Seeking a new species of entrepreneur
About the Launchpad
The Biomimicry Launchpad is the perfect mix of entrepreneurship and biomimicry training, mentorship, networking, exposure to strategic partners, and opportunities to showcase breakthrough innovations to the media and the public. Our program is targeted towards early-stage biomimicry startups and pre-startups. We aim to turn the daunting task of starting a company into a set of core actions that will lead to innovative companies while training the next generation of sustainable entrepreneurs. Participants can be eligible to win cash awards, including the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize®, sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, a $25,000 second place prize, and additional cash prizes.
Launchpad participants will experience:
- In-person Biomimicry and Business Bootcamps
- Mentoring and access to subject matter experts
- Pro bono legal advice
- Access to free design software
- The opportunity to compete for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize® and additional prizes.
The Launchpad is structured in two phases, a 4-month technology and market validation phase and a 9-month proof of concept phase. Participation is primarily virtual, with two opportunities to experience four-day, in-person Biomimicry Bootcamp training sessions.
Stage 1: Technology and market validation
In this phase, the teams will focus on customer discovery, value proposition, and market analysis and technology validation.
Stage 2: Proof of concept
In this phase, teams are assigned a domain-expert business advisor. Together the advisors and teams determine an individualized set of milestones designed to improve the team’s go-to-market readiness. Participation in this phase is dependent on meeting Stage 1 milestones.
Stage 1 applicants will be assessed based on the following categories:
- Problem statement
- Original biomimicry design
- Positive social/environmental impact
- Technology feasibility
- Market potential
Semi-finalist teams will be invited to present online prior to final selection of Launchpad teams.
Who can apply?
Any start-up or pre-commercial team with a nature-inspired product, service, or technology with inherent social or environmental benefits may apply. We are particularly interested in solutions that address any aspect of climate change adaptation or mitigation, or carbon sequestration, in any sector of the economy.
Submission deadline – June 8, 2018 for fall Stage 1 participation
Notification of finalists – July 2018
Stage 1 – August – December 2018. Select teams will be invited to participate in Stage 2.
Stage 2 – January – October 2019
Mentors and Judges
As a Launchpad participant, your team will be paired with mentors who can help you take your innovation to the next level. Meet the 2017-18 Launchpad mentors and learn more about who will choose the 2018 Ray of Hope Prize winner.