan competition for clean energy.

Why You Should Participate:

  • $200,000 in prize money
  • mentoring programs
  • legal start-up packages
  • opportunity to pitch to investors   


Finalists will also be automatically accepted into the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy (GTEA), offered by the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at UC Davis, June 25 – 27, 2012. Taught by venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, university faculty, industry executives and angel investors GTEA is a premiere academic program for commercializing green tech innovations.

The national and international Cleantech Open (CTO) will accept the top three FLoW competition finalists as semifinalists in the 2012 Cleantech Open competition, cover their application fees and provide them all benefits enjoyed by other semifinalists, including attending the Cleantech Open National Academy-West Coast. Over three days students will attend intensive business education seminars, given by experts, on such topics as Business Plan Essentials; Patents and Trade Secrets; Finding & Understanding the Customer; The Business Model–How Will You Make Money?; Fund-raising and Presentation Skills.

Competitors will be judged by an expert panel of investors, successful entrepreneurs, energy corporations and technologists who can help you build your business. Winning teams from each region will compete  for a National Grand Prize at a competition held at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. in June 2012. and give young innovators a national stage for showcasing their new companies.

Who Should Apply: Students attending accredited universities throughout the United States can  submit an application . The competition is designed to focus on the western states and territories: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

The Process:

February 28, 2012: Application Deadline

February - March, 2012: Mentoring and business guidance available for selected teams 

March 19 - March 31, 2012:  Fast Pitch events are hosted throughout the region,where student teams present to Judging Panels and semi-finalists are selected for the final round.

April 30 and May 1, 2012: Final judging and Awards Ceremony : The best-in-class teams move  to the final judging process , which will be held at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California.

The FLoW competition is one of six awarded regionally as part of a three-year, $2 million DOE program. The goal is to shine a spotlight on the best young innovators in the country, and attract the follow-on support the competitors will need to bring game-changing new ideas to the market quickly. 

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