U.S. Department of Energy

The Solar in Your Community Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative and administered by The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute.

The challenge

SIYC was designed to provide expert advice and resources to innovative startups who would compete for DOE funding allocated to accomplishing pre-defined solar proliferation objectives and according to a structured process:

  • Team submit project ideas, applying for funds. Winning teams get virtual funding through the platform.
  • Consultants apply to be part of a closed marketplace; they are pre-vetted and invited to list services on the marketplace.
  • Coaches apply to provide mentorship to teams; they are approved, assigned to teams and invited to a private "workspace" to review the teams' progress and mentor them.
  • Teams browse the marketplace and spend their virtual funds on consultant services.

To make it all work, the DOE was looking for a platform that is flexible enough to manage the complexity and intricacies of the entire process, along with evolving system requirements.


The solution

To help solve this challenge, the Skipso team customized its innovation marketplace solution in line with the specific needs of the Solar in Your Community ecosystem and its stakeholders.                                                        
The following built-in capabilities make this customized solar ecosystem highly efficient at achieving its desired outcome:

  • Comprehensive Marketplace: all consultants, their services and prices are available in one place
  • Flexibility: three different types of user groups are defined, each with a different level of access
  • Built-in workflow: teams requesting a service engagement from consultants, service delivery, acceptance and transfer of virtual funds are all handled by the sistem
  • Crowdsourced Feedback: Consultant profiles and service offerings can be rated and commented on

The results

Implementing Skipso's solution allowed the DOE to seamlessly oversee the process of recruiting and matching startups and partners in a single platform, while still giving them the freedom and resources to find creative solutions to the project’s solar energy objectives.