Build for Climate

Build a climate MVP in 8 weeks

Build for Climate is an 8-week build sprint for experts and operators who want to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in climate tech. Join a community of passionate peers, deepen your knowledge, and get accountability and structure to go from interest to action

Build for Climate

Build a climate tech MVP in 8 weeks

Build for Climate is an 8-week build sprint for experts and operators who want to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in climate tech. Join a community of passionate peers, deepen your knowledge, and get accountability and structure to bring your ideas to life

Apply to join Build for Climate →

Build for Climate

Build a climate tech MVP in 8 weeks

Build for Climate is an 8-week build sprint for experts and operators who want to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in climate tech. Join a community of passionate peers, deepen your knowledge, and get accountability and structure to go from interest to action

Everything you need to go from interest to action

Forge deep relationships and stay accountable

Starting a company can be lonely. Find your tribe and build together with an outcome-oriented community that prioritizes learning.

Level up your climate tech knowledge

Whether you’re already a climate expert or just getting started, we help you dive deep into the climate tech market, identify opportunities and workshop solutions that could become companies.

Build and pitch your idea

Form your team, iterate your product, and pitch your progress in our Showcase. The focus is on collaborative support and exploration, not competition. We all benefit from more great climate companies getting started!
Addison Berry
Addison Berry
Ex-Manager, DTE Energy’s Grid Modernization
Kamalpreet Kaur
Kamalpreet Kaur
Ph.D Enviornmental and Corporate Sustainability
Lucia von Reusner
Lucia von Reusner
Senior Director, Sustainability & ESG
Kasia Mikoluk
Kasia Mikoluk
Ex-Head of Growth / GM
Vishant Kothari
Vishant Kothari
Manager, Electric-Vehicle Grid Integration (EGI)
Folasade Ayoola
Folasade Ayoola
Ph.D Candidate, Energy Resources Engineering

How it works

Submit your application to Build for Climate
Successful applications will proceed to a live or recorded interview. 
Join the Build for Climate community.
During kickoff and orientation, you’ll meet fellow Builders – passionate climate experts, founders, and experienced operators who want to develop solutions to the most pressing climate issues in the world.
Explore the climate tech ecosystem.
The first four weeks are focused on community and climate tech immersion. Dive deep into climate tech topics, technologies, and market opportunities through educational programming, then ideate climate solutions and form teams.
Develop your climate tech idea.
The final four weeks are focused on building. You’ll work together to take your idea from concept to reality, supported by interactive workshops and expert mentorship to keep you on track.
Showcase your work
Build for Climate culminates in a Showcase event, where you’ll present to a panel of expert judges, climate investors, and the entire On Deck community, The most promising teams will get a chance to join ODX and receive a $125k investment.


Catalyst Founders

Catalyst Scouts

Apply to be a Founder

We review applications on a rolling basis, but the sooner you apply, the better your chances. This application asks the same questions as the ODX applications.

Apply to be a Scout

Applications are now open, and the deadline is Thursday, December 9. After the written application, the second step is a video interview call.

Meet your Fellow Catalysts in ODX

You’ll join the ODF or ODX program starting January 2022, along with a selective subgroup of your early-career peers.

Join our Curated Community

Our community and education program begins January 2022, where you’ll learn how to think like a VC.

Meet your Build Partner

Connect with a deeply experienced advisor who will help you get the most out of On Deck, and develop a 90-day plan.

Meet Ambitious Founders

Meet early-stage and aspiring founders and help them succeed. Host startup workshops, develop tech partnerships, and increase access to the world of entrepreneurship.

Build with the On Deck Network at Your Back

Join a cohort of talented founders from around the world so you can build, hire, raise and scale with the best.

apply Now
Applications are rolling

Build Your Track Record in Venture

Refer companies to ODF & ODX to build your track record without investing personal capital.

Apply Now
Applications close December 9, 2021

Who should apply?

