Bringing ideas to life

About the Launchpad

The Biomimicry Launchpad was created to help jumpstart biomimicry entrepreneurship. Targeted towards early-stage biomimicry startups and pre startups, the Launchpad trains entrepreneurs on how to apply biomimicry to their innovations and offers mentorship, networking, exposure to strategic partners, and opportunities to showcase breakthrough innovations to the media and the public. 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 sustainability 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 Bootcamp
  • 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 stages, a 4-month technology and market validation stage and a 5-month proof of concept stage. Participation is primarily virtual, though Stage 1 includes a multi-day, in-person Biomimicry and Business Bootcamp workshop.

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 stage, 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.

Application Process

This program is currently closed to applications, but please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when a new application round opens.

Stage 1 applicants will be assessed based on the following categories:

  1. Problem statement
  2. Original biomimicry design
  3. Positive social/environmental impact
  4. Technology feasibility
  5. Market potential
  6. Scalability/replicability
  7. Team

Semi-finalist teams will be required to meet online with Launchpad staff prior to final selection of Launchpad teams.

Who should apply?

Any startup 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 carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation or mitigation, critical sustainability challenges, or any of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals


Submission deadline – April 14, 2019 for fall Stage 1 participation

Notification of finalists – May 2019

Stage 1 – August – December 2019. Select teams will be invited to participate in Stage 2.

Stage 2 – January – June 2020

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 some of our Launchpad mentors and learn more about the judges who will choose the 2019 Ray of Hope Prize winner.


Please reach out to launchpad(at) with any questions.

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