To register for the Green Energy Prize, please join the Prize Community
To register for the Green Energy Prize, please join the Prize Community.

FAQ

General

Getting Started

Anyone is eligible to register regardless of age, geographic location, or any other factor. If someone has a great idea, they can participate. Minors will require someone of the majority age to sign legal documents on the team’s behalf.  

*Please note that a team may not include any individual or entity organized or with primary residence in an embargoed country. Additionally, a team may not include any individual or entity listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List or other sanctions list administered by OFAC. 

No, there is no cost to register or to participate. 

 

To begin the process of competing, individuals will register on the prize portal and create a member profile using their name and email address.

When individuals are ready to register a team, they will update their profile in the portal as a team leader and provide their team name, team avatar, countries represented by their team, and a brief description of their team. Teams do not need to list individual team members.

Each team must be registered by a team leader. The team leader must be age of majority and will be responsible for maintaining a roster of all team members and for their ongoing compliance with the Competition Rules and Competitor Agreement.

You will register on the portal as an individual.  However, only registered teams can submit entries. Once you decide you are ready to form a team, you must update your member profile to Registered Team Member.  

There is no minimum or maximum number to form a team, so you are free to form a team of one person. You may also want to connect with other members or registered teams to explore opportunities to form a team with other registered members on the portal or join an existing team. The forums on the portal in particular allow you to connect with other members and identify needs or common interests for partnering. 

Team leaders will: 

  • Represent their team
  • Sign the competitor agreement and act on behalf of their team
  • Manage the distribution of funds if they win
  • Distribute and collect signed forms from all team members (Exhibit G from competitor agreement)
  • Keep a current list of team members 

There is no minimum or maximum number of individuals for forming teams.  You may compete as a team of one or your team may have as many members as you wish.  Note that only the Team Leader must register on the portal.  It is the responsibility of the Team Leader to maintain a list of members, however individual members do not need to be registered or be listed anywhere on the portal.

A team leader is the person who is responsible for registering the team, maintaining a roster of the team members, and ensuring their ongoing compliance with the competition rules and competitor agreement.

The team leader must be age of majority and will be responsible for maintaining a roster of all team members and for their ongoing compliance with the Competition Rules and Competitor Agreement.

Yes. We have strict language protecting teams’ intellectual property in the Competitor Agreement and agreements with judges. Each team will retain complete ownership of all intellectual property developed for the competition.

Team information is confidential. Prize winners in each round, however, will be expected to demonstrate and explain their designs in public. This will not include details on prototype development or confidential business schematics.

When you are ready to register a team, follow these steps:

  1. Visit your profile page on the prize portal
  2. Once on your profile page, click the “Edit Profile” button.
  3. Click the yellow “Team Registration” button.
  4. Select “Registered Team Leader” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Enter a Team Name.
  6. Click the “Save Changes” button.
  7. Complete the new set of fields to fill out to complete your Team Registration.
  8. Click “Update Profile”
  9. Note: You may also want to change your profile photo to a team avatar.

Once you have completed and submitted the Team Registration form, you may confirm your team registration.  Follow these steps to confirm your team registration:

  1. Clicking the View Profile tab
  2. Look for a “Registered Team Leader” badge next to your name.

If you see the badge your team registration has been successful.

Please note that team leaders must be of the age of majority and will be responsible for maintaining a roster of all team members and for their ongoing compliance with the Competition Rules and Competitor Agreement.

The team leader must be of age of majority and will be responsible for maintaining a roster of all team members and for their ongoing compliance with the Competition Rules and Competitor Agreement.

The Topic Forums  

You may post a discussion thread on the forums outlining what types of team members you are looking for or what your team is focused on. This is especially helpful if someone is interested but feels as if they only have “one piece of the puzzle,” we offer a matchmaking opportunity that helps individuals or groups find additional team members.  

Browse the discussions in the forums to find teams or members looking to join teams. 

Be sure to subscribe to any discussion you are interested in following so that you will receive email messages when new content is posted in that discussion. 

Member Directory

Visit the Member Directory to search for other members. Use the filters to find teams by country or other filter. 

If you would like to connect with a Member or Team Leader, you first need to send a “connect” request. 