Catalyst Founders

Catalyst Founders is a track within ODX designed to help early-stage and student founders start their first company.

Join if...

You want to start or have already started a company
You want to join ODX
You want support, mentorship, and a community of other young people
You want access to co-founders, talent, advisors & investors through On Deck
apply to founders
Applications are rolling

Catalyst Scouts

Catalyst Scouts is a program for early-career professionals and students to break into VC by referring founders and startups to On Deck.

Join if...

You want to break into VC but you’re a student or early in your career
You want to help young early-stage founders grow their startups
You want to build your network in the tech industry
You want to build an investment track record without spending personal capital
Apply to scouts
Applications close December 9, 2021

Who should apply?

Climate experts

Get access to a network of experienced founders and operators.
  • You’re a previous founder, scientist, or operator in climate tech
  • You want to translate your industry knowledge into a new climate venture
  • You’re excited to meet experts from other industries

Experts new to climate

Connect with top innovators and leaders from across the climate ecosystem.
  • You’re an experienced founder or operator who is eager to learn about climate tech
  • You are passionate about launching your next venture in climate
  • You want to engage with climate experts and learn where you can create impact

The Program Structure

Here’s what the typical Build for Climate program schedule looks like.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Climate Immersion, Ideation, and Team Formation
Build Time
Workshop #2 (Ideation)
Idea Pitches
Sprint Kickoff
Internal Showcases
Social Event
Social Event
Social Event
Social Event
Workshop #4
(No - Code)
#6 (Climate Marketing)
Showcase prep Office Hours with ODCT team
Internal Showcases
Meet Accountability Partners
Curated 1:1 Introductions
Curated 1:1 Introductions
Curated 1:1 Introductions
Mentor Matches
Public Showcase for Finalists
Climate Tech Day
Workshop #1
(Climate Purpose)
Workshop #3 (Team Effectiveness)
Workshop #5
(Building Stages)
#7 (Pitching)
Showcase feedback Office Hours
Learning Discussion
Learning Discussion
Learning Discussion
Learning Discussion
Showcase Day

Build for Climate Fellows

Kaito Cunningham
Co-Founder & CEO, Utopia Labs
Pryce Yebesi
Co-Founder, Utopia Labs
Alexander Wu
Co-Founder, Utopia Labs
Desiree Hambrock
COO, Spacept
Wojtek Kulikowski
Founder, Mazury Labs
Michelle Fang
CMO, Dive Chat
An Vu
Co-Founder, Logseq
Zara Zaman
Co-Founder, Edventure
Sam Park
Managing Partner, JoyBox Media
Ben Kennedy
Founder & CEO, Gecko
Anish Jain
Founder & CEO, Aspire


Should I join Build for Climate, ODF, or ODX?

We’d love to help get you into the best program for you at your current stage!

  • Build for Climate is an 8-week sprint designed to help you build your climate tech community, find a climate tech idea worth pursuing, and take action on that idea.
  • ODF (On Deck Founders Fellowship) is a year-long program and an ongoing community for potential founders who are exploring the possibility of starting a venture-backed company. It’s a place to validate ideas, find a co-founder, gain founder skills, get traction on an idea, and more. Learn more.
  • ODX (On Deck Accelerator) is a startup accelerator for founders who are ready to build their idea full time. On Deck invests $125,000 for 7% in your idea or company and supports you with an intimate program and an All-Access Pass to On Deck for you to hire talent, raise money and find customers. Learn more.

You are welcome to bring your own company idea(s) to Build for Climate, but if you’ve already gone beyond exploratory research, incorporated, gotten customers, raised money, or are working on the idea full-time, you are too far along for Build for Climate and should instead apply to ODF or the ODX accelerator program. If you’ve already made some progress on building out your idea (a website, some code, a plan, some teammates, etc.), but think you still want to join Build for Climate, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you open to people joining your team?
  • Are you open to changing direction or iterating on the idea?
  • Are you open to new teammates having a significant influence on your idea?
  • If you get to the team formation phase of Build for Climate, and no one ends up teaming up with you/your idea, are you willing to pivot and join another team/idea?

