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Carbon Zero Challenge (CZeroC) is South India Renewable Energy Innovation Competition for colleges and early stage start-ups, which aims to accelerate innovations that address Climate Change. It is a one-of-its-kind green business idea contest and a pioneering initiative by IIT Madras and IWMA (Industrial Waste Management Association), in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, Polaris – A Virtusa Company and Shaastra 2018.

The main objective of the contest is to identify innovative and indigenous solutions for India’s unique energy problems and nurture them to reach a stage of market scalability. The grand challenge posed to the competing teams is to develop a sustainable green energy alternative by combination of one or more renewable energy sources. Solutions proposed by teams must be economically viable, socially acceptable, environment friendly and easily replicable in multiple areas.


To create a global impact by combining these three powerful factors:

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Renewable energy and sustainability to protect environment
  • Youth

Why CZeroC is unique?

  • One-of-its-kind business start-up contest just for renewable energy and sustainability

  • The contest does not just stop with fostering ideas, it supports prototyping your idea

  • Teams are mentored by Technical and Business Experts from India and the U.S.

  • Enormous visibility to participant teams as CZeroC is part of a large ecosystem – IIT Madras, U.S. Consulate General, Shaastra 2018 and many other partners

CZeroC 2017-18: At a glance

The selected 20+ finalist teams develop prototypes of their projects – coached by expert Technical and Business Mentors during the prototyping phase.

The teams are paired with 20+ Technical and Business Mentors including 11 IIT Madras Professors and 4 U.S. Mentors, to guide and motivate them in their prototype building for a period of 6 months.

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What Next?

The CZeroC challenge culminates in a Final Demo Day which sees attendance by Experts from Industry and Academia. The best solutions receive rewards, recognition and business incubation opportunities by top notch incubation cells and investors.

Check out the Winners of Carbon Zero Challenge 2017-18

CZeroC Finalist Teams

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Water and Waste Management
Urban Areas/Cities
Agriculture & Forestry
Click on any of the themes above for specific topics

Team Details

  • Maximum of 5 per team
  • Team members can be students of any recognized university, researchers who are either independent or part of an organization, innovators and early stage entrepreneurs. 
  • All team members must necessarily belong to institutions, or have companies registered in one of the 5 States/UTs covered: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Who is behind CZeroC?

CZeroC is a pioneering initiative by IIT Madras and IWMA and is supported by U.S. Consulate General Chennai, Polaris, a Virtusa Company, Shaastra 2018 and EAI.
Know more about the Organizers from here.



Organizing Partner

Knowledge Partner

Technology Partner