Once the recipient accepts your connection request, you will be able to send them private messages. 

The best way to contact the Milken-Motsepe Prize Team is through our email address: mmprize@milkeninstitute.org. 

You can register by going on the Milken-Motsepe Prize Portal. Click here to access.

No, teams don’t need a prototype up front, but it is not required.

In the first phase of the prize, each team must submit a written prototype design and business plan.

Not at this time. English is the only language accepted for written submissions. In the future, we hope to have expanded language capacities, but we are only able to operate with English for the inaugural prize. 

Please find below outreach materials in English, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Modern Standard Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili.

Prize Program One Pager:

English

French

Hebrew

Hindi

Japanese

Mandarin

Modern Standard Arabic 

Portuguese

Spanish

Swahili

AgriTech Prize One Pager:

English

French

Hebrew

Hindi

Japanese

Mandarin

Modern Standard Arabic

Portuguese

Spanish

Swahili

Yes, a team may have one member. Please note we offer a matchmaking forum where individuals have the option to “team up” with other groups or individuals.

Legal Requirements

The Competitor Agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the competition. While the team leader is the only one that will sign the competitor agreement, it is important that all team members read and understand the competitor agreement.

Signing the agreement:

When the team leader is ready to submit the design, there will be an option for the team leader to agree to the terms and conditions of the competitor agreement online. It is a legally binding document, and we encourage team leaders to review it carefully with all team members. If your team wins, the team leader will assume all liability for the team and is responsible for sharing information and distributing funds to team members.

What do team members need to sign?

Team members need to sign Exhibit G of the competitor agreement and return to the team leader. The team leader is responsible for keeping the signed forms and should be able to provide them if requested.

Team members need to sign Exhibit G of the Competitor Agreement and return to the team leader. The team leader is responsible for keeping the signed forms and should be able to provide them if requested. 

Green Energy

About The Prize

Winning teams will demonstrate the ability to deploy distributed green energy solutions at scale in Africa, with the goal of dramatically expanding access to reliable electricity. Teams should make use of new technologies or should adapt existing technologies in innovative ways to generate at least 60 kWh of off-grid electricity daily (24 hours) using green energy sources.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy offers a total of $2 million in prizes. There is a $1 million Grand Prize for the winning team and an additional $1 million distributed through the competition. 

Here are the awards amounts that teams can receive during the competition process: 

  • Semi-Finalist Round: $20,000 each for top 20 teams (selected from design round open submissions) 
  • Finalist Round: $70,000 each for top 5 teams (selected from the semi-finalists) 
  • Runner-Up Prize: $250,000 for 2nd place team (selected from the finalists) 
  • Grand Prize: $1,000,000 for 1st place winning team (selected from the finalists) 

Anyone is eligible to register regardless of age, geographic location, or any other factor. Participants can be a single individual or a team of individuals, including formally incorporated businesses.

The following individuals or teams are not eligible to participate: 

  • Any individual or entity organized or with primary residence in an embargoed country
  • Any individual or entity listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List or other sanctions list administered by OFAC
  • Any current or recent employee or immediate family member of an employee of the Milken Institute or the Motsepe Foundation 

Young people, including minors, are welcome and encouraged to participate. However, all participating individuals under the legal age of majority in their primary residence must have an adult of legal age sign legal documents on their behalf. 

No.

There is no specific profession or qualification to apply and/or register for the Milken-Motsepe Prize In Green EnergyIt is open and free to anyone.

The Competition Rules are the complete set of requirements and standards for participating in the Green Energy prize competition.

You may find the competition rules by going to the Green Energy Prize tab > Download the full competition rules

 

You can compete either as an individual, a team, or a business.

Please see the following dates:

 

  • Registration Opens: November 17th, 2022 
  • Design Round Submission Window Opens: March 1st, 2023 
  • Design Round Submission Window Closes:  March 29th, 2023 
  • Semi-Finalist Round Submission Window Closes: September 14th, 2023 
  • Finalist Round Submission Window Closes: March 6th, 2024 

Design Round

During the Design Round, registrants from around the world may submit design proposals via the prize’s online submission portal. Teams’ submissions must include designs for systems innovations that accelerate adoption of green energy solutions in Africa. 

