Think you've got the fix for a campus sustainability problem? Pitch us your next big idea and sell us on sustainability for a chance to get your dream project funded — all while positively impacting campus.

Each year, Ohio State Energy Partners provides philanthropic contributions to a variety of organizations, projects and programs. For the 2023-2024 academic year, OSEP supported campus sustainability innovation by sponsoring a venture capitalist-style sustainability competition for students.

Teams of 1 to 4 students from every Ohio State University campus had the opportunity to propose projects that support the university’s resource stewardship goals.

Where campus innovation meets student collaboration.
Win a free trip to Paris, France!
The highest-scoring team following the final presentation round receives a trip to Paris, France (economy class flights and accommodations) to attend ENGIE Innovation Week, paid for by ENGIE. The 1st place team also receives $60,000 to fund their winning project idea. In addition, each team member will receive a per diem travel stipend.

Each individual member of the second highest-scoring team receives a monetary merit award of $500.

Submit your project:
Develop a campus sustainability project and submit to OSEP for evaluation.
Present your project:
"Sell" your project to the judges and compete for project funding.
Execute your project:
Winners will have one year to implement their campus sustainability project.

2024 Winners

The last iteration of the Smart Campus Challenge concluded in spring of 2024; the winning project, Utensils To-Go, aims to end the use of plastic utensils on campus. Utensils To-Go team members Hanshu Kotta, Jashnavi Bommana, Shreya Sree Morishetty and Dhaarini Prasad Sudha earned $60,000 in project funding and a trip to Paris in the summer of 2024. Partnering with Topanga, with a leading reusable packaging company, Utensils To-Go will introduce sustainable alternatives to plastic utensils, thus contributing to the university’s goal of diverting 90 percent of waste away from landfills.

In addition to the Utensils To-Go project, Team Mycoremediation members Parker Haskett, John Chapman, and Khoa Cao secured second place with their innovative approach to waste management using fungal degradation. This project, awarded $20,000 in project funding, seeks to establish mycoremediation as an effective and eco-friendly solution to waste problems in urban settings. Meanwhile, the Ohio State Uniform Campus Recycling Initiative members Ben Rosenthal, Lauren Wagner, Sage Chesser, and Brendan Fowler clinched third place, focusing on enhancing waste management practices both on and off-campus.


Follow @smartcampuschallenge on Instagram or join our GroupMe for contest updates!