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Climathon in
Cape Town

CIFAR Alliance and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth

A Climate Adaptation Innovation Challenge in Cape Town








Others Players


Total guests


Our Objective

Cape Town is a coastal city located at the southwestern tip of South Africa. It is renowned for its natural beauty, including the iconic Table Mountain that dominates the urban skyline. While Cape Town is known for its diversity and tourist appeal, it also faces climatic and environmental challenges, including water management in a context of scarcity and adaptation to climate change. This has made it a perfect setting to enhance and promote the creation of intelligent climate solutions.


Our Methodology

For our event, we opted for a workshop-style format in which participants were paired with a panel of mentors, experts in various realms of innovation encompassing both climate and finance. The purpose of these mentorship sessions was to provide guidance and support throughout the process. By the culmination of the event, each participant was tasked with delivering a 5-minute pitch that comprehensively addresses all facets of a business model.

The Results

After 48 hours of intensive work, we distilled 7 novel business ideas, each crafted in direct response to climate-related challenges tied to the blue wave or water-centered economy.

Out of these, we honored the top 3 in each category – Emerging Ideas and Startups.

1st Place Startup

You Meta

YouMeta, the winner in the 'existing idea' category, enables young people to access green and climate jobs through their innovative app, bringing awareness to emerging livelihood opportunities and upskilling youth.


1st Place New Idea

Sea Soil

Sea Soil, the recipient of the 'new idea' award, wants to focus on improving soil health by applying underutilized seaweed as fertilizer. It aims to integrate carbon finance into its platform based on increasing carbon soil stocks.

Mentors and Judges

Throughout our Climathon, we had the collaboration of 10 mentors. They played a pivotal role in accompanying the participants throughout the entire event, providing their assistance to guide their projects and construct the final pitch. Subsequently, these participants presented their solutions to a distinguished panel of 4 judges, responsible for evaluating and selecting the winners:


Anga Mbeyiya - Participant

“When you put youthful eager minds in one room for 17 hours they create life changing start up ideas that benefit both people and planet. We need more spaces like this to harness the energy and implant impact"

Nadia Scheffer.jpeg

Nadia Scheffer - Participant

“It was an awesome challenge to take an idea from ideation to pitch mode, with the guidance of experts giving input, enhancing the experience”


In this section, you can access the presentations given by each of the mentors to the event participants:

Our Partners


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