The deadline for Design Round submittals is March 29th, 2023 at 6pm UTC.

Semi-Finalist Round

Judges will select 20 teams to continue to the Semi-Finalist Round. These 20 teams will receive $20,000 each and will then have four months to implement a real-world demonstration (use case), with no geographical requirement, and write a case study on their innovation’s performance. Teams based outside of Africa will also need to articulate their potential to execute a demonstration of their innovation in Africa if they proceed to the Finalist Round. 

The deadline for Semi-Finalist Round submittals is September 14, 2023 at 6pm UTC.

Finalist Round

Based on the use case design and execution as well as the case study document, judges will select 5 teams to advance to the Finalist Round. These Finalists will receive $70,000 each and will then have another five months to execute a second real-world demonstration, which must occur in Africa, and to prepare their final submission package for judges. 

The deadline for Finalist Round submittals is March 6th, 2024 at 6pm UTC.

Judging

A group of independent global experts from relevant industries and with knowledge of Africa and relevant market conditions will judge the submissions. The judges will be independent of the teams, the Motsepe Foundation, and the Milken Institute. In addition, they will have no conflicts of interest with any of those parties. 

Teams will retain complete ownership of all intellectual property developed for the competition. The judges are contractually obligated to keep team submissions confidential.  

 

AgriTech

About The Prize

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech addresses the problems faced by farmers on small to medium-sized farms in Africa. Many small and medium-sized farms in Africa face two large challenges to realizing the full economic value of the crops they plant. First, they suffer from low agricultural productivity as compared to larger firms, and second, they face significant post-harvest crop loss on their way to market. Winning teams must provide increased net economic value to the farmer by any combination of improved yield, reduced loss, and decreased costs.

The prize will incentivize scalable AgriTech solutions, cultivate and support a global community of entrepreneurs, and source global data-driven insights.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. These Global Goals are articulated through 17 urgent objectives with specific suggested actions to reach each goal. Our work therefore is not to identify what the major challenges are but rather to determine what pieces of the problem are actionable and solvable through accelerated innovation and new ideas. To focus global innovators on solving a specific problem, we have to get at the root of the problem and then determine the specific root-cause market failures and opportunities.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech focuses on the first two SDGs: the first SDG is to eradicate poverty and the second SDG is to have zero hunger. Ending poverty is a clear first goal. For nearly 25 years, extreme poverty was on the decline. The ravaging effects of COVID-19 have compounded a growing climate crisis, and we now face the worst setback in poverty eradication we’ve seen in a generation. It is more important than ever that we act now and accelerate change to end global poverty. Ending hunger is closely intertwined with ending poverty. To understand the root of the food crisis, experts have identified the productivity and income on small and medium-sized farms, and agriculture in developing economies specifically, as critical to solving the issue of global hunger.

We interviewed more than 60 experts with diverse experience across food systems, the majority of whom were from Africa.

The problem starts with farm productivity. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, if food loss is not reduced, food production will need to be increased by 70% and require an investment of $83 billion per year in order to meet the additional demand of 2 billion people. The problem continues “in the field” where up to 40% of harvest is lost before it even enters the distribution channels. This is the range on which we focused.

We wanted to see a broad range of innovative solutions from across the food system.

More than 80% of the farms in Africa are small or medium-sized farms. Smallholder farms produce 80% of the food in sub-Saharan Africa. Improvements or investments in smallholder farms is an effective way to lift farmers and their families out of poverty. Solutions must be able to work for small to medium-sized farms.

Harnessing the power of technology is necessary to accelerate change within productive sectors and reach enough people. The transformative power of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies—such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, cloud computing, and Internet of Things—could transform Africa into a global powerhouseHowever, Africa still lags behind other regions on several indicators in terms of technology, and we as a global community need to be intentional and focused on closing the technological divide. Only 13% of the smallholder farmers have registered for any form of digital service, and only 3% are active users. There is a monumental opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa. Paired with the needed infrastructure and skills for innovation and technology use, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a massive opportunity for pan-African growth across sectors.

The Prize Process

No.

There are no mandatory events currently.

The Prize competition consists of two rounds: an eight-month Design Round and a one-year Finalist Round. 

