Program Overview

The Berkeley Cleantech University Prize (CUP) Program provides selected student teams with 15 weeks of cleantech entrepreneurial training, focused mentoring by providing access to expertise throughout the UC Berkeley Innovation Ecosystem.

Benefits of the program:

  • Semifinalist teams will be able to participate in interactive training workshops covering topics such as technology commercialization, target market discovery, value proposition development, market strategy, pitch coaching, and developing further funding strategies.
  • Teams will be partnered with our mentors for focused sessions (physically or digitally) to help identify opportunities and overcome the challenges necessary to achieve specific team milestones, and to identify and connect teams to resources.
  • Semifinalists will also benefit from extensive networking with investors, industry experts and other leaders in cleantech and business startups through the training program and annual competition event.
  • The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $50,000 in seed funding in addition to the benefits above. The top three Competition finalists will be invited to compete at the National Cleantech UP Competition for another $50,000.

Throughout the 15 week program, participating teams will have regular meetings (physically or digitally) with competition staff to discuss their progress, next steps and current challenges in achieving their milestones.

Teams will ultimately be evaluated on two criteria:

  • A submitted pitch deck developed and refined throughout the course of the Program
  • Their live pitch to our Competition Judges during the BERC Innovation EXPO in February

The $50,000 Grand Prize winner along with 2 finalists will be formally selected and announced at the BERC Energy Summit in February. These top 3 teams also earn a chance to compete in the DOE National CleantechUP competition in June.