MIT CLIMATE & ENERGY PRIZE ($100,000 in funding)

Deadline: Early deadline DEC 7TH 2023 AND JAN 7TH 2023 | MIT CLIMATE & ENERGY PRIZE ($100,000 in funding)


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MIT CEP Competition

The MIT Climate & Energy Prize (CEP) competition seeks to move the world closer to net zero carbon emissions by empowering ambitious entrepreneurs to solve the world’s most difficult climate-related challenges.

We are the largest and longest-running competition for student-led climate & energy startups in the world. Since its founding in 2007, the MIT Climate & Energy Prize has received more than 850 applications, offered world-class mentoring to over 280 teams, and granted more than $3.5M in non-dilutive cash prizes. Teams compete for $100,000+ in prize money and have access to mentoring and other resources. Over 220 MIT Climate & Energy Prize companies have successfully launched and raised $1.7+ billion in follow-on funding.

Rules & Eligibility


  1. A minimum of two people are required to make up a team.
  2. Half-time or full-time college or university students (Student Members) from all over the world must make up at least 50% of the official team members included in the tournament submission paperwork.
  3. The business plan can only be presented by student team members, but all team members—student and non-student—are welcome to respond to questions from the judging panels.
  4. The MIT Climate and Energy Prize (MIT CEP) Managing Directors, Judging Director, and Mentorship Director are not permitted to compete. The other members of the MIT CEP Leadership Team are unrestricted since they will not be able to influence the judges or the judging process, nor will they have access to any sensitive information about the competition.


  1. The MIT CEP is exclusively open to new ventures. Projects within already-existing companies are not allowed to apply.
  2. To be eligible to earn rewards from the MIT CEP, teams must be incorporated or otherwise organized as a legal business company, either domestically or internationally. Only incorporated teams are eligible to receive all award money, including reimbursement for travel expenses. It is not necessary to incorporate teams in order to submit an application. Teams are told that the tax benefits increase generally the earlier they incorporate or form their legal entity (e.g., LLCs, partnerships, 501(c)3). If they are not included at the time of award, winning teams may face delays in obtaining award funds. Teams who win prizes and are registered as legal businesses outside of the US may have to pay fees when they pick up their awards.
  3. If the business is for profit, the student members must (a) collectively control at least 50% of the team’s equity and voting interests upon incorporation for a corporation, and (b) collectively control at least 50% of the voting rights (e.g., to elect the board of directors or other governing body) of the team’s company upon formation for other types of for-profit business entities (e.g., LLCs, partnerships).
  4. Student Members shall jointly hold at least 50% of the voting rights to choose the board of directors or other governing body of the team’s business entity upon formation of that business entity, in the case of not-for-profit business entities (e.g., 501(c)3).
  5. In the event of a for-profit company, each official team member must show ownership through an equity interest and the ability to vote in the legal business entity’s management election.


  1. Teams cannot enter if, before the deadline, they have obtained funds exceeding $100,000.
  2. Teams must report the quantities and sources of cash on the application if they have secured capital prior to the entry deadline of less than or equal to $100,000.
  3. Teams that received money from contracts or sales before the entry deadline are required to list the sources and quantities of money they received on their application.
  4. Teams that have obtained grants or financing for research are qualified to compete, as long as the funds were specifically given for activities related to technology, product development, or research.


  1. To view the judging standards that the Judging Panel will use to evaluate each and every business plan submitted to the competition, click this link (subject to change by The MIT CEP Managing Directors by the entry deadline).
  2. The Judging Panel determines how each prize is given, and its judgments are final and cannot be challenged.
  3. Should there be no deserving entries, the MIT CEP Managing Directors reserve the right, after consulting with the Judging Panel, to forfeit the prize.
  4. The Judging Panel will notify the Managing Directors in the event that it finds evidence to suggest that the entry violates the MIT CEP Rules and Conditions of Eligibility. The final say over whether to disqualify the entry will go to the Managing Directors.


  1. All business plan descriptions included in competition entries have to be the creators’ unique creations.
  2. All data included in any materials submitted for the competition must be true.
  3. It is not necessary for participants to be the original inventors, creators, or owners of the intellectual property that forms the basis of their business strategies. Before the semi-finals, teams that depend on intellectual property that was developed, invented, or owned by a third party (referred to as “Third-Party IP”) must show that they have obtained written consent from any such third party in order to use the Third-Party IP as a foundation for their business plan. This permission should cover both the general right to use the Third-Party IP as the foundation for the business plan and the specific right to use any figures, photos, or other content included in the plan for reference or reproduction. Anytime an entry uses any intellectual property belonging to a third party, full credit must be given. Teams must include a description of the type and scope of any agreements or contacts they have had, or will have, with Third-Party IP owners in the Intellectual Property Disclosure Statement that they submit with their application.
  4. All entries have to be made fully aware of MIT’s intellectual property rights requirements. The participant bears the duty of verifying that no third party, including a research assistant or sponsor, has any rights to the contents that could prohibit their use.
  5. Plagiarism of any type is absolutely prohibited and will result in exclusion from the MIT CEP. This includes reproducing photographs or other content without citing the original source or, where applicable, without obtaining permission from the content owner or creator. The MIT CEP Managing Directors will have the final say over whether to disqualify a team. For the team to be eligible for monetary rewards, all photographs and other content included in the competition entry materials of the entrant must include the required citations. Please refer to MIT’s Policy on Academic Integrity for further details.
  6. After consulting with independent legal counsel and/or working with the owners of any Third-Party IP, entering teams are expected to take action to protect the intellectual property described in their entries, whether it is their own or that of Third Parties, through the appropriate filings and notices (patent, copyright, etc.). While such agreements are not required to be formalized in order to compete, entering teams are encouraged to pursue suitable licensing arrangements with the owners of Third-Party IP.
  7. Teams who are entering the market should be ready to submit supporting evidence for any assertions they make about the intellectual property that underpins their business strategies, including assertions about the licensing of third-party intellectual property.
  8. When a software component is included in an entry, it should be made explicit which parts of the software product were developed by the team. These competitors must make sure they have obtained all rights to the software product’s components that aren’t the team’s exclusive property and are required to carry out the business plan.


  1. Entry materials will only be available to the Managing Directors of the MIT CEP, the Vice Presidents of Mentorship and Judging, the Judging Panels, and the MIT CEP sponsors. Teams submitting entries must understand that any data they provide is not covered by a non-disclosure agreement.
  2. Participating teams will not sign non-disclosure agreements with the Leadership Team, Judging Panels, Mentors, Sponsors, or other MIT CEP affiliations.


  1. The final say of a team’s eligibility belongs to the MIT CEP Managing Directors.
  2. Disqualification from the MIT CEP and/or the requirement that any MIT CEP awards be forfeited and/or returned may occur from (i) failing to adhere to these Rules and Conditions of Eligibility or (ii) failing, at the sole discretion of the MIT CEP Managing Directors, to accurately make any disclosures required by the MIT CEP or its affiliates.
  3. The MIT CEP has the right to periodically amend these Rules and Conditions of Eligibility. An entrant will have the chance to make any necessary modifications to their contribution to ensure that it complies with the most recent Rules and Conditions of Eligibility in the event that they are modified after their contest entry has been received but before the contest judging.

For More Information and how to Apply, Visit MIT CLIMATE & ENERGY OFFICIAL WEBSITE | MIT CLIMATE & ENERGY PRIZE ($100,000 in funding)


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