Stanford Cleantech Challenge

Apr 18 - 25, 2020

Hosted by Stanford Energy Club

Stanford's virtual clean energy hackathon

Stanford Energy Club is excited to present the Stanford Cleantech Challenge, Stanford's annual clean energy hackathon! Three cutting-edge companies from various areas of the clean energy space will each pose a compelling, real-world challenge to teams of students. As a cleantech hacker, you will have 7 days to collaborate with your team-mates to develop a creative, innovative solution proposal to a challenge of your choice. 

This year, we are moving to a virtual format, accessible to all university students across the world!  Challenges will draw from a wide variety of disciplines, including engineering, finance and policy (this is not the traditional computer science hackathon). Cash prizes will be awarded to the top winners!  We invite students from all degree programs and backgrounds.  Do not miss out on this incredible opportunity to hack clean energy!


How it works



Solve real-world challenges posed by Silicon Valley's top energy companies.

EDF Innovation Lab

EDF Group is a French energy corporation that operates a diverse portfolio of 120+ gigawatts of generation capacity around the globe. The EDF Innovation Lab's aim is to explore, research and test breakthrough technologies to support the growth of the EDF group in decentralized, data-driven and low-carbon energy sectors. Examples of projects include studying 100% clean power generation, the trading of green certificates on the blockchain, and predicting transmission & distribution congestion.

Shell New Energies

Shell's purpose is to power progress together with more and cleaner energy solutions. Shell believes that rising standards of living for a growing global population are likely to continue to drive demand for energy, including oil and gas, for years to come. At the same time, technology changes and the need to tackle climate change means there is a transition underway to a lower-carbon, multi-source energy system. Shell believes hydrogen could play a significant role in this system.

Ford Greenfield Labs

Ford is developing cutting-edge approaches to research at the intersections of social and natural sciences, human-centered design and technology. Research teams at Ford’s Greenfield lab are studying the future interactions of humans and cars, electric vehicles, UAV-to-vehicle integration, and projection technologies.

This event is also sponsored and supported by the
Stanford TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and
Stanford Precourt Insitute for Energy

Contact Us


The Stanford Energy Club is a student organization working to encourage communication and collaboration within the energy community at Stanford University and throughout the Bay Area.   Learn more at!

Email Stanford Cleantech Challenge Co-Directors: Anna Clark ( and
Dhruvik Parikh (

Frequently Asked 


Q: Who can participate in the Stanford Cleantech Challenge?

A: This year, the event is open to all college students. Undergraduate and graduate students from all universities and departments are welcome!

Q: Can I sign up alone or do I need teammates to register?

A: You do not need teammates ahead of time! If you have others you want to be teammates with for the hackathon, then you can register as a team on Eventbrite.  Every team member should register separately and note the team name. Teams will have a minimum of 2 members and a maximum of 4.

Q: What do I do if I don't have a team?

A: We will help you find teammates over the week leading up to the event! Once you register, you will be invited to a Slack workspace where you can join the #seeking-team channel and meet other participants! Don't be afraid to DM people! 


Q: How does the Cleantech Challenge work? What will I do at the event?

A: Companies will pose challenges and students, working in small teams, will have 7 days to come up with a solution. A team of judges will evaluate the submissions and winning teams will receive a prize.  

Q: Where can I see the challenge statements?

A: After you register on Eventbrite, we will send you an email with the abbreviated problem statements and a link to the Slack workspace, which we will be using as the primary form of communication.

Q: Do I need to have a background in coding to participate?

A: No! This is not a traditional coding hackathon. Instead, teams will work together to solve problems in engineering, finance, and policy. We welcome Stanford students from all disciplines and backgrounds to participate!

Q: Will there be prizes for the challenge winners?

A: Yes! There will be cash prizes. 


Q: How do I register?

A: If you are interested in participating in this event, please visit our registration page here.  


Q: Is there a fee to participate?

A: No! It is free to participate in the Stanford Cleantech Challenge.


Hackathon Week
4/13, 8:00 AM
Challenges announced and online team formation opens on Slack workspace (available after registering on EventBrite)
4/18, 9:00 AM
Team registration deadline - register here!
4/18, 10:00 AM
Opening Ceremony -
Full challenge materials released and official hacking begins!
Judging & Awards
5/2, 8:00 AM
Finalist teams announced
5/4 - 5/7
Finalist teams conduct virtual interview with company judges
5/9, 12:00 PM 
Winners and Runner-Ups announced
4/18 - 4/25
Teams have one week to create an video-based presentation


Students from all universities (undergraduate and graduate programs) and all degree programs are invited to register online


Your team will have one week to put together an 8 minute video presentation.  Challenges will involve aspects of technology, policy, and business models.


Form teams of 2-4 through our online platform (or register with a team of your choice) and select which challenge you want to work on


Finalist teams will do schedule a live interview with judges to select winners and runner-ups for each challenge. Team awards will include cash prizes!

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Update: Challenge Statement Previews have been published and Team Formation via Slack is now open! Please register for free on Eventbrite to gain access. Note that you are NOT bound to participate in the challenge by registering in Eventbrite.