Climate Resilience Prize 2024 

An unconditional and non-dilutive CHF 100,000 cash prize to support startups working to drive climate resilience in agriculture and food value chains

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ABOUT THE PRIZE


Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) and MassChallenge Switzerland are pleased to introduce the second edition of the LDC Climate Resilience Prize - an unconditional and non-dilutive CHF 100,000 cash prize to support startups working to drive climate resilience in agriculture and food value chains.

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A leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, LDC’s vision is to work toward a safe and sustainable future by contributing to the global effort to provide sustenance for a growing population. As a strategic partner, LDC is looking to connect with and invest in companies with whom it can add value as a cornerstone supplier, customer, or partner. Its corporate venture capital program, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, provides equity capital to early-stage companies developing innovative and sustainable products, technologies, processes, and solutions with the potential to transform food and agricultural production, and make LDC's operations more profitable, sustainable, or efficient.

MassChallenge Switzerland is facilitating meaningful connections between LDC and selected startups, with the goal of finding breakthrough solutions to critical challenges in food and agricultural supply chains, adding real value for customers and markets while protecting the environment and safeguarding natural resources.

In line with these goals, the LDC Climate Resilience Prize will be awarded to the food and/or agriculture startup with the biggest climate impact potential.

The winner will be announced on stage at the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards on October 31st.

 

“Through this prize, we are thrilled to continue supporting the next generation of innovators, empowering visionary creators of transformative new ideas to create change at scale through groundbreaking products, technologies, processes or solutions with the potential to drive climate resilience in food and agricultural value chains.”

Michael Gelchie, Louis Dreyfus Company's Chief Executive Officer.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR


We are looking for startups, with proven solutions or technologies in the areas of: 

LDC Prize Categories

  • Impact on land use - regenerative agriculture practices, smart farming, water reduction, pesticide and fertiliser reduction, crop health and yield increase, biodiversity protection
  • Traceability - End-to-end traceability in the supply chain, from farm to consumer.
  • Upcycling - upgrade of low value grains, side-stream utilization. 
  • CO2 reduction technologies - applications in the ag value chain, including feed, processing, land and maritime transportation. 

BENEFITS FOR THE SELECTED STARTUPS


  • One winner will receive this no-strings-attached, non-dilutive cash prize of CHF 100,000, in addition to any cash prizes that early-stage startups might win in the accelerator.
  • Early-stage startups (<$2M capital raised and <$2M sales) will participate in MassChallenge Switzerland’s accelerator, which helps startups across Europe grow their businesses, and annually accelerates 100+ early-stage startups.
  • All startups will participate in workshops and receive resources & coaching to help quantify their climate resilience solution.
  • An opportunity to connect and collaborate with investors looking to positively and sustainably impact food and agricultural value chains, including a direct connection to LDC decision-makers and, if relevant and desired, potential discussions about scaling the solution.
  • Publicity at the final judging event in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards attended by over 400 people, and through various related communications.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA


What does carbon resilience mean for LDC?

Overall, LDC is looking at CO2 reduction and enablers, and more specifically:

  • Impact on land use - regenerative agriculture practices, smart farming, water reduction, pesticide and fertilizer reduction, crop health and sustainable yield increase, biodiversity protection
  • End-to-end traceability in the supply chain - to quantify and understand opportunities
  • Circular economy - upgrade for low value crops
  • Sustainable packaging - natural additives

 

We are looking for startups that:

  1. Have impactful products, technologies, processes, and solutions that can contribute to climate resilience in food and ag-tech, by decarbonizing the food value chain. Startups will be asked to quantify their solution’s impact in relation to CO2e removed/avoided over the next 10 years until 2034. For example: How many tons of CO2e will you avoid emitting, or sequester per ton of your product per annum? How many m3 of fresh water will you save per annum? How many tons of waste material will you prevent from being emitted each year? How many tons of natural resources will you recover or prevent from being wasted each year?

  2. Have a viable idea. Startups must be able to demonstrate traction amongst those participating in their solution, as well as how their idea is financially sustainable. For example: data showing sales to consumers, manufacturers or farmers, or the size of their supply base (ie farmers), or their business model.

  3. Have a scalable idea. Startups must be able to show how their solution scales and that their pricing is market competitive. Scaling could involve LDC, but this is optional. For example: reach millions of farmers, be sold to millions of consumers, be applied in manufacturing plants.

  4. Are from Pre-seed to Series C+. We encourage both early- and late-stage startups to apply. What’s important is the impact, viability and scalability of your idea and how it contributes to climate resilience in food and ag-tech.

  5. Are from any geography. Startups from around the world can apply. However, as physical accelerator events are in Switzerland, startups should ensure they are able to travel to Europe. The selection process will be carried out online.

 

HOW CAN YOU WIN THE PRIZE?


  • Apply and be accepted into the Sustainable Food Track or Sustainable Industry & Climate Solutions Track in the MassChallenge Switzerland startup accelerator. Relevant startups will automatically be entered into the competition. Apply here by February 28th and select the Swiss Program.
  • If you are a later-stage startup (> $2M Funding) and want to compete for the prize, contact us at switzerland@masschallenge.org and we will follow up with you.
  • Successful startups will be invited to participate in a physical event at MassChallenge Switzerland on June 24th, participating in workshops and receiving resources/coaching to help them quantify their climate resilience solution.
  • Startups who have successfully quantified their impact using MassChallenge’s guidance will pitch to a jury at a semi-final online, and a final in Lausanne, to determine the winner.
  • The winning startup will be announced on stage at the MassChallenge Switzerland Awards, in Lausanne, on October 31st.




Applications open on January 16th and close on February 28th

Any questions? 

switzerland@masschallenge.org

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