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

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy is incentivizing entrepreneurs who have ideas for solutions to advance progress toward UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

The aim of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy is to reward innovators who expand access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity in Africa. Energy access is a key driver for long-term economic growth and shared prosperity. The prize offers $2 million in prizes and additional benefits, including a $1 million grand prize for the winning team and $1 million in additional prize money. Participating teams will also receive access to networking, training, and other resources.

~ 1 billion
Nearly one billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity
$ 13 + billion
The amount spent on diesel and petrol for backup generators due to the unreliability of existing grids in Africa
~ 1 billion
Nearly one billion people across 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa share roughly the same generation capacity as Germany, with only 83 million people

How to Win

Registration for the Green Energy Prize is free and open to anyone, anywhere. 

Competition Rounds

Design Round

Teams submit their designs and business models. An independent panel of expert judges will select 20 teams to advance in the competition to be semi-finalists. Each semi-finalist team will then receive $20,000 to test their ideas.

Semi-Finalist Round

Teams perform a real-world demonstration of their innovation and collect data on its performance. A panel of judges will select 5 teams to receive $70,000 each in additional funding and advance in the competition to become finalists.

Finalist Round

Teams will submit final submissions and judges will assess and choose a grand prize winner. The winning team will receive $1,000,000 and a runner-up will receive a $250,000 prize.

The Challenge

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 winning team will receive a $1 million grand prize.

The Judges

Wambui Chege headshot
Wambui Chege​

Board Director, Independent Consultant

Tshilidzi Marwala headshot

Dr. Tshilidzi Marwala

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Johannesburg

Tracey McCabe

Tracey McCabe

President & CEO, Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation
Dr. Richard Mkandawire headshot

Dr. Richard Mkandawire

Director, Alliance for African Partnership, Michigan State University
Isis-Nyong'o-Madison
Isis Nyong’o Madison

Principal, Asphalt & Ink

Who We Work With

Prize Timeline

Milken-Motsepe Agritech Prize timeline

Prize Benefits

Many entrepreneurs lack the information and tools they need to bring their innovation to life. In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program provides a rich set of opportunities for entrepreneurs, both during the competition and beyond.

Online Community

Simply complete the free prize registration process and you will join an online community of other entrepreneurs. The prize portal will give you access to:

Certificate Program

Semi-finalist teams will participate in a tuition-free, experiential learning program offered by Global Innovation Catalyst (GIC) in collaboration with Stanford Online. The GIC Innovation Execution (iX) program features the entire course content from Stanford’s Idea-to-Market entrepreneurship program. Teams will receive:

Winners Circle

Winning teams will join the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program winners circle following prize completion, with access to: