Rules & Eligibility

  • Community college, undergraduate and graduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours during the most recent academic year at an Oregon college or university
  • PSU Alumni who have graduated within the last 12 months

Teams must consist of three or more people. At least one team member must be directly affiliated with Portland State University as described above. Faculty members can participate as an advisor on an all-student team. We recommend that teams consist of one technical and one business leader

Prior Funding

A team is ineligible if it has received outside institutional funding (venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, corporate funds, etc.). Teams may accept non-institutional funding (contest prizes, grants, loans, etc.) up to $250,000 prior to or during this contest, so long as no equity ownership is associated with the funding.


An entry may be pre-revenue or producing revenue. Companies that generated more than $100,000 in 2018 are not eligible.

Signature required

All teams must submit a signed Eligibility Statement that certifies adherence to the above rules upon entry.


Award money may be payable to the student/venture. Members of the winning teams must sign a Prize Agreement. If the team is offered and accepts additional funding, teams will be required to execute additional documentation.

Intellectual Property (IP) disclosure

Teams will be required to execute an IP Disclosure with submission. Teams must disclose if they have patented their technology prior to the competition.


The Competition Committee reserves the right to disqualify a team at any time for any reason at its discretion.


Semi-finalist teams must demonstrate significant progress between January and April. The Competition Committee reserves the right to remove a non-progressing team from the final competition.


Semi-finalist teams must commit to sending at least two representatives to attend regular Cleantech Challenge meetings and training scheduled every other Tuesday for the duration of the competition.