2018 DC Climathon

The global community has limited time to both curb and prepare for climate change, in order to avoid “intolerable” impacts on human populations. The scientific body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that the world has until 2030 to drastically reduce pollution that causes global warming. 

Even with such improvements, food production systems will face severe limits. The global population is increasing more than 2 billion people by 2050. As drought, flooding, and soil and temperatures affect agriculture production, this will most severely impact vulnerable communities around the planet. However, this isn’t just a problem in far off countries. It impacts people in the District of Columbia now. While some wards in DC have one grocery store for approximