Applications Now Open for Florida Collegians to Compete in U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergyTech University Prize

October 19 | news

Post-Secondary Students May Win Cash Prizes for Business Plans Leveraging Energy Technologies with Potential for Commercialization

Florida post-secondary students who develop strong energy technology business proposals could win a share of $370,000 in federal funding through the 2023 EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy.

EnergyTech UP challenges student teams to build a business plan around energy technologies developed at National Laboratories or other high-potential energy technologies, including technologies developed at the university or independently. Students will present their business proposals to a panel of expert judges for the chance to win cash prizes and advance to the national competition at Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas. All participants also receive access to the OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum.

Applications are now open for the competition at For the second straight year, the OTT selected the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) — a regional economic development initiative of the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, and the University of Florida — to host the preliminary event for Florida students in February 2023.

“We’re glad to be back as an EnergyTech UP convener, collaborating with the next generation of leaders in the energy and high-tech industries in our state,” said The Corridor’s CEO Paul Sohl. “Giving students applied learning opportunities has always been central to our mission and we look forward to engaging our regional and statewide ecosystem partners in this effort.”

Last year, the University of Miami’s Kara Samuel and Alexander Ezzy won the preliminary competition hosted by The Corridor and advanced to win third place at the national level. They earned a total of $7,500 in cash prizes for a plan to commercialize structural piezoelectric supercapacitors, an alternative to hydrogen-powered fuel cells or lithium-ion batteries, which may increase the efficiency of vehicles and aircraft.

“EnergyTech UP provided us with genuine and valuable feedback from industry experts that helped improve our future business model and gain a new perspective on our project,” said Samuel. “The prize has helped us take steps toward acquiring patents to protect our technology and take the next steps in our business plan.”

The OTT is hosting a virtual webinar Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. EST for students and mentors, including college and university faculty and staff, who are interested in learning more about the 2023 competition. Webinar registration is now open:

Official rules and OTT National Laboratory partnering information are also available at

For more information about the preliminary competition for Florida state college and university students, contact Amanda Allen at

About the Florida High Tech Corridor
The Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) is a regional economic development initiative of three top-tier research universities: the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida. Since 1996, The Corridor has cultivated Florida’s research and innovation economy through matching grants to support university-industry partnerships, federal grant support, industry clustering, STEM outreach and more. Powered by an ethos of collaboration, The Corridor aligns opportunities and resources in academia, industry and economic development to unleash the region’s exponential potential. Learn more about The Corridor at Connect with The Corridor on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Tech’s Potential podcast on Spotify or Apple.


infographic - how to apply for EnergyTech University Prize