The Ray of Hope Prize® is a $100,000 prize competition that provides top biomimicry startups with connections, media exposure, and funding to accelerate their path to commercial success.
Nature has evolved strategies to address many of the challenges humans face today. By looking to nature for inspiration, innovators from all sectors are bringing incredible new technologies to life and to market. Apply now and join the entrepreneurs that are building successful biomimicry businesses, accelerating the development and commercialization of biomimicry innovations, and becoming the next generation of sustainability entrepreneurs.
Calling all nature-inspired innovators! Do you have a product, service, or technology that helps create a sustainable, resilient future? The Ray of Hope Prize competition can help you bring your startup to the next level.
Competitors are eligible to receive the $100,000 prize, along with media exposure to major press outlets (past Ray of Hope Prize winners from the Launchpad have had their stories shared on CBS, the BBC, and PBS.) Benefits include pitch training, product refinement, and storytelling enhancement. Participants also gain access to a growing community of biomimicry designers and entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential investors.
Applications will be accepted shortly. Check back soon!
2019 Ray of Hope Prize
At the end of each competition cycle, one team is awarded the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. This prize is awarded to the most viable prototype that embodies the radical sustainability principles of biomimicry and Ray’s name.
2019 winner: $100,000
Watchtower uses a next-generation, flexible robot to inspect water pipes, locating leaks for utilities to easily fix. The strategy is to build a robot that is like a squid or gecko; it leaves behind a piece at every leak it finds in an underground water pipe. This piece has a beacon effect that allows maintenance crews to locate it with wireless scanners from above ground, pinpoint the location of the leaks, and know where to dig and fix them.
Past Years’ Winners
2019 Second Place Prize: $25,000Aruga Technologies
Aruga has developed a platform technology that uses a self-cleaning mechanism found throughout nature: dynamic wrinkling. Their first product is a vascular implant that doubles traditional implant lifetime by keeping blood clot buildup from depositing on the blood contacting surface. They are exploring how their technology may be applied across industrial surfaces that frequently experience fouling, such as marine and water infrastructure.
2018 ray of hope prize winner: $100,000Nucleário
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Inspired by winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter, Nucleário offers a smarter, cheaper, and faster approach for large-scale forest restoration by providing innovative products proven to reduce seedling maintenance. The Nucleário Planting System eliminates the need for irrigation, herbicides, and pesticides.
2018 second place prize: $25,000BioThermosmart
Mexico City, Mexico
The BioThermosmart team applied lessons from animals’ circulatory systems to develop a heating, ventilation, and cooling system for buildings that harvests waste heat and cycles it back into the system, reducing costs, fossil fuel emissions, and energy.
2017 RAY OF HOPE PRIZE WINNER: $100,000NexLoop
Croatia, United States, Germany
NexLoop designs biomimetic products and systems to collect and integrate in situ atmospheric water sources into sustainable and affordable urban food production. The design is a modular, scalable building envelope system for food production applications, such as greenhouses, indoor vertical farms, and container farms. The system combines multiple functions from champion species like spiders, ice plants, and mycorrhizal fungi, to capture, filter, store, and distribution water for food growing.
2016 RAY OF HOPE PRIZE WINNER: $100,000