From Competition to the Real World
Projects that have been proposed at the Sustainable Investing Challenge have grown beyond the competition to make positive impacts on communities worldwide. These ventures started as two page student proposals and have evolved into legitimate actors in the impact space.
We encourage and support competitors in their pursuit of sustainable finance careers post-competition, and the examples below are a testament to the innovation and perseverance of students who have not only chosen to dedicate their professional expertise to sustainable finance, but are doing so through the entrepreneurial pursuit of ideas nurtured in the competition.
Launched Ventures in the News
Launched Venture Profiles
2021 Finalist from Stanford University School of Engineering
Scope Zero is pioneering the Carbon Savings Account (CSA). Like a health savings account for home technology and personal transportation upgrades, the CSA makes these expensive improvements accessible through employer matches and partner vendor discounts. The upgrades reduce utility bills, fuel spend, and carbon emissions. For employers, the CSA serves as a corporate sustainability strategy, as it reduces scope 3 work-from-home and commute emissions.
2020 Winner from Stern School of Business, New York University
Refugee Integration Insights aims to mitigate he growing global refugee crisis through its creation of the Refugee Lens Index, which lists companies worldwide with strong policies and practices relative to the economic integration of refugees. RII is the first company to collect and structure corporate refugee data, score companies on their refugee support and develop financial indexes based on refugee corporate action.
2019 Winner from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Carbon Yield helps ease farmers’ transitions to low-carbon practices through low interest loans, consulting, and project development. Switching to organic farming practices can be prohibitively expensive upfront from small scale farmers, but yields long term positive returns—for the farmers, and for the planet. The Carbon Yield team has over ten years of combined experience working with farmers, investors, and mission-driven organizations in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of agricultural markets.
2015 Winner from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Blue Forest Conservation realizes that a healthy and well-maintained forest benefits everyone. They work to monetize the shared benefits of forest management in the US through Forest Resilience Bonds. These bonds are funded by multiple private and public sector stakeholders for healthy forests—all identified and coordinated by Blue Forest Conservation’s team of finance and environmental experts.
2014 Winner from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
After winning the Challenge in 2014, the Greenprint Partners team (formerly Fresh Coast Capital) launched a woman-owned B-Corp to deliver nature-based solutions to urban water challenges facing low-income communities. Today, as a full-service green infrastructure delivery partner, Greenprint helps cities achieve high-impact, community-driven stormwater solutions at scale.
2012 Finalist from Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Secha Capital is a South Africa based impact investing firm that focuses on growing Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the African Continent. Since its founding in 2016, Secha has invested in 6 SMEs all over Southern Africa with environmentally sustainable and socially-conscious missions. Additionally, Secha has a commitment to uplifting female entrepreneurs, as five of the companies in their portfolio have female founders.