Teams prepare for Climate Quest Concept Pitch

Sept. 16, 2014 | by Jill Sakai

After a summer of hard work, 18 teams remain in the Climate Quest competition to develop innovative solutions to help society mitigate or adapt to climate change.

At the Climate Quest Concept Pitch on September 19, each team will get a chance in the spotlight to sell its idea to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors. The panel’s top picks will advance to the next stage of the competition and receive funding to take their ideas to the proof-of-concept stage for the final showcase in December.

Each of the projects originated as a seed idea submitted in April to the Climate Quest competition by an individual at UW–Madison or in the broader community. Participants were challenged to step outside their comfort zones to envision novel solutions with the capacity to change the future direction of society.

Those judged as the most promising and creative by the Climate Quest organizers were invited to form teams for a Solutions Workshop in June, where they received training in the principles of design thinking to develop the seed ideas into actionable projects. The teams are interdisciplinary by design and hail from diverse backgrounds and industries, including academic institutions, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, companies and entrepreneurial individuals.

Videos of the team presentations will be available for public viewing the week after the Concept Pitch event. The finalists will be announced on September 30.

The review panel includes:

  • John Holton, Chairman and President of JWS Foundation
  • John Nelson, Managing Director and CTO of Global Infrastructure Asset Management
  • Tom Olson, Chief Investment Officer – Private Markets of UW-Foundation
  • Ulice Payne, President of Addison-Clifton, LLC
  • Benjamin Ryan, Senior Manager of Business Systems and Cost Engineering at SunPower
  • Julie Van Cleave, Chief Investment Officer of UW-Foundation