Future of Energy Challenge: Mobility | Net Impact

Future of Energy Challenge: Mobility

Future of Energy Challenge is supported by Shell.

In the Future of Energy Challenge: Mobility, we ask the next generation of thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to design collaborative, innovative ideas addressing mobility in one of the following issue topics: alternative fuels, electric mobility, access to energy, retail stations, nature-based solutions.

Learn more about this year's specific issue areas by downloading the challenge brief.

Participants submit a proposal with a broad business idea or a system solution addressing one of the areas in the challenge brief. 5-10 finalist teams will be chosen to join the Energy Scholars and develop their solutions through their participation in an Accelerator. This Accelerator is designed to develop solutions from initial ideas to fully developed and scalable concepts. 

The Accelerator will culminate with a live pitch panel competition at SXSW in Austin, Texas. The chosen finalist teams will present their final pitches to a panel of experts, who will judge the solutions on clarity, innovation, breakthrough potential, and feasibility of implementation.

The winning team will be chosen based on the judge's decision and will win a chance to attend Shell’s Powering Progress Together forum in April 2020.


  • Teams should have 2-4 members, ideally with a variety of academic backgrounds and perspectives
  • Teams must be based in the United States
  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals are all welcome to apply
  • If selected, finalists will join the Energy Scholars and commit their participation in the Future of Mobility Accelerator--which involves a 10-15 hour per month  commitment from mid-December through mid-March. Teams will spend this time developing and refining their concept via recorded and live content, expert mentoring and check-in calls. Additionally, Energy Scholars must commit to attending an in-person session and final live pitch event at SXSW in Austin, TX during the second weekend in March. Travel expenses provided
  • Finalist teams join the Energy Scholars. From December 2019-March 2020, Scholars  will hone their idea through mentoring sessions with Shell's research teams and develop their solutions with input from business and industry experts
  • Finalist teams will travel to SXSW in Austin, Texas (travel expenses paid). The trip includes:
    • Attending Shell's invite-only event about the future of mobility and other related content at SXSW
    • Participating in the final pitch competition where finalists will have a chance to present their ideas to a panel of Shell experts. 
    • One winning team will be selected and recognized by Shell for their innovation and ingenuity. The challenge winner will also be invited to attend Shell’s Powering Progress Together, an event series where leading thinkers from business, government and society dialogue and collaborate around accelerating the energy transition
  • November 15th, 2019 -  Early bird deadline for first round submissions. Teams who submit by the early deadline will get personalized feedback from Net Impact Central. Your team will then have the option to revise and resubmit your submissions by the final deadline.
  • November 25th, 2019 - Final application deadline
  • December 2019 - Top teams are notified. All members of top teams commit to join the Energy Scholars. In December, they attend one introductory session for Scholars. 
  • January to early March 2020- The Energy Scholars refine their solutions with ongoing support via webinars and coaching calls, with mentors and experts as part of the Future of Mobility Accelerator. You can expect to build out both the technical and non-technical elements of your proposal.
  • March, 2020 - Final in-person coaching session and pitch presentations for Shell at SXSW in Austin, Texas during the first weekend of the month. Travel expenses provided. Winning team selected.

Questions? Contact futureofmobility@netimpact.org