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Innovate4Good (I4G), a sourcing, networking, and innovation platform for the impact startup ecosystem, is inviting innovative and ambitious changemakers to join its CovHack Virtual Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is taking place in collaboration with UN75, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), Catalyst (A Masdar – BP Initiative), Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S), and STRATECIS.

Online registration is open until June 18 to startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs, young professionals, tech talent, and individual innovators under two categories: Early-Stage Startups and Teams.

The CovHack Innovation Challenge is running under the theme ‘Circular Economy for Food’ that corresponds to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. It aims to discover innovative ways of building resilience in local and global food supply chains through shifting towards a circular economy in the post-COVID-19 world, and as mankind plans for the future.

Participants will then submit their solutions related to the circular economy for food across three innovation types – technologies, services, and products. The theme encompasses eight focus areas:

  1. Water Efficiency (Smart Irrigation, Greenhouse Cooling & Desalination Residues)
  2. Energy Efficiency in Agriculture
  3. Sustainable Innovation in Soilless Growing Media
  4. Sustainable Greenhouse Technologies & Smart Farming
  5. Food Loss & Waste Management
  6. Distribution Channels & Delivery
  7. Sustainable Packaging
  8. Urban Farming

Ara Fernezian, Founder & CEO of STRATECIS and Chief Innovation & Experience Officer at Innovate4Good, said “We are privileged and honored to collaborate with the UN75 Initiative, MOCCAE, KFED, Catalyst, and Y4S to accelerate startup innovation for the greater good. I4G is committed to sourcing and supporting the most innovative, impactful, and ambitious startups that aspire to solve the world’s most pressing societal and environmental challenges. We trust that through the CovHack Innovation Challenge, we can express our solidarity with the community through fostering innovation and collaboration.”

The registration is open from today. In the first round, the judges will shortlist 20 of the best ideas in each of the two categories. The 40 startups and teams will then undergo mentorship to help them further develop their ideas and prototypes into viable solutions before the final project submission. Twenty solutions will then be chosen to proceed to the semi-finals. The event will culminate in the CovHack Virtual Demo Day on July 20-21.

The winner in each category will receive incubation, mentorship, and acceleration opportunities.

Interested participants can upload their five-slide idea deck accompanied by a two-minute video pitch at https://www.i4good.com/thecohack 

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