|2022 Cohorts||Cohort I||Cohort II||Cohort III|
|Application Deadline||31 October 2020||6 April 2022||30 June 2022|
|Innovation Bootcamp||7-11 February 2022||20-24 June 2022||24-28 October 2022 (tentative)|
|Pitch Event||18 February 2022||30 June 2022||3 November 2022 (tentative)|
Can your solution disrupt climate change?
We’ve launched the WFP Innovation Challenge 2022, calling for startups and innovations that have the potential to promote climate adaptation and resilience.
Climate change is a risk multiplier for hunger. In a world that is 2°C warmer, at least 189 million more people are at risk of becoming food insecure. As a result of global warming, weather-related shocks such as drought, storms, and floods are increasing in number and frequency, causing growing losses and damages to food systems. In developing countries, the number of extreme weather events has more than doubled since the early 1990s.
This year's Challenge seeks disruptive innovations that strengthen climate change adaptation and resilience.
We are looking for the best possible solutions in the following priority areas:
- ANTICIPATE: Pre-positioned finance and preventive action before disasters strike.
- RESTORE: Nature-based solutions and climate-resilient infrastructure.
- ENERGIZE: Promoting sustainable energy solutions in schools and communities.
- PROTECT: Climate risk insurance as safety nets for food-insecure populations.
Deadline extended! Apply before 30 June 2022 at 11:59 pm (CEST)
CLICK HERE to read more about this year’s theme.
Access to WFP Operations
Apply to receive up to $100,000 in equity-free funding, with further funding dependent upon progress and measurable achievement of key targets.
Successful teams will work with WFP units on the ground to further develop and refine their solutions.
You'll have the chance to work with technical and industry mentors who will provide guidance and accelerate your progress. Selected projects will be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, a six-month acceleration programme that may qualify for further funding and support.
Teams will be able to tap into and leverage our strong network of public, private, and government partners to accelerate implementation.
Take the stage at an exclusive pitch event
On the last day of each Innovation Bootcamp, you’ll have the chance to pitch your project to an audience of potential partners, investors, and officials at an exclusive, invite-only pitch event. Take the stage to tell your story and compete for non-dilutive cash awards. We provide dedicated coaching and mentorship to help you develop and refine your winning pitch.
Sprint from idea to impact
Our Sprint Programme is an intense six-month acceleration programme that matches innovators and startups with exceptional support to sprint from idea to impact. Apply to our Sprint Programme for access to US $100,000 in funding, world-class mentors, results-driven programming, and WFP’s vast field operations. On average, our Sprint projects hit 69 percent of their targets within six months.
Zero in on what works, pre-scale
The pre-scale phase is a period to retool and prepare your project before full entry to the Scale-Up Enablement Programme. We provide access to best-in-class mentors and experts to help you zero in on what works and map out your path to scale.
Scale-up for global impact
We select high-impact innovations for our Scale-Up Enablement Programme, featuring tailored strategic planning, fundraising, communications, knowledge management and mentorship support. We scale-up innovations that have the potential to significantly disrupt hunger by improving the livelihoods of over 100,000 people, increasing efficiency and effectiveness across multiple countries. On average, our scale-up projects raised US $2 million in funding in 2019 alone.
Graduate within and beyond WFP
We match projects with sponsors to enable their sustainable graduation, internally or externally from WFP. Internally, we provide dedicated support to integrate scale-up projects into relevant WFP divisions or business units. Externally, we provide matchmaking support to help find the best partners and develop exit strategies to help projects become standalone, profitable businesses.
- Your start-up must be incorporated at the time of application. It can be for profit or not-for-profit.
- Your innovation must at least be at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. Proof-of-concept and initial traction is preferred.
- Your solution should be financially viable.
- Your proposal must show how working with WFP will serve your long-term strategy.
- Your team must have evidence of Country Office support and management buy-in.
- You are encouraged to apply, regardless of your contract type or function.
- We accept project applications from WFP employees who are collaborating with NGOs, government or private sectors.
Applications submitted to the WFP Innovation Accelerator are assessed according to a standard set of criteria, and are reviewed by both WFP and external experts. Please note that we prioritize projects that are designed alongside our core users—vulnerable communities—and that show initial traction and market validation to ensure impact and maximize cost effectiveness. We are looking for innovations that meet the following expectations:
- Impact for the people we serve and potential to reach Zero Hunger
- Feasibility, including time to deliver impact, technology maturity, and user traction
- Level of innovation
- Financial sustainability with a clear business case that does not rely on WFP funding
- Team strength, experience, and commitment
Interested but don’t feel your idea is ready yet? Don’t let this stop you! We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and applications received past this deadline may still be considered for future programmes in 2023.
For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.