Accelerators / Climate change / Environment / Funding / Pitches

Resource Roundup: WeWork and Oatly are hosting a pitch competition for climate tech founders in DC

Plus, Techstars launched a new accelerator for BIPOC founders.

Techstars Equitech Accelerator cohort's Baltimore Demo Day, February 2022. (Photo courtesy of Techstars)

Resource Roundup is a look at open applications for business and career-building programs around the region. Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at

WeWork + Oatly + DC

Next month, DC is playing host to an event for climate entrepreneurs, with the help of national coworking giant WeWork.

WeWork and oat beverage company Oatly are teaming up to host pitch competitions for sustainability-focused startups. With its WeWork Changemakers: Sustainability Series, the company hopes to boost early-stage ventures looking to make a positive impact on the environment. Alongside DC, events will be held in Boston, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco. Finalists from all cities will compete in a final event in front of a live audience and one grand prize winner will be chosen alongside two runner-ups from each city.

To qualify, startups need to be less than five years old, have no more than 20 employees and be located in one of the participating cities. The grand prize winner will receive a private WeWork office for one year, plus business mentorship and programming from Oatly. The two runners-up from each city will receive up to 10 WeWork memberships for a year and all applicants will receive a discount from the coworking company to rent space.

“It’s our belief that companies have a major role to play in prioritizing sustainability and that businesses can be a force for good,” said Mike Messersmith, president of Oatly in North America. “With this in mind, we’re excited to support and spotlight new ideas and ventures from the WeWork community that share our same ethos.”

DC’s event will be held Monday, April 25, at the WeWork in Midtown Center.

Apply here

Techstars is looking for BIPOC founders in DC

As of this week, national accelerator and incubator Techstars is once again moving into the DC market.

Alongside financial institution JPMorgan, the investment program is launching Techstars Washington DC Powered by JPMorgan, an accelerator for BIPOC founders. The $80 million investment will go towards a three-month program in five cities, including DC. The program is open to founders of all backgrounds, Techstars said, but it was specifically designed for Black, Hispanic and Latinx, Indigenous America and Pacific Islander founders.

Participants will be assigned a local mentor (such as familiar faces Ayanna Smith and Marcus Bullock) and nab seed funding for their startup. Participants will also participate in a demo day later this year.

The investment will be spread across nine cities in the next three years, spread across 400 companies. Programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and DC are launching this year, with additional accelerators in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Oakland coming next year. Startups in the health, education, finance, government and cybersecurity sectors, among others, are eligible to apply until May 11. The programming starts in September and culminates in a Demo Day on December 8.

“It is beyond exciting that Techstars has chosen DC as one of five cities selected,” said John Falcicchio, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, in a statement. “The Techstars accelerator program will significantly propel the tech industry’s growth, a critical element of what will make us the District of Comebacks.”

In January, Techstars also announced it was bringing its women entrepreneur-focused cohort to the DC area.

Apply here
Companies: District of Columbia / WeWork / Techstars / JPMorgan Chase

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