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  • The grand prize is us$10,000. The prize pool is up to us$31,000 as of august 25, 2023. How will the balance of the prize pool being allocated.
    Energy Mentors is heartened that our Founding Sponsors have increased the prize pool up to US$31,000. We are open to further donations by individuals and others entities to increase the prize pool. As of now, if no further changes to the prize pool, the tentative plan would be to award US$5,000 to four additional team with distinguished submissions
  • What can eliminate the team from the competition? Is there an appeal process?
    The teams’ designs including any documentation submitted to the web site shall speak for itself. The teams’ designs are more similar to commercial rather than academic deliverables. As the submissions are design they may tend in some way to be derivative of and synthesis of prior knowledge and techniques. The competition specifically calls for designs to include capabilities available in the marketplace. It is always a nice gesture to give some recognition and thanks to those who either directly or indirectly helped and or inspired. Hopefully no team displays grossly uncivil public behavior during the competition. The Organizing Committee at its sole discretion reserves the right to eliminate any team for grossly uncivil public behavior during the course of the competition.
  • What kind of support will be provided by the Organizing Committee?
    The Organizing Committee and Energy Mentors will post Knowledge Resources and is considering possible web casts and or video postings so they are accessible to all team. The competing team should turn to local professors and professionals for team mentoring and advising.
  • Can a university or college incorporate the design challenge into college course credit, e.g., senior design project.
  • Is there an appeal process to the competition results?
    Results as determined by majority vote of the judges is final. There is no appeal processes.
  • Who can participate?
    Energy mentors encourages broad participation so have the following guidelines: · Teams may form ad hoc and need not be officially sponsored by a university, club or organization thought it is welcome if teams are so sponsored. · Each team should have a team name and indicate their location, such as their university. · Teams can decide on the number of teammates themselves. · Team members may include undergraduate students, graduate students, and persons who are not degree candidates. · Teams may draw on the knowledge and advice from any resources they wish. However, faculty and working professionals should not contribute to directly producing results and deliverables.
  • When is the deadline for registration?
    The deadline for team registration is February 15, 2024.
  • How to participate?
    Please use the “Participate” link to register your team. Deliverables for submissions are listed on page & of this document: Power The Community: An International College Design Competition ( A link will be provided in January, 2024, to registered teams so they can submit their project deliverables Should you encounter a problem while completing the online registration form, kindly reach out to us at
  • Should the community include places of employment?
    Maybe. Maybe not. A community certainly needs an economic underpinning to be a great place to live. Such could be provided in the community design. Or it could located nearby. In the latter case a design element could focus on how best residents can flow to and from places of employment and business that are nearby. Nearby employment and economic activity may drive the location for a community. Those economic centers of activity can be geolocated versus the community on an area map.
  • Can a team patent element of its design?
    It is suggested that teams consult appropriate intellectual property (IP) legal counsel before submission to ensure adequate protection. Many universities and colleges have IP capabilities and protocols.
  • Is there any assumption as to the community’s location relative to other population centers, and of what size?
    This is for each team to decide. It should be driven by their view of local market demand by their target customers. The enables teams to leveraging their local knowledge and to consider solutions that best meet local needs.
  • Who will administer the competition? And who will judge it?
    Energy Mentors will act as the Organizing Committee (OC) to administer the “Power the Community” competition. The Organizing Committee may be supplemented with volunteers. The Organizing Committee will recruit and appoint judges before April 15, 2024. No Board Member or employee of Energy Mentors or volunteers on the Organizing Committee shall be a judge
  • To whom should the team make queries in case of doubts and questions?
    Queries can be sent to Replies to queries will be posted on the competition website, for example here in the FAQs, so all team may benefit from the reply.
  • Are there additional prizes other than the grand prize. Additional prizes may incentivize more teams to join.
