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i4n The Earthshot Prize 2023

The I4N AWARD

With the I4N AWARD, we offer a financial endowment in four categories. Additionally, we support solution providers with human capital building, networking opportunities and building bridges to connect our affiliated solutions with strategic partners.

Award I4N

Get visibility. Win a grant. Access networks.

Get visibility. Win a grant. Access networks.

The I4N Award offers a total of CHF 100,000 in prize money across four focus areas.
In addition to the financial support, award winners can benefit from access to an ecosystem of partners and experts. Moreover, I4N Grants or access to training or mentoring may be provided to particularly promising nature-positive solution providers.

You offer a nature-positive solution and would like to participate in the I4N AWARD 2024? 

For further questions, please consult our FAQs at the bottom of the page or send us an email. 

AWARD Timeline

  • February 2024 - opening

    Call for applications of nature-positive solutions.

  • 5 APRIL 2024 - application deadline

    In Round 1, we assess your solution's biodiversity impact over the next five years and want to understand your business model basics.

  • 10 May 2024 - Submission deadline

    In Round 2, we assess your solution's business model in more detail. 

  • 13 June 2024 - Pitch day

    In Round 3, the I4N Jury will assess up to 20 pre-selected solutions during the Pitch Day. 

  • September 2024 - I4N Day

    The I4N Day offers visibility and networking opportunities to foster collaboration and action between solution providers, investors, and corporates. The participants of the Pitch Day will be invited to attend the I4N day in person.

  • October 2024 to January 2025

    Acceleration phase – scaling and promotion of nature-positive solutions.

Q&A

Each year, Innovate 4 Nature awards an “I4N Award” in four focus areas to projects, companies and entrepreneurs that have developed particularly promising, high-quality nature-positive solutions.

The Innovate 4 Nature Award aims at identifying high quality nature-positive solutions and accelerating them in collaboration with partners to halt and improve nature loss by 2030.

The goal of I4N is to support nature-positive solution providers around the pre-seed and seed stage, where a business plan or a minimum viable product is available and needs validation.

Source: Nature Positive Initiative.

“Nature Positive is a global societal goal defined as ‘Halt and Reverse Nature Loss by 2030 on a 2020 baseline, and achieve full recovery by 2050’. To put this more simply, it means ensuring more nature in the world in 2030 than in 2020 and continued recovery after that.

Delivering the Nature Positive goal requires measurable net-positive biodiversity outcomes through the improvement in the abundance, diversity, integrity and resilience of species, ecosystems and natural processes. The Nature Positive goal is designed to drive society to deliver a measurable absolute improvement in the state of nature against a defined baseline, which will in turn improve nature’s ability to contribute to human wellbeing. The definition was first published in 2020, and is summarized in the following graphic:”

  • sustainable management of ecosystems;
  • nature as infrastructure;
  • regenerative agriculture; and
  • circular nature-positive solutions.

The I4N Award offers monetary prizes totalling up to CHF 100,000 across four focus areas.

In addition to the financial support, award winners can benefit from access to an ecosystem of partners and experts.

Moreover, I4N Grants or access to training or mentoring may be provided to particularly promising nature-positive solution providers.

Please submit your application for round 1 via http://tinyurl.com/i4n-award-2024

  • Participation is free of charge.
  • There is no geographical restriction, organisations from any country are welcome to apply.
  • There are no specific requirements regarding legal form, ownership structure or age of entity.
  • The minimum requirement is the presence of a business model, a business plan, a marketable pilot product, or a minimum viable product (MVP).
  • We only accept applications directly from founders and not from fundraisers.
  • Should you be selected, at least one founder or executive director must be available either in person or via video call on the day of the Jury meeting: Thursday, June 13th, 2024, in Morges/Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Round 1: Call for application. 12:00 CET on April 5th, 2024.
  • Round 2: Detailed assessment 12:00 CET on May 10th 2024.
  • Application Deadline for Round 1: Call for application. April 5th, 2024, 12:00 CET
  • Feedback from Round 1: April 19th 2024.
  • Submission Deadline for Round 2: Detailed assessment. May 10th 2024, 12:00 CET
  • Feedback from Round 2: May 31st 2024.
  • Pitch Day: June 13th 2024.
  • Public announcement at I4N Day: Q3 2024

To ensure that we accelerate the most impactful solution providers we need to get a clear understanding of how your solution impacts nature and biodiversity. We do this along a three-step approach.

In Round 1, we assess your solution’s biodiversity impact over the next five years and want to understand your business model basics.

In Round 2, we will explore the positive and negative impacts of your business model and delve deeper into critical activities. Additionally, we’ll request further details on financials and funding. This additional information will be used to quantify the impact pathways and allow the jury to compare solutions.

In Round 3, a jury will judge the solution of your organisation during a pitch day. More details on the jury will be presented on our homepage.

  • Round 1 applicants: We expect ca. 200 applications.
  • Round 2 applicants: A maximum of 50 applications was set for round 2.
  • Round 3 pitches: A maximum of 20 pitches was set for round 3.

Business criteria

To assess the potential of your solution in a business context, we evaluate the following elements:

  • Problem-Fit: Ability of your solution to solve the selected problem.
  • Financial viability: Potential ability of business-model to self-sustain at scale.
  • Maturity: Stage after initial idea, before growth phase.
  • Team: Composition and skills of team.

 

Nature/Biodiversity criteria

To assess the potential of your solution in the nature/biodiversity space, we evaluate the following elements:

  • Theory of change: Ability to identify and articulate the solution’s positive impact.
  • Extent: Potential size of area positively affected by the solution.
  • Condition change: Potential size of the positive ecosystem condition change.
  • Significance: Relative importance of the impacted area for biodiversity.
  • Transformation: Solution potential to transform economic/social systems.

In the second round we want to validate the assumptions we made based on the information provided in round 1.

Business criteria

  • Market understanding: Realistic estimation of market size and competition.
  • Customers: Identification of current and future customers.
  • Competitive edge: Identification of and potential of competitive edge.
  • Revenue & Financials: Realistic financial model based on existing operations.
  • Funding needs: Appropriate ask for next step in business plan.

 

Nature/Biodiversity criteria

The primary criteria for round 2 are the same as in round 1 but will allow a better understanding of the nature impact based on the additional information provided in round 2.

Additionally, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Negative Impact: Ability to identify and articulate the solution’s negative impact.
  • Monetisation: Inherent links between business model and financial valuation.

In the third round, during the pitching in front of a jury, the criteria from round 1 and 2 will be re-applied in a simplified form and evaluated by the jury members based on the presentation given.

The I4N Jury will be announced before the pitch day.

The risk of non-action in biodiversity is the highest risk we are facing today. In order to scale nature-positive solutions, I4N brings together solution-providers, investors and corporates. The Innovate 4 Nature Day provides visibility and networking opportunities to foster collaboration and action in this field.

All applicants are invited to join the Innovate 4 Nature Day 2024 via video stream.

All contestants of the pitch day will be invited to participate in person in the Innovate 4 Nature Day 2024. Two free passes per contesting organisation will be offered.

The event will take place in the second half of 2024. Date and place will be announced shortly.

Please send us an email to info@i4n.ch

Kindly avoid contacting I4N staff for individual presentations or demos, as they will not be factored into the evaluation process.

Minimal requirements include a market-ready product or service with a link to biodiversity and the readiness to attend in presence events in Switzerland.







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