I am thrilled to be working to bring the MIT Climate & Energy Prize competition to Europe this year as a part of my work as senior advisor to McKinsey. This is the largest and longest-running competition among university students to launch companies tackling climate change. Teams compete for $100,000+ in prize money and have access to mentoring and other resources.
Founded in 2007, the MIT Climate & Energy Prize has received over 750 applications, offered world-class mentoring to over 260 teams, and granted more than $3.3M in non-dilutive cash prizes. Over 220 MIT Climate & Energy Prize companies have successfully launched and raised $1.7+ billion in follow-on funding.
Over 100 startups, including two dozen from Europe’s best universities, applied for this year’s competition. The best climate startups from each continent will be chosen in Paris on March 9 and in Boston on March 16 to compete for the grand prize at MIT in Boston on April 13.
If you’re interested in learning more about the competition, you can watch our recent webinar. We welcome volunteers to spend some of their time coaching teams. Contact me if you would like to get involved!
Learn about the legacy of the competition from MIT Sloan Fellow and MBA student Aditi Jha, one of the organizers of the event.
“CEP’s most impressive asset is its community. The prize was founded by Tod Hynes, while he was a student at MIT along with Bill Aulet. Over the years, the prize has built an ecosystem of thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are making a serious dent in addressing climate change.
The prize has had participation from across the US and supported start-ups working on breakthrough technologies across a spectrum of areas. Among recent winners, we have had companies focused on energy-efficient fiber optics (Ayar Labs), novel, cost-effective insulating windows (Aeroshield), and carbon-free fertilizer (Nitricity).
This year my co-MD Agustin and I wanted to focus on increasing the accessibility and diversity of the competition. That’s led to us introducing the first-ever European Semi-final; so, the finals this year will be a competition between European and US start-ups! Our vision, if this is successful, is for future leadership teams to expand the competition to Asia, Latin America, and Africa so that more students can access the MIT climate-tech innovation ecosystem. We have also introduced new tracks like one on Ocean Climate Solutions in line with new research on its massive potential and support from Ocean Visions. Finally, our team is actively engaged in ensuring that participants have access to the best mentors and industry partners to test out the viability of their ideas, an area we are strengthening through our partnership with McKinsey.”