    Energy Mentors is open to individuals or companies supplementing the prize pool. Energy Mentors is providing the $10,000 grand prize. Note: If additional sponsors come forward: All prizes will be awarded by majority vote of the judges of the regional or finals. 100% of the offered prize money will be awarded to students (no overhead). The donor's name can be on the prize, e.g., "CompanyX Distinguished Award, Power the Community South America Competition" If you wish to inquire about being a Sponsors please contact:
  • When is the deadline for submissions?
    The deadline for team submission is May 15, 2024.
  • Please explain more why this design competition does not have a formulistic judging rubric. How do we know what the judges might be looking for?
    This competition seeks design masterpieces. Lots of them. Could a formulistic judging rubric unleash each team to be as innovative as they might be capable of delivering? Could a rubric bake-in bias to existing paradigms by incentivizing a maximum scoring from a formula? Consider these thought exercises: How would have the iPhone fared in a 2006 mobile phone competition if the judging rubric included more points for a great keyboard design? Should people be penalized for not following a formula? Michelangelo was given a specification for what should be painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He did not comply with the paradigm he was given. (Ignoring time and place …) Can you come up with a judging rubric that could “score” the designs of both the Taj Mahal and the Eifel Tower where decision makers would move forward to build both? It is intended that the five judges be of diverse professional capabilities and accomplishments. It is hoped that collectively they will appreciate great designs when they encounter them.
  • Should the community include basic shopping (e.g. grocery and drug stores), other retail, restaurants, places of worship, community centers, etc.? I see that they are to be considered but are they internal or external to the community?
    A community certainly needs access to shopping (e.g. grocery and drug stores), other retail, restaurants, places of worship, community centers, etc., to be a great place to live. Such could be provided in the community, or depending on how the proposed community is sited on the map, it could be located nearby so the design element of focus could be residents flow to and from accessing such service
  • Is the team allowed to change its members? If so, when and when not?
    A team may change its members during the period of enrollment, that is, up to December 15, 2023.
  • What will not be provided by the Organizing Committee (OC)? What is responsibility of the competitors?
    The Organizing Committee (OC) will provided solely via the competition web site, for example, FAQ updates and updates to Knowledge Resources. The competing teams are responsible for submission of their deliverables by the closing date of submissions.
  • Who is the official project submitter when several team members are involved in the project?
    This is at the project team’s discretion to nominate a primary contact.
  • Benchmarking must be made in comparison with nearby populations. What may be considered nearby?
    “Nearby” will be a judgement call each team will have to decide. Teams may consider nearby populations using a thought process like but not limited to: The population to the nearest city of greater than 100,000 persons. Populations in the surrounding 500 km (300 miles) if the design is for a less populous region.
  • Is there a minimum or maximum number of teams for the competition?
    Energy Mentors will award a prize if as little as one team enters. If 12 or more teams enter then the competition will be logically broken down into preliminary rounds. Such may be organized by regions, countries, or continents, depending on the geographic distribution of entries. If preliminaries, then a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 entries will be promoted into the finals. For example, if one continent or country has 6 or more entries then that continent or country may be a preliminary round with at least one entry promoted to the final round.
  • Components are available for purchase though not in huge quantities.
    Some examples: Components available for purchase today: Photovoltaic (PV) solar roofing tiles, cryogenic isocontainers filled with LNG delivered by truck. Components not available for purchase today: Solar cells integrated into transparent windows, community deployable small modular nuclear reactors. Note: If components are available for purchase today regardless of volume it is assumed production can be ramped up if demand increases.
  • Can the pitch video be in a language other than English?
    As a practical matter the pitch video has to accessible to the judges so it should be in English or have English subtitles.
  • Why, “Designs must be geolocated to an actual parcel of land that can be developed into a community…”?
    Design to real world conditions is a great learning mechanism as it requires embracing and overcoming non-ideal conditions.
  • Can a team sell its design and or participate in the property development.
    Sure. Why Not?
  • Whom do I contact in case I have any questions?
    Kindly send an email to

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