Build a climate MVP in 8 weeks
Build a climate tech MVP in 8 weeks
Build a climate tech MVP in 8 weeks
Catalyst Founders is a track within ODX designed to help early-stage and student founders start their first company.
Catalyst Scouts is a program for early-career professionals and students to break into VC by referring founders and startups to On Deck.
- 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
- 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
(No - Code)
#6 (Climate Marketing)
Build for Climate Fellows
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!
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.
Build for Climate is $990 for the 8-week structured program and includes all programming, community experiences, educational resources, and mentorship.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.