Energy Business Model Challenge: how to design a business model for the utilities of the future

Over 100 students took part in the third edition of the Energy Business Model Challenge, which was held on 8 and 9 February in Monterrey, Mexico. Sponsored by the Iberdrola group and organised by the Monterrey Institute of Technology Business Incubator, this event is aimed at encouraging and developing innovative business models for the challenges of the energy sector.

The Energy Business Model Challenge is a program that aims to involve the students of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in the development of business models for the energy of the future. The event allows students to make contact with businesses in the sector and get training and advice from specialist tutors on the subject. In addition, it provides them with the necessary tools and resources to launch their startups.

At this third edition, held on 8 and 9 February at the new facilities of the Monterrey Institute of Technology Business Incubator at its campus in Monterrey, Mexico, more than 100 students and 70 mentors took part in some 30 projects and five workshops aimed at developing the entrepreneurial capabilities of the youngsters.


The aim was for students to take on the role of entrepreneurs and present innovative projects that provide solutions to the challenges of the sector. To do this, they were challenged to develop a viable business model for the energy of the future in 32 hours, which they then presented to a panel of experts from Iberdrola and the Monterrey Institute for Technology.

This year, the winning idea came from the COA team, which proposed generating biofuel with tequila and mezcal waste using microalgae in the distillation plants themselves. The students were rewarded with €4,600 (100,000 Mexican pesos) in Business Incubator services and a trip to Boston (Massachusetts, USA) with Iberdrola experts.

Second place went to the team that developed a biofuel made with organic waste business and, the third, to a more efficient hybrid transport app.

Nearly 400 young people took part in this initiative over its three editions. In the first edition, the winning project was EcoGen, which was about energy efficiency and reducing emissions in poultry farms. In the second edition, Fruture was selected as the winner, an initiative aimed to develop sustainable urban farms based on the collaborative economic model using a global digital network of users, farmers, and consumers, thereby bypassing intermediaries and bringing down costs while also encouraging sustainable production.