Thinking of entering the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge? Here's what you should know:

What Is Cleantech / Environmental Innovation?
We define cleantech innovation as any product, process or service that reduces waste, minimizes energy consumption, and contributes to a healthier planet. Re-use/recycling, water usage, energy generation, green consumer products, nanotechnology - all are ripe for innovation.

Who Can Participate?
Any student from a Pacific Northwest college or university who is enrolled in a degree-seeking program can participate in the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Teams must be student led. Cross-disciplinary teams are highly encouraged. The most successful teams have members with various skill sets from various departments, including built environments, law, engineering, business, policy, etc. Non-students can be members of a team, but they can't present at the UW EIC, nor can they receive prize money.

Looking For a Team?
Looking to join a team, or need another team member to join yours? Connect with the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge and other students on Facebook.

How is the EIC Judged?
Teams are judged on the problem they’re solving, their 1-minute pitch to the judges, the prototype they demo, and their ability to articulate the potential for impact. Will their idea conserve resources, have a positive impact on the environment, improve sustainability, and compete in the marketplace? That’s what the judges are looking for. Peruse the judging criteria.

Prototype Funding
Teams from schools in Washington State are invited to apply for funding to cover the costs of building prototypes for the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Learn more.

Resource Nights
Every Thursday night during winter quarter, the Buerk Center offers Resource Nights to help teams prepare for both the Environmental Innovation Challenge and the Business Plan Competition. All teams are encouraged to attend. Resource Nights are located in 104 Dempsey Hall.

Mentor Connect
Industry experts are available to mentor and coach students in business planning, identifying potential customers, and getting a product to market. Click here make an appointment with a mentor.

Other Resources

  • Visit the Startup Resources webpages.
  • Visit the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge on Facebook
  • View 5-7 page business summaries from previous years.
    • Omnioff (2012 EIC Fenwick & West Honorable Mention)
    • C6 Systems (2011 EIC Starbucks Honorable Mention)
    • Idyll Energy Solutions (2010 EIC Siemens Honorable Mention)
    • To view more business summaries contact Pam Tufts.

Questions? Contact Pam Tufts at or 206.685.3813

UW Environmental Innovation ChallengeJudging Criteria
Find out what's expected of your team's business summary, prototype and pitch.

Form a Team

Need another team member for the UW EIC? Looking to join an existing team? Check out the Buerk Center's team formation website!

Startup Resources
Want to win the Business Plan Competition and get the tools you need to help your startup succeed? Check out the Buerk Center's Startup Resources.