The finalists for the 2021 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) represent a new milestone for the event. The 16 finalist teams (detailed below) will compete at the April 1 challenge hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. For the first time ever, students from all three UW campuses (Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell) and the UW-affiliated Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) in Bellevue, WA, will be participating in the final round.
The all-virtual event will also include teams from the Seattle campus of Northeastern University, Olympic College in Bremerton, WA, the University of British Columbia, and Washington State University. They will showcase their solutions to environmental problems facing the world today to nearly 100 cleantech entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors serving as judges.
More than $40,000 in prizes will be awarded at this year’s event, including two brand new Big Picture Prizes created to address critical environmental innovation issues that have grown in the spotlight:
- $5,000 UW EarthLab Community Impact Prize, which recognizes innovation in developing a product, solution, or demonstrated business model that mitigates or makes communities more resilient in the face of climate change while prioritizing equity and justice.
- $5,000 Eric Carlson Climate Challenge Prize, which rewards a team that has thoughtfully incorporated and quantified carbon footprint into the development and communication of their innovation.
Those prizes will be awarded alongside the long-standing and prestigious Clean Energy Prize sponsored by the UW Clean Energy Institute. All teams who participate in the competition, including those in the Screening Round, receive valuable feedback that could lead to success down the road if they choose to apply for the Dempsey Startup Competition or the Jones + Foster Accelerator.
Good luck to the 2021 EIC finalists!
Basicart is a shopping cart that allows you to directly take your groceries home without bagging.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Industrial Design, Business, Biology)
BluePlanetAI uses devices in aquatic environments to capture data, track changes, and remotely communicate with a cloud platform.
- Northwestern University-Seattle (Computer Science)
Clear Ascent is developing a clean aerospace technology aimed at improving environmental restoration.
- University of Washington-Bothell, University of Washington-Seattle (Mechanical Engineering)
CP Systems is developing a device capable of transforming waste into electrical energy for use in emerging nations.
- Washington State University (Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Deep Plastic Recycling
Deep Plastic Recycling is developing a machine learning system that distinguishes different types of plastics, which are currently recycled with very low efficiency.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Chemistry and Data Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering)
H Cam looks to reduce contagion concerns through an innovative approach to detecting and disclosing an area touched by people that has not been sanitized.
- Global Innovation Exchange-Bellevue (Technology Innovation)
ExTerra is an automation startup looking to re-invent the agriculture industry using scalable and modular technologies.
- Washington State University (Mathematics and Statistics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
GreenLoop seeks to use patented biodegradable plastic pellets to empower Indian farmers to optimize their profits by mitigating the plastic waste problem which plagues rural farmlands.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Business, Biology, Computer Science)
Novoloom is a virtual fashion platform that delivers user-designed custom clothing to its customers using a made-to-order model and innovative manufacturing processes to reduce environmental impact.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Engineering)
Planet A is developing an online marketplace of eco-friendly apparel and footwear to make sustainable fashion accessible.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Information Management, MBA)
PotentiaLi Energy aims to minimize the climate impact of mobility through the use of innovative clean hardware technologies in an electric bicycle charging system.
- University of Washington-Seattle (MBA, Electrical Engineering)
Puget Buoy is a green technology startup developing innovations in experimental fishing gear designed to prevent whale entanglements and reduce lost fishing gear for the improved health and sustainability of the seafood industry.
- Olympic College, University of Washington-Seattle (Engineering, MBA, Hybrid MBA)
Scrapless Exchange is a mobile and web platform that redistributes surplus food products by digitally connecting the average, eco-minded consumer with forward-thinking local food businesses.
- University of British Columbia (Applied Science, Arts, Commerce)
SINEW Mask leverages electrohydrodynamic technology to create a device designed to surpass other effective PPE in size, weight, environmental sustainability, and comfortability.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Anthropology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering)
Terrestrious is developing a social media platform that crowdsources ideas and resources to fight climate change and ecosystem destruction, with the additional aim of fighting climate inaction.
- University of Washington-Tacoma (Engineering)
The ComPot is developing a compostable, carbon-neutral alternative to large scale plastic planter pots within the Plant and Flower Growing Industry.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Engineering, Business, Arts and Sciences)