The For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge Recap

FOR CLIMATETECH’S GLOBAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES $10,000 WINNERS FOR TOP CLIMATE SOLUTIONS  

Challenge aims to rally innovators and partners towards building a global movement to source and develop the most impactful and equitable climate tech solutions 

The For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge received 137 applications from 29 different countries. The Challenge aims to identify the most impactful and equitable solutions across four sectors key to reducing global emissions: Energy, Buildings, Food & Agriculture, and Transportation, and to connect founders with the right resources, mentorship, and market insight to improve success. A panel of 20 judges composed of industry experts, investors, and policy leaders selected three winners based on each company’s originality of idea, its potential to be scaled, its climate and community impact, and the team’s dynamic.

“As hard as it was to only select three winners, it was inspiring to see that there are so many promising ideas out there today for addressing our urgent climate issues,” said Chante Harris, Sr, Manager of Venture For ClimateTech. “Innovators just need the right ecosystem and assistance to bring them to market quickly, which is precisely why we are offering challenges such as this and building a community where innovators across the globe can thrive.”

The Challenge winners are:

  • Alchemr – Offers validated, stable, and scalable water electrolyzers that generate hydrogen at cost parity with fossil fuel-derived hydrogen (Boca Raton, FL).
  • Clean Ocean Coatings – Created a biocide-free antifouling coating for the commercial shipping industry to improve ship fuel consumption and replace current antifoulings that leach toxins, heavy metals, and microplastic into the ocean and waterways (Berlin, Germany).
  • Mars Materials – Places captured CO2 into plastics and carbon fibers by converting waste CO2 into acrylonitrile and drastically improving the resource intensive acrylonitrile production process used to create electronics, clothes, and carpets (Oakland, CA).

Hear from the winners of the Global Challenge Winners

Dr. Laureen Moureh – CEO of Alchemr

Why is climate tech important to you?

The detrimental effects of climate change on creating a more equitable world are palpable. Developing countries are most impacted by climate change while also often being the least to contribute to global emissions and least likely to afford reparations. Climatetech is important because it is an enabler to global equity and critical to a strengthened economy.

What do you hope the future of climate tech looks like?

In the future, renewable fuels will be as ubiquitous as today’s fossil fuels. ClimateTech will become mainstream, and a country’s economic health will no longer depend on having access to a natural gas/oil supply. 

Explain the purpose of your innovation.

Our innovation enables a clean, multifaceted, renewable fuel to be as affordable as today’s fossil fuels. Specifically, we are driving down the cost of green hydrogen such that green hydrogen can be cheaper than natural gas.  

What drew you to apply for the challenge?

I was attracted to the challenge because it is global. Additionally, the northeast is ramping up activity in terms of deploying cleantech. We would be honored to be the winners, and thus be able to tap into the Venture For ClimateTech network/audience. 

 

Dr. Christina Linke – CEO of Clean Ocean Coatings

Why is climate tech important to you?

The time is now to be the change we want to see in the world. I am convinced that being an entrepreneur is the most effective way to have an impact on how we humans act on this world.

What do you hope the future of climate tech looks like?

We need to stop sacrificing nature and health for the financial profit of only a few individuals. I hope that we as humanity can manage to shift our economics into a cradle to cradle economy where resources are kept in cycles and all social and ecological costs are part of the calculation. 

Explain the purpose of your innovation.

For decades tons of poisonous antifoulings leach toxins and microplastic into the ocean. So far the biocide regulation is not tightened with the argument that there is no alternative to self-polishing coatings. We proved them wrong and are convinced that the antifouling management of tomorrow is a closed loop service of protection of the ship, automated easy cleaning, and recycling of the biomass after the cleaning.

What drew you to apply for the challenge?

The commercial shipping industry is a global market and all the major ports do have their own special rules. With the global challenge, we want to broaden our network and raise awareness to this serious yet hidden problem.

 

Aaron Fitzgerald – Co-Founder of Mars Materials

Why is climate tech important to you?

Industry and unfettered consumerism is the primary cause of our man-made climate crisis. At Mars Materials, we aim to make industry a tool in reversing the crisis by developing technologies that store CO2 into products that are part of our everyday lives.

What do you hope the future of climate tech looks like?

Mars Materials sees carbon tech as an opportunity to transform how our material world is made. We’re working to create a future where using waste-CO2 as feedstock is easier and cheaper than manufacturing using existing polluting processes. 

Explain the purpose of your innovation.

Mars Materials is working to sequester a gigaton of waste-CO2 in products that are part of our everyday lives such as carpets, clothes, sporting equipment, and electronics. Ultimately, we will sequester waste-CO2 into building materials via carbon fiber.

What drew you to apply for the challenge?

The Venture for ClimateTech program presents Mars Materials with a great opportunity to develop our prototype system and meet potential collaborators, including new technical team members, strategic partners and funders.

 

More on The For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge

Each winner receives $10,000 USD, tailored one-on-one feedback with Lisbeth Kaufman, North America Lead for Accelerators and Incubators for Amazon Web Services, and media recognition for their solution. All applicants received resources to better understand and tap into the New York State climate tech ecosystem, while select applicants were invited to meet with a mix of climate tech, environmental, and industry leaders to receive immediate feedback on their solution, input, and additional resources. The 10 finalists in the Challenge also were invited to participate in the Venture For ClimateTech Bootcamp that provides a chance to be selected for a 6-month Venture studio + accelerator program. Ultimately, all three winners accepted invitations to join the Venture For ClimateTech 2021Cohort.