Apply for $100,000 to solve a climate challenge

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MIT invites Syracuse students to participate in its $100,000 Climate & Energy Prize, kicking off the competition with an info-session on Tuesday, December 7 at 7 p.m. The MIT Climate & Energy Prize (formerly the Clean Energy Prize) is the longest-running and largest climate & energy-focused startup competition for university students in the country.

Over 220 companies have successfully launched out of CEP@MIT, with over $2.9 million awarded in cash prizes and alumni startups have since raised over $1.1 billion in follow-on funding. The competition is open to university teams from across the world.

The MIT Climate & Energy Prize competition is inclusive to all climatetech related startups tackling the net zero challenge.  These include:

  1. Buildings & energy efficiency: Building materials, HVAC, building automation systems, demand response, smart meters, lighting, software, etc.
  2. Carbon removal: Land use, reducing ocean acidity, afforestation, carbon capture with sequestration utilization & storage, regenerative agriculture, etc.
  3. Circular economy: Waste reduction, waste-to-energy, bioplastics, recycling, etc.
  4. Electric power: Long-duration energy storage, demand response, renewable generation, next-generation nuclear, DER integration, transmission & distribution infrastructure, etc.
  5. Environmental stewardship: Ensuring that the transition to net-zero is equitable (climate justice, community resilience, adaptation & remediation, land protection, public policy, sustainability education, etc.)
  6. Food & agricultural tech: Sustainable farming, reducing water use, biofuels, urban farming, land restoration, nutrient and pesticide management, etc.
  7. Industrial decarbonization: Decarbonizing heavy industries like cement, iron, steel, ammonia, petrochemical refining, etc. through various solutions such as energy efficiency gains, switching to different fuels and feedstocks, CCS, electrification of heat, etc. 
  8. Mobility & transportation: Technologies that (i) promote electrification (EV charging, new EV models, battery improvements, Hydrogen fuel cells, etc.) and/or (ii) improve efficiency (ridesharing, autonomous vehicles, fleet management, enhancing public transit, high-speed rail, etc.) of passenger or freight transport.
  9. Other: Any climatetech and/or energy verticals that are not covered in the above categories.

The CEP@MIT is structured to identify promising companies and mentor student entrepreneurs. University teams from across the world enter their business ideas and compete in 3 rounds. After initial applications, CEP@MIT judges select the most promising business plans to advance as Semi-Finalists. They then receive mentoring and access to other resources through CEP@MIT sponsors and partners. During this time, the selected teams develop and refine their business plans before presenting them to a panel of expert judges at the CEP@MIT Semi-Finals and Finals.

Learn about the Eligibility and Requirements and Apply Here.

Key Dates

  • Wednesday 12/1 – Applications open
  • Tuesday 12/7 – Info session webinar. Come meet the CEP team and learn more about this year’s competition!
  • Tuesday 1/18 – Applications close at 11:59 ET

Register for the info session here: CEP Kickoff Meeting Event

Apply for the competition here

Interested in the competition but not ready to submit your application yet? Please sign-up on and interest form if you’d like to get deadline reminders as well as updates on CEP mentorship and networking opportunities.