2017 CET Challenge
Application Launch

The CET Challenge is a nationally-recognized investment program that culminates in a high profile event where $1M of of cleantech investments and new CET Portfolio companies will be announced.

Applications are now open for the 2017 Clean Energy Trust Challenge! We invite all Midwest-based cleantech startups to apply for this nationally-recognized cleantech investment program.

This year will mark the 3rd consecutive year that CET is committing to invest up to $1M in early stage cleantech companies. Entrepreneurs and researchers throughout the Midwest are invited to submit their cleantech startups for the opportunity to join Clean Energy Trust’s growing investment portfolio. The 2017 investments and the new cohort of Clean Energy Trust Portfolio Companies will be announced at the CET Challenge event in Chicago on May 9, 2017.

What began in 2010 as a simple business plan competition to jumpstart the local ecosystem with cash prizes totalling $140,000 has now grown into the most competitive and high profile investment opportunities for cleantech startups in the Midwest. Since the first competition, startups have received $4M in funding, raised an additional $96M in follow on funding, and created over 300 new jobs.

A robust due diligence process utilizing expert, external evaluators determines the initial selection of finalists. The finalists will receive an estimated $15,000 worth of services, support and mentorship to prepare for the final investment showcase. The final full-day pitch event will bring together over 400 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and media in Chicago.

Clean Energy Trust’s appointed Investment Committee of cleantech industry experts and investors will determine the ultimate investment awards.

Investment Committee

Sara Chamberlain | Managing Director, Energy Foundry

Keith Crandell (Chair) | Co-founder and Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners | CET Board Member

Rob Day | Partner, Black Coral Capital

Gerd Goette | Partner, Siemens Venture Capital

Jeff Klunzinger | Managing Director, The OS Fund

Veery Maxwell | Director, Philanthropic Services, Energy Innovation | CET Board Member

Joshua Posamentier | Principal, Prelude Ventures

Ben Rogers | Partner, Broadscale Group

Brian Tolliver | Director, Business Development, Schneider Electric

Stephen Weiland | Sr. Manager, Caterpillar Strategic Investments

The deadline for companies to apply is January 17, 2017.

Download our Applicant FAQ here and apply here.  

By Emily Achler | December 13, 2016