GE’s ecomagination Challenge: Powering Your Home is the most recent open call to action for businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students with breakthrough ideas for home energy creation, management and use.
The Challenge invites people to come together to bring ideas to the starting place of our energy future – the home.
Selected ecomagination Challenge entrants will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE through:
Investment: the $200 million capital pledge of GE and its partners will be invested globally into promising start-ups and ideas
Validation: evaluation of entrant’s business strategy through in-depth discussions with GE‘s technical and commercial teams
Distribution: exploration of partnership opportunities with GE to scale a business and create global reach
Development: leveraging of GE‘s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development
Growth: exploration of opportunities for utilizing existing GE customer relationships for your go-to-market strategy
The Challenge, launched in collaboration with leading venture capital firms RockPort Capital, KPCB, Foundation Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, and Carbon Trust is part of GE’s ecomagination initiative, a global commitment to build innovative clean energy technologies and will help fund the most promising ideas.
Submitting an Idea
Submissions closed on March 15, 2011.
All entries included a clear, detailed proposal describing an innovative, original home energy technology or process.
A video was optional.
Sharing and Protecting Your Ideas
All entries are the intellectual property of the entrants. GE reserved the right to review entries and post a reasonable amount of information about it on the ecomagination.com/challenge site.
Judging & Rounds
Representatives of GE and its investment partners will form an evaluation committee to consider possible investments in you or your company. GE has also selected an ecomagination Challenge panel of judges, including individuals from GE’s business units, representatives from academia, venture capital firms, government research specialists and others.
The panel of judges will select entries to receive cash awards. The panel will evaluate each entry based on merit; reliance on science and engineering fundamentals; innovative character; potential to create significant societal impact; commercial feasibility in light of applicable market dynamics; and other factors deemed appropriate by the judges.
In early Spring 2011, GE will announce those entrants with whom GE intends to pursue commercial relationships. Soon thereafter, GE will announce any business deals with GE that have been formalized.
We thought it would be useful to provide some information about who is judging the submissions.
Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine
Chris Anderson is editor in chief of WIRED magazine, and author of the best- sellers, The Long Tail and FREE: The Future of a Radical Price. View Bio
Vice President, GE Energy Services
Bob Gilligan is vice president of GE Energy's transmission and distribution business and an officer of the General Electric Company. View Bio
Olaf J. Groth
CEO, Emergent Frontiers Group
Olaf Groth, founder and CEO of Emergent Frontiers Group, helps clients by applying foresight, strategy and innovation methodologies. View Bio
CEO, Recurrent Energy
Arno Harris is the CEO of Recurrent Energy, a leading developer of solar power projects for utilities and large energy users. View Bio
Senior Vice President and Director GE Global Research
Mark Little is senior vice president and director of GE Global Research, one of the world's largest industrial research organizations. View Bio
Vice President, GE ecomagination
Mark Vachon leads ecomagination, GE’s sustainable business strategy that has generated $70 billion in revenues in its first five years. View Bio
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Beth Comstock is Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of GE. She leads the company's organic growth and commercial innovation initiatives, and the sales, marketing and communications functions. View Bio
General Partner, Foundation Capital
Steve Vassallo is a general partner at Foundation Capital and is on the board of directors of several corporations and research organizations. View Bio
GE will present each of five innovation challenge award recipients with $100,000 in cash, for a total of $500,000, to acknowledge these entries as examples of outstanding entrepreneurship and innovation.
Judges may also award one or more entrant:
GE Scientific Merit Award to work with the GRC
The evaluation committee will consider one or more of the following for selected entrants:
An equity investment by GE or others
A cooperative agreement to develop a product or technology
A review of your product or service for possible qualification to be a part of the GE ecomagination program
Things to Consider
The ecomagination Challenge is focused on finding new and more intelligent home energy technologies and processes, as well as better business models. When preparing your submission, please consider:
Originality – We are looking for innovative home energy solutions. Is your entry unique?
Feasibility – We are looking for functional solutions that can enjoy success in the marketplace. Is your entry cost-effective, or can it be made so?
Impact – If successfully realized, will your entry help turn our current energy challenge into an opportunity?
Keeping these three criteria in mind will help you formulate an entry that stands the best chance of being noticed.
Any individual 18 years old or older can participate, as can any organization, except a bankrupt person or organization and/or a criminal offender under any national penal system. (GE employees are not eligible to enter.)
If you are participating as a team, one designated team leader must be solely responsible for all activities related to the competition.