About the Tech Challenge

The first edition of the Tech Challenge took place from 2018–2019. It was launched at the Women4Climate Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018. It was hosted by the cities of Paris and Tel Aviv-Yafo, who committed to piloting the winners’ solutions.

I look forward to seeing the projects being developed and deployed here in Paris and in Tel Aviv- Yafo. Women entrepreneurs and tech innovators are leading the way in creating the future that we want and the future we can trust in.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities

We received 105 applications, which got rated by a team of C40 experts. The 26 best applications were submitted to an external expert jury, who selected ten finalists in December.

The finalists pitched their projects to a panel of mayors and senior city officials in Paris on 20th February, ahead of the annual Women4Climate Conference. The winners chosen by this panel, Elodie Grimoin, co-founder of Urban Canopee and Inna Braverman, founder of Eco Wave Power, are now receiving assistance from C40, our partners and cities in the next phase of experimentation and implementation.

The Women4Climate Tech Challenge addresses three issues that are high on our municipal agenda: the environment; women’s entrepreneurship; and promoting technology.

Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo

Supported by

Important dates

  • October 11, 2019: Applications open!
  • January 31, 2020: Applications close, 11pm GMT. 
  • February, 2020: Expert jury selects finalists.
  • March-May, 2020: Finalists pitch to mayors and winners announced!
  • June, 2020: The experimentation period begins. 

Why do we need the Women4Climate Tech Challenge?

Technology and data are key agents to create and accelerate sustainable change in cities and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Tech Challenge is a key action for C40 to support diversity in technology and innovation, where women are largely underrepresented:

  • Women only represent 17% of employees, 4% of software engineers and 1% of leadership positions in the combined science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.
  • Only 3% of venture capital partners are women.
  • Just 14% of start-up investors (or ‘Business Angels’) are women.
  • Research shows that start-ups led by men receive over 16 times more funding than those led by women, and survey data suggests that this disparity is gender-based. 

These inequalities represent a significant barrier to developing inclusive climate responses. They need to be addressed with tailored actions and tools to break down the barriers women meet in venture capital and start-up creation.  The Tech Challenge is one of these tools.