The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has souped up its Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize Competition, offering $260,000 worth of prizes. The MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and the Ignite Clean Energy competition have joined forces and are working with the Department of Energy and Massachusetts energy company NStar. The DOE and NStar have each ponied up $100,000 for the competition’s grand prize.
The competition is looking to give entrepreneurs a spotlight, some funding, and industry connections to accelerate the process of getting cleantech solutions out of the lab and into the field. And the competition is not limited to just MIT eggheads (and I say that lovingly). Professionals, as well as students from MIT and elsewhere, are encouraged to enter.
While students teams aren’t allowed to receive any investor funding, professional teams are allowed to have angel funding below $250,000 and grant money “within reason.” Runners-up in each entry category — MIT student team, non-MIT student team, and professional team — stand to win $20,000 each.
The competition starts Feb. 15, 2008; winners will be announced May 14.