The last 18 months have shown what is possible when it comes to climate impact as well as what challenges remain.
Mission from MaRS: Climate Impact Challenge started off with a national call for companies working on solutions to reduce carbon emissions in the energy, real estate, and transportation sectors. MaRS received 74 applications from companies across Canada, from which 10 ventures were selected. These Climate Champions received advisory services and connections to capital and customers through their challenge participation. And the companies are making impressive progress with solutions that have the potential to mitigate megatons of greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s estimated that with a market penetration of just 0.1 percent, adoption of these technologies could lead to a reduction of close to 41 megatons of CO2e, every year, by 2030. With better market penetration, the potential impact is even greater.
Here are some of the highlights of this first Climate Impact Challenge and the continuing climate-action work of our Climate Champions.
During the Challenge, the 10 Climate Champions worked with more than 50 leaders from business, government, NGOs and the investment community in coalitions that were curated to address the specific needs of each company. In addition, 10 coalition fellows — students from the Schulich program at York University and Carleton University — collaborated with the coalitions and participating enterprises.
Over a six-month period, each of the 10 companies involved met monthly with their coalitions to identify strategies and solutions to overcome their most pressing barriers to scaling adoption of their emissions-reduction solutions. Three demo days and five workshops for ventures and partners were also hosted during the program, and the Scale-Up Challenge report and a 10-part Getting to Net-Zero article series with the Toronto Star raised the ventures’ profile outside the program. Plus, MaRS has launched its first podcast, Solve for X: Innovations to Save the Planet, which is hosted by CBC tech journalist Manjula Selvarajah. The series highlights the innovations being pioneered by the Climate Champions.
Collaborating with their curated coalitions and coalition fellows, our Climate Champions refined and stress-tested the value proposition and strategy for their emissions solution, engaged with key customers to better understand their decision-making and buying processes, increased their exposure and profile, and connected with new potential customers, investors and partners.
A detailed program report and impact study will be released in Fall 2022. In the meantime, we’re excited to share a few of the wins from the Climate Impact Challenge.
In June 2022, we were able to gather in person for the first time with our Climate Champions, coalitions, and partners and funders. More than 100 guests gathered to hear about the highlights and successes of Mission from MaRS, and to learn more about the need for ongoing support for climate-tech adoption and net-zero pathways.
Watch for further information about Mission from MaRS this fall, in our detailed report and impact study. At this point, as the Climate Impact Challenge comes to a close, MaRS wants to thank all our coalition advisors for their time and invaluable advice. In addition, thank you to our founding partners and supporters for funding this important initiative: HSBC, RBC Foundation, Trottier Family Foundation and Thistledown Foundation, Peter Gilgan Foundation, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Export Development Canada (EDC), and Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas).
And last but not least, we want to thank our 10 climate champions: BrainBox AI, Carbon Engineering, Effenco, Extract Energy, Flash Forest, Opus One Solutions, Pantonium, Peak Power, Stash Energy, and StormFisher. We look forward to watching your continuing successes and engagement with the climate-tech ecosystem.
To connect with us, please reach out through firstname.lastname@example.org.