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Global Climate Innovator Challenge


Global Climate Innovator Challenge

Accelerating to the 1.5ºC climate goal Overview


The Global Climate Innovator Challenge is a global program which brings together changemakers, climate entrepreneurs, sustainability technologists, and decision makers in the climate world to help accelerate the next wave of innovative solutions to achieve our 1.5ºC climate goal.

Innovation is key to bringing transformative solutions to limit and adapt to climate change and achieve SDG13. However, many climate ventures and innovation face constraints at the emergence phase due to barriers such as lack of awareness, limited capacity to ideate, and limited access to seed funding and early-stage capital.

We are looking to partner with the brightest and the best to address these barriers and create an opportunity for youth and professionals to ideate, develop, and fund their climate innovation that can accelerate the transition.


We are looking for innovative solutions or ideas (including but not limited to technology, product, business model, or approach) that can accelerate progress towards 1.5C climate goal. We ask participants to choose one of the following five topics:

  1. Affordable and clean energy (aligned with SDG 7)

  2. Resilient social and economic infrastructure, sustainable industrialization (aligned with SDG 9)

  3. Disaster risk reduction, sustainable transport, sustainable cities, and human settlements (aligned with SDG 11)

  4. Sustainable consumption and production patterns, resource efficiency, pollution and wastes reduction, circular economy (aligned with SDG 12)

  5. Other actions to combat climate change and climate impacts (aligned with SDG 13)


• Professional Innovator

Professional Innovators can participate in the Challenge as an incorporated entity (start-up/ social enterprise/ corporation/ laboratory/ research center). You need to submit a summary of your Solution, with an identified stage (proof-of- concept/ prototype/ pilot/ MVP/ commercial) before the deadline.

• Youth Innovator (24 years old and below)

Youth Innovators can participate in the Challenge as a team of 2-4 members. All team members should be under 24 years old. You need to submit a pitch deck of your Idea before the deadline. (NOTE: Youth with comprehensive projects are encouraged to enroll as Professional Innovator)

Registration for Professional/Youth Innovators:

Register your interest and basic information HERE

Submit your material to challenge@gcic-sdgs.org

Deadline to Register C August 25th, 2023

• Observer

Anyone interested in climate innovations can register as an Observer, except those already registered as Innovators. Observers will be invited to participate and vote for the final round.

Registration for Observers:

Register your interest and basic information HERE

You will receive updates on the Challenge progress and be invited to participate in voting and other engagement activities with the innovators

Deadline to Register C September 15th, 2023


To be eligible for the Innovator Challenge, your innovation should clearly address the theme of "Accelerating to the 1.5C Climate Goal" and be related to one of the five topics listed above. The judging criteria for Professional Innovators and Youth Innovators are as follows:

• Professional Innovator

  • Climate Impact and Scalability: clearly defined vision, and ability to demonstrate the potential to solve the challenge

  • Feasibility and Adoption: innovation is feasible to implement and can be adopted by the target group, leading to a real impact

  • Overall Advantage: present evidence of your competitive advantage, such as extraordinary social or intellectual capital

• Youth Innovator

  • Originality of idea: the idea demonstrates a unique approach or creative thinking that sets it apart from existing solutions.

  • Quality of idea: the idea is feasible and realistic, with a high likelihood of successful implementation.

  • Clarity of idea: the idea is clearly presented and easily understandable, and the pitch is coherent, organized, and persuasive.

Once you have submitted your entry, our team will thoroughly evaluate all the entries into the challenge. After rigorous evaluations with Challenge Judge, we will announce the semi-final shortlist on August 7th and the final shortlist on August 14st. Shortlisted participants will be invited to a final pitch on September 6th, which will take place on the same day as the Global Climate Innovation Summit. The final pitch will be hosted in person in New York City and live-streamed. Successful participants will be selected to gain recognition, network, and further support to fast- track their growth.


We offer various benefits for Innovators (Professional/ Youth) and Observers, who participate in the Challenge. GCIC provides a platform for Innovators to gain recognition from the public and decision-makers in the climate world, network with other innovators, receive guidance and mentorship from top-tier investment firms, and potentially secure funding and resources to accelerate their projects.

Professional / Youth Innovator

Top 3 Finalists

Ambassador Award Gala at UN Headquarters

Top 3 finalists will be invited to attend the black-tie Ambassador Gala, where we honor and award the organizations and individuals that made outstanding contributions to climate innovative solutions. The Ambassadors Gala expects a gathering of permanent ambassadors to the United Nations and other high-level personnel in related fields.

Innovation Acceleration Program

Top 3 finalists will receive continued support to fast-track their growth in the following 12 months, including mentorship, feedback, training, and resources from the GCIC network. They will also have priority access to collaboration opportunities with climate fund and incubators in the network.

Showcase in 2024

Top 3 finalists will be invited to showcase the progress of their growth in the next year at the 2024 Global Climate Innovation Summit.

Corporate Membership (exclusive to Professional Innovator)

Enjoy 1-year tailored corporate member benefit. Benefits include but are not limited to priority access to GCIC recourses, an invitation to participate in GCIC closed-door events, and other impactful climate action events.

Cash Prize (exclusive to Professional Innovator) 

Win a cash prize of $10,000 as the champion

Youth Development (exclusive to Youth Innovator)

Enjoy 1-year tailored support for youth development, such as internship opportunities, entrepreneurship training courses, and more.



Finalists enjoy the opportunity to receive detailed guidance and exchange ideas with top-tier investors and thought leaders.

Global Climate Innovation Summit

Final pitch day will be held along with the Summit. Finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of prestigious judges and are also invited to attend the rest of the Summit, where they will receive the most exposure to decision-makers in the climate world.

Public Exposure

Finalists will have a full month to receive publicity and Observer votes. They will receive exposure from media and the public.

Climate Talent

We offer finalists free access to job portal to help find climate talent for their projects.



Semi-finalists will receive a certificate of participation that is recognized by Global Climate Innovation Center.

Innovator Community

Semi-finalists will be invited to join the community, where they can network with other innovators and receive invitations to apply for other climate innovation competitions, innovation boot camps, climate scholarships, and internship opportunities hosted by UN-affiliated organizations and GCIC Friend international organizations.


  • Invitation to watch the live broadcast of the Final Pitch, where you can witness the innovative ideas presented by the finalists.

  • Invitation to attend online webinars, where you can engage with the finalists during interviews and have priority to ask questions.

  • Invitation to join the GCIC community, where you can receive notifications on climate events, climate career opportunities, and interact with the Innovator community.

  • Three randomly selected Observers will be invited to attend the Summit onsite, providing a unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders in the climate innovation space.

For more info, download our challenge brochure from this LINK.


Global Climate Innovator Challenge does not charge any fees at any stage of the application process or participation in the program. We take pride in offering a fair and equitable opportunity to all applicants. If you receive any suspicious communication that request any form of payment, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately at info@gcic-sdgs.org so that we can investigate and take appropriate action.

Furthermore, we would like to remind all participants that all materials and ideas submitted must be the participant(s) original work, and must not infringe upon any third party's copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, concepts, designs or otherwise. Additionally, materials and ideas submitted must not contain expressions which spread, incite, promote, or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, or other forms of hatred based on.

We appreciate your cooperation in helping us ensure a safe and fair application process for all participants. Feel free to send an email to challenge@gcic-sdgs.org if you have any problems regarding the Challenge


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