Twenty-five prizes will be awarded at the end of the Design Round, and these teams will proceed to the Finalist Round. At the end of the Finalist Round, five prizes will be awarded. Throughout the competition, teams are provided with ongoing free mentoring, resources, and networking opportunities. 

In addition to the opportunity for prize money, teams will benefit from being part of the community. Among other things, teams will have access to free resources and webinars that cover topics including design, business plan development, pitching to investors, and more.

Teams will also be given free enrollment to a 12-week experiential learning program powered by Stanford Online’s Idea to Market (I2M) entrepreneurship curriculum that empowers participants to transform their mindset and build successful, sustainable startups with impact. Participants who complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion from Stanford Online. 

  

Winning teams will join the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program Winners Circle following prize completion. 

Alumni will have access to a pipeline for investment and to the broader Milken Institute network. Significant new data captured and ideas generated from the range of innovations and field tests will help accelerate progress towards the SDGs. 

Submitting Your Design

Design Round

Design Round submittals must include design documents, a business plan, and a short video describing their solution. Finalist entries must submit reports based on testing criteria of their solutions as well as an updated, detailed business plan. 

Designs must be suitable for use for at least one crop from a specified list of crops grown by small and medium-sized farms in Africa.

All mandatory and optional documents must be in English. Videos must either be in English or contain English subtitles. Links to Google Docs, Google Sheets, or other online materials are not acceptable. 

The submission window opened on November 1, 2021

The deadline for submittals was December 8, 2021.

As part of the Design Round submittal, you will need to submit a video to demonstrate your team’s design. We have asked for written and video submissions because we want to be as inclusive as possible for our global registrants. The video quality is not part of the judging process. This is about content and  the ability to clearly and succinctly explain your project. Please see a short list of best practices to keep in mind when recording your video submission below:

  1. Put it in MP4 format and make sure the video is under 3 minutes.
  2. Speak clearly and slowly. Consider writing down your comments first and reading them to a friend.
  3. Try to find a quiet spot where you won’t be distracted by activity around you.
  4. We are looking for content quality so don’t stress too much over the lighting, composition, tech specifications etc. This is meant to be an opportunity to supplement the written submission and for you to tell us about your design, in your own voice!

Finalist Round

If any Finalist Round team cannot afford to proceed, they may apply for a grant of up to $10,000. Up to a total of $100,000 across all teams may be provided through grants. Grants will be awarded at the sole discretion of the judges, and grant application materials will be made available before the Design Round prizes are awarded. 

Regarding Finalist Round testing, different prototypes will require different lengths of testing depending on your design. While the testing phase will begin in February 2022, it is not expected to be done in one month. Finalists will be given enough time to test their products from February 2022 until final submission in February 2023.  Please refer to Section 8 of the Competition Rules which outlines this process in greater detail.

Judging

Both rounds will be judged by a selection of global experts in technology innovation and in the production, management, processing, marketing, and/or distribution of crops by small and medium-sized farms. 

The judges and their representatives will be independent of the teams, the sponsor, and the Milken Institute and will have no conflicts of interest with any of those parties.

Teams’ submittals will be judged upon their potential to increase net economic value to the farmer by increasing productivity on the farm and/or decreasing post-harvest loss. In their execution, entries will be judged on their potential to:

  • Reduce costs to small and medium-sized farms
  • Be implemented in practice by small and medium-sized farms
  • Be deployed affordably or at scale, based on a viable business model
  • Develop or integrate innovative technologies into current farming practices on small and medium-sized farms

The judges will also consider each submittal’s environmental, agricultural, and social impact. Entries that cause environmental harm, damage long-term agricultural productivity, encourage unsafe labor practices, and/or create unfair economic effects will be penalized in the judges’ evaluations.

At the end of the Finalist Round, teams will submit reports, as specified in their testing protocols, documenting the performance of their designs. See Competition Rules for more details.

Teams must also submit detailed business models showing how small and medium-sized farms can afford to adopt their designs. Models must describe, at a minimum:

  • Means of delivery and cost to small and medium-sized farms
  • Operating requirements (water, power consumable/reusable inputs, staff, etc.)
  • Estimated three-year total cost of ownership, including maintenance