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Challenge Festival Energy & Sustainability Semifinals


The Challenge Festival is presented by 1776 & Philips

Many thanks to Edison Electric Institute, Presenting Sponsor, and to Inter-American Development Bank, a Festival-wide Silver Sponsor and Energy Day Gold Sponsor during the Challenge Festival.

1776 traveled the world—from Africa to China to our own backyard—and found the most promising 16 startups revolutionizing energy—everything from production to storage to efficiency & more. Join us as these 16 entrepreneurs face off for two $50,000 prizes and a spot to join the rest of the “Elite Eight” for the Global Finals on Saturday, May 16. Consider this your glimpse into the future of energy throughout the world and an opportunity to meet the people behind the biggest ideas with global impact.

Meet the 16 competing startups below!


4:00 – 6:00 pm: Startup pitches — Each startup will get 2 minutes to pitch their business, followed by another 2 minutes of questioning by the investor & industry expert judges.  Startups will be judged based on how big their potential market is, how much traction they’ve gotten so far, and other factors that evaluate whether the entrepreneur has the idea and the team to scale globally.

6:00 – 6:45 pm: Reception, opportunity to meet startups, and judging

6:45 pm: Two Semifinalists Announced

Dress code: Startup friendly

There will be casual food and drink provided.

Location: Lansburgh Theatre – 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20005
Cross Streets: E Street NW & 7th Street NW

Parking: Garage Entrance on 8th Street between D and E Streets NW, Cost: $12/day
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red Line) at 7th and G Streets, 2 blocks from the Theatre.

There will be bus transportation from the Lansburgh Theater to the Energy & Sustainability Gala. Buses will run back and forth between Lansburgh and the gala location; the final bus to Lansburgh will leave the gala location at 10:15 p.m.

Want more startup action throughout the week? Join us for our a.m. energy & sustainability conference, or  buy a badge for the whole week!


Energy & Sustainability Semifinalists Expand