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The Global Innovation Challenge


In conjunction with the Venture For ClimateTech program sponsored by NYSERDA and powered by NextCorps and SecondMuse, the Challenge aims to rally innovators and partners towards building a global movement to source and develop the most impactful and equitable solutions in climate tech.


With the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge, we’re working to address the urgent need for climate tech solutions, which can be difficult to develop without the right resources, mentorship and market insight. The For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge is rallying a global community to source the most impactful and equitable early-stage climate tech solutions across four sectors key to reducing global emissions: Energy, Buildings, Food & Agriculture, and Transportation. 


With a final prize of $10,000 USD for each challenge winner, all applicants will receive resources to better understand and tap into the NY State climate tech ecosystem, while select applicants will be invited to meet with a mix of climate tech, environmental, and industry leaders to receive immediate solution feedback, input, and additional resources. Challenge finalists will have the opportunity to participate in the V4C Bootcamp with a chance to then be selected for the 6-month V4C Venture studio + accelerator program!

Join the Challenge

The Problem & Opportunity

If our world hopes to achieve the targets of the Paris Accords and reach net-zero global carbon emissions by 2050, the critical innovation and infrastructure must be in place by 2030. Global ambitions towards climate innovation have reached an all-time high as the all-encompassing, exponential nature of the climate crisis has become apparent. Climate breakdown represents an injustice on a scale we have never seen before as the repercussions fall disproportionately on those who have emitted the least.

Parallel to this tremendous growth is the demand for equitable, impactful, and scalable solutions, which will continue to grow across the globe and New York State in the coming years.  Knowing that innovation occurs across sectors and disciplines within an industry, we are seeking the most impactful solutions across the following verticals in climate: 

Why Participate?

All participants receive:

  • Opportunity to join For ClimateTech community
  • Visibility into the landscape of climate tech resources in New York State, allowing a more detailed understanding of the resources available in the New York climate tech space

Finalists receive:

  • Access to the Venture for ClimateTech Bootcamp, where participants will receive mentoring with a focus on funding, solution resources, and how to communicate with investors
  • Long-term support as they join the pathway towards becoming a  Venture for ClimateTech cohort member

Challenge winners receive:

  • $10,000 cash prize per winner
  • Solution recognition and media announcement
  • Office hours and tailored one-on-one feedback with climate tech expert and North America Lead for Accelerators and Incubators at Amazon Web Services, Lisbeth Kaufman.

Meet Our Judges

Vishnu Amble is a senior investment professional with Aramco Ventures, focusing on investments across stages in core and critical infrastructure ...

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Sylvain has spent the last 25 years thinking, writing, building, and investing in emerging technologies. Though he didn’t study computer ...

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Simran is an Analyst at Equal Ventures. Prior to joining Equal, Simran was introduced to venture through internships at Greenspring ...

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Rick is Co-Founder and General Partner at Equal Ventures. Prior to co-founding Equal Ventures, Rick was an investor at Lightbank, ...

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Nneka Uzoh is Director of Energy Innovation at Elemental Excelerator. She leads Elemental’s energy vertical and supports their energy portfolio ...

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Nick Lyth is CEO of Green Angel Syndicate, which he founded in 2013 as an experiment to fight climate change ...

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My name is Michael and I am an impact-focused startup founder and, having just sold my company, am now doing ...

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Ma is an Award Winning Product Manager, Educator, Speaker, and Entrepreneur. Fueled by her passion to create new ideas (and ...

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 is the North America Lead for Accelerators and Incubators at Amazon Web Services where she leads a team of superstar former ...

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Jessica is passionate about innovation that drives positive change in human health, equality, and our relationship to the earth. Jessica ...

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Having worked in micromobility internationally for half a decade, Georgia has worked in partnership with cities across Europe, North America, ...

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Francoise Lavertu Before co-founding Utelias, a Think Tank for Private Equity investors, and South View Studio, a strategic and creative ...

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Edward Greer Scouting & Exploration Network Ventures & Business Development Edward is member of the Scouting & Exploration Network in ...

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Crissy Ditmore is a mobility evangelist, urban farmer, and policy wonk. She is a knowledge builder for Mobility as a ...

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Christian Okoye is a Director of Venture Investments at Emerson Collective. He focuses on managing venture and growth equity investments ...

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Ben Wolkon is the Manager of Sustainable Investments at MUUS Asset Management Co, the private investment company of serial entrepreneur ...

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our terms and conditions and the challenge rules here.
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