If the answer to any of these is no, then you are likely too far along for Build for Climate, and you should apply to ODF or ODX!

Do I need a climate tech company idea to join?

No, you don’t! Ideal participants for Build for Climate are at the earliest stages of pursuing an idea in climate tech. You are welcome to bring new company ideas to the program, but part of our climate education is to explore the frontier of climate tech and identify opportunities for new ventures. Note: if you have already incorporated, written code, or gone beyond exploratory research for your idea, you are too far along for Build for Climate and should instead apply to ODF or ODX

What does it cost?

Build for Climate is $990 for the 8-week structured program and includes all programming, community experiences, educational resources, and mentorship.

What is the time commitment?

Expect 3-5 hours per week of programming and community building during the first half of the program. During the second half, when you’ll be building an idea with your team, the expectation is that you’ll commit a minimum of 10 hours per week.

We understand that schedules are different and time commitment will vary by person. That said, this program is for people who are ready to take action, and generally you can expect to get out what you put in.

Is this a fully remote program?

Yes, all of the core programming for Build for Climate can be attended virtually. In addition to virtual sessions, we will have optional in-person events as well as opportunities to organize your own events with others from your area.

Why should I participate?
  1. Build your network. Build for Climate is unique in that it brings together people from different backgrounds, all of whom have significant expertise, and all of whom are passionate about building in climate. Whether or not your team continues past the Showcase, you’re sure to build deep relationships that will continue to shape your work in climate for many years to come.
  2. Accountability and structure. Make tangible progress with a community that supports you and holds you accountable. Optimize for success with a tried and trusted structure for building new companies. 
  3. Find your place in climate tech. Our programming can take you from 0 to 1 in climate tech, or help you dive deep on a specific topic. Whether or not you’re already an expert in climate, there is plenty to learn and always new opportunities to explore.

What is the outcome of this program and what happens when it’s over?

The final event of Build for Climate is the Showcase, where teams have the opportunity to present their work to an audience of judges, experts, and fellow Builders. It is our hope that many new companies will be born from this process, but we’re also excited just to get people started down the path of being a founder in climate. 

Pathways available to you after completing this program are not limited, but here are a few likely ones:

  • ODX. Teams from Build for Climate who want to keep building their company are encouraged to apply for ODX, On Deck’s community-backed accelerator. More details about ODX can be found here
  • ODF. Builders who want to continue on their path towards becoming a founder, but not with their team or idea from Build for Climate, are encouraged to apply to ODF, On Deck’s Founder Fellowship. ODF is the go-to spot for founders and is closely linked to the ODX accelerator. More information about ODF can be found here
  • Talent Hub. Builders who reach the end of the program and decide that they’d rather join a startup company than found one are encouraged to join our Talent Hub. The Talent Hub can connect you to climate companies in the On Deck network and help you find your next opportunity.

After Build for Climate ends, we will close out the program Slack workspace and On Deck Directory. You are encouraged to exchange contact information to stay in touch with your fellow Builders and keep working together. Please keep us in the loop, we would love to continue to support you on your founding journey! 

Do I get access to the rest of the On Deck programs?

Build for Climate is run as an isolated program. You will have access to all of your fellow Builders through Slack and our On Deck Directory throughout the duration of your program, but will not be able to search for or contact participants in other On Deck programs. If you decide to apply to another program or Fellowship within On Deck, you will receive a 25% alumni discount.

I'm interested in mentoring teams, how can I do that?

We'd love to have your support as a mentor for our Build for Climate teams! The time commitment is 1-3 hours/week for four weeks all throughout March. Teams will be able to browse a database of mentors and request introductions to you based on your skill set and expertise. To sign up as a mentor, please fill out our mentorship form.

If you have additional questions, please email