Carbon Zero Challenge (CZC) is a pioneering initiative by IIT Madras.

CZC is an All India Energy and Environment Innovation & Entrepreneurship Contest with a vision to “ To create a global impact by addressing three major Planetary crises – Resource Depletion, Pollution, and Climate change through powerful interventions, innovative technologies, entrepreneurship, and policy interventions”.

The program’s motto ‘Ideate, Innovate, Incubate’ essentially summarise IIT Madras’s continuous efforts to enable an ecosystem where students/early stage start-ups from across the country ideate and innovate for the greater good of society and incubate start-ups to become job creators.

The contest’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it is one-of-its-kind initiative in its category that exclusively focuses on energy and environment technological innovations at a national level and supports the eco-entrepreneurs.

Carbon Zero Challenge (CZC) initiative was conceived at IIT Madras in 2017.  The first edition, CZC 2018 (June 2017 to April 2018) was conducted with support from U S Consulate Chennai, Polaris (a Virtusa company) in collaboration with Shaastra (IIT Madras student technical festival) and Industrial Waste Management Association (IWMA). Second Edition, CZC 2019 (June 2018-May 2019) is fully supported by Virtusa along with Shaastra (IIT Madras student technical festival) and IWMA as organizing partners.

 CZC initiative identifies, mentors, and financially supports clean-tech innovations across India in five thematic areas: Agriculture, Industry, Transportation, Urban Areas, Water & Waste Management

CZC Timeline

CZC 2019

CZC 2018

Carbon Zero Challenge 2018 was open to students and/or early stage entrepreneurs of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The competition received a wide response with a total of 531 applications from college student teams (479) and early stage start-ups (52). A total of 25 teams were shortlisted to go to the Phase II of CZC – where in the teams built prototypes for their project ideas.

 These 25 teams were provided with expert mentorship and prototype funding upto Rs 5 lakhs per shortlisted project to transform their solutions into tangible products. The contest culminated in a final demo day when the shortlisted teams demonstrated their prototypes before experts from industry and academia. The best solutions received rewards and recognition as well as commitment for further financial support to progress their journey. All the teams were provided with opportunities to interact with investors and researchers to further develop their ideas