Cleantech Competitions: Driving Open Innovation

With the number of cleantech companies growing, and the need for innovative thinking and creative cleantech ideas increasing, cleantech competitions are becoming a key component in delivering fresh minds and new ideas.

Cleantech competitions are a key ingredient in the recipe for cleantech success.  These renewable energy focused competitions are bridging the gap between university students, cleantech start-up businesses, more established companies as well as investors.  For these three target groups of the growing cleantech world, it is a win-win-win-win situation.

For students, these competitions give them a chance to gain real-world experience by using what they are learning in school and creatively applying their knowledge to solve real cleantech problems.  Competitions offer a prize to the winning participant, creating an even greater incentive to participate.  There are also many competitions that target the minds of startup companies.  On the corporate side of things, these competitions give companies new ideas and project proposals from cleantech innovators, at no cost. Finally, investors can use competitions as an effective way to generate quality ideas tapping into entrepreneurial talent worldwide.

Perhaps the largest and most successful cleantech challenge is the CleanTech Open.  The National Grand Prize winner of this competition receives a $250,000 cash prize.  Receiving thousands of submissions to their competition, the CleanTech Open opens the door to a countless number of people to display their creative thinking and innovative ideas.  This open innovation is key to bringing success to the rising cleantech revolution.

The European Cleantech Challenge is another important challenge.  This competition is a yearly business plan competition managed by the leading Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and aimed at startup companies in Europe. Another great European initiative is the  Cleantech Challenge a joint initiative by London Business School and UCL.  Cleantech Challenge Mexico is another example of a new competition that is growing in size and participation in a growing economy.

GE’s Ecomagination is another great example of how large companies are leveraging competitions and Open Innovation to drive Cleantech innovation. The initiative was a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas on how to improve our energy future. The competition was also recently launched in China opening more doors for innovation by spreading to new countries.

These are just a few examples that show how cleantech competitions are taking off all over the world.

With this proliferation of competitions and open innovation challenges there is a problem of finding the right competitions to participate in. Our online cleantech platform and ecosystem on our website, is also a great place to find all the latest Cleantech competitions, awards and funding opportunities. We also run our own Open Innovation challenges.  Anyone from a CEO to a university student can find challenges and participate.

For organizations that would rather run a competition on their own dedicated platform, Skipso offers the perfect solution. Through a dedicated and fully customised whitelabel platform, we allow any organization to set up and manage its own competition in few simple steps. An example is the previously mentioned EuropeanCleantech Challenge.

By utilizing the tools that companies like Skipso have created, any organization can leverage open innovation and competitions to drive Cleantech innovation. In doing so, they will also contribute to successfully creating new ideas, connections and jobs globally.


Skipso Powers the MIT Clean Energy Prize!

I am really excited about our latest White Label platform deal!

Skipso is now the engine behind the MIT’s prestigious Clean Energy Prize (submission deadline for this year’s prize February 25th!) and more importantly the platform that will support the MIT CEP team in connecting MIT’s disparate community of Clean Energy Prize teams, alumni, cleantech entrepreneurs, researchers, professionals, investors and policy makers under a single web-portal.  In addition, the platform’s open innovation and crowdsourcing functionality will increase the breadth and reach of the MIT Clean Energy Prize around the world by connecting MIT participants with Skipso’s global cleantech network.

“Before Skipso, we struggled every year to rebuild the MIT Clean Energy Prize community through newsletters, emails and other time consuming methods,” said Georgina Campbell, 2011 Managing Director.  “Now, Skipso has given our community a permanent virtual home not only during the competition, but throughout the year- connecting competitors, energy entrepreneurs, and researchers, both locally and internationally.”


MIT Clean Energy Prize

The MIT Clean Energy Prize is powered by Skipso

Now in its fourth edition, the MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) has helped launch dozens of new cleantech start-ups, including FloDesignFastCAP Systems and OSCOMP Systems.   Collectively, CEP companies have raised over $85 million in funding and created over 400 jobs.

The MIT CEP platform can be found live at:


Our vision at Skipso is to become the global hub for Cleantech innovation. Through our unique ecosystem we connect Cleantech Clusters, Universities, Research Centres, Associations, Incubators and other large Cleantech organisations from all over the world. Becoming part of this ecosystem enables Cleantech companies and entrepreneurs to find solutions to their internal challenges, to access multiple sources of funding and to commercialise their products and services on a global platform.

There are more exciting news to come. Stay tuned!

Carlo Soresina – Skipso Co-founder


CleantechU – Creating Launchpads for Entrepreneurs (powered by Skipso)

Skipso is excited to announce a great new Cleantech initiative that will use Skipso’s white-label platform to support its growth:

Craig Wing, CleantechU’s Executive Director, explains the vision behind this great project:

CleantechU aims to ignite cleantech entrepreneurship at universities with the potential to foster more innovation and new ventures in sectors like energy, water, transportation, green buildings, and agriculture. CleantechU will build a platform that connects universities with resources for new ventures, as well as a template for success and the expertise to build effective new cleantech entrepreneurship initiatives.

CleantechU has already launched in 7 top US universities (Duke, Yale, Columbia, University of Southern California, University of North Carolina, George Washington University, Brigham Young University), Craig’s plan is to roll-out nationwide and internationally in the next few months.

Skipso’s White-Label platform is targeted at Cleantech clusters, associations, incubators, universities and any other organisations that aggregates Cleantech professionals, companies and providers. It allows to save significant development costs and time providing a state-of-the-art web platform to connect, collaborate and drive Cleantech innovation.

Learn more about Skipso’s White Label platform.