The Competition

  • Win $100,000 plus other cash prizes
  • Connect with the best mentors and investors in cleantech
  • “Transformational Ideas” to “Ready to commercialize”
  • National DOE Competition in Washington D.C.
Submission deadline: Mar. 3, 2014
Learn more about the Competition   
Professor Atwater, Director of the Resnick Institute standing with the third place team, Dragonfly Systems.

Young entrepreneurs tackling hard problems and
billion dollar markets took top prizes at the
regional finals competition held at USC on May 7, 2013.

UC Berkeley's Pyro-E won the $100,000 DOE prize
and start up packages including face time with
top investors and legal support.

More Previous Winners   
Kevin Lu, CEO of 2013’s top winner Pyro-E, celebrates with team mate Phani Meduri, and Susan Mac Cormac, Morrison & Foerster


Apply via iStart    Request a Mentor   

Statement of Intent: February 1, 2014

Submission Deadline: March 3, 2014

Competition Timeline   
Left to right: Neil Fromer, Executive Director, Resnick Sustainability Institute, Ka Suen and Elizabeth Neigert, Chai Energy, Kevin Lu, Pyro-E, and Cole Hershcowitz, Chai Energy.

The FLoW $5,000 Transformational Idea Award

Win a Full Scholarship to Draper University

  • Not ready to start a business?
  • Have great pre-commercial research that needs exploring?
  • Then apply to win the Transformational Idea Award
Transformational Idea Award   
Stephanie Yanchinski, Executive Director of FLoW and Matt Lucas, innovator of Rare Earth Systems, 2013 winner of the Transformational Idea Award

Mentor a Team

I am an industry expert who wants to help young entrepreneurs realize their dreams in starting a company.

Become a Mentor   
Donald Paul, Executive Director, USC Energy Institute, and a young FLoW competitor review a lab prototype.

See FLoW's 2013 Winners

Learn more about this year's winners. More »

See FLoW's 2012 Winners

$200,000 was awarded to university student led startups. More »

ETCC FLoW Open Forum II

Join FLoW and five utilities at the ETCC FLoW Open Forum II on May 8, 2014. More »


The opportunity to pitch our concept in front of such a bright and experienced panel of judges was invaluable.

- Blue Dot Analytics

FLoW has truly fostered the beginning of a clean energy and entrepreneurial community in Southern California.

- Chai Energy

The FLoW competition was hugely important for our team, and we had a fantastic time every step of the way. I think it'd be fair to say we might not be a business without the competition and your support.

- Dragonfly

The FLoW competition provides the necessary business component that completes the technical breakthroughs. Without FLoW, it could not be this easy.

- Parthian Energy


Building Robotics, a FLoW finalist in our first year (2012), has just pulled in a $1.14 million seed round from Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Formation 8 and Red Swan Ventures.
Started by UC Berkeley computer science students Building Robotics features an open-source, energy monitoring system for commercial buildings that is based primarily on inputs from occupants. This people centric approach relies on input via smartphones, and provides a very powerful source of data for optimizing building efficiencies.

Greenbotics, a startup founded by Caltech alum Marc Grossman and former colleagues from eSolar and a the second place winner of the first year of FLOW, was just acquired by SunPower. They build robots to clean solar panels.

Pyro-E, FLoW’s first place winner in 2013, has been accepted as one of nine “highly promising startups” into the Hawaii Energy Excelerator, a major program supported by the DOE and US Office of Naval Research, and will receive $100,000 non-dilutive funding. Companies are selected based on their technology, potential market, and fit for the Hawaii and Asia Pacific markets. Less than 7% of the applicants are accepted.

Dragonfly Systems, winner of FLoW’s Third Place 2013 prize, was selected by the Cleantech Open, the world's largest cleantech accelerator, as a finalist to compete at the upcoming Cleantech Open Global Forum for a prize of $200,000 and the title of 2013 Top Cleantech Entrepreneur. Dragonfly was a new startup who successfully went through the FLoW program to reach the top competitive levels at the CTO. Dragonfly’s innovative technology boosts the power output and cost efficiency of large scale solar installations.

Chai Energy, FLoW’s second place winner in 2013, has joined the incubator program at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and is tapping into the incubator’s resources to accelerate its progress toward a product launch in March 2014. Chai develops building energy products that give consumers a simple and mobile way to understand and reduce their energy use up to 20%. Leveraging these consumer products, Chai will provide multiple services for utility companies including customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, and interactive demand response.

For more news, check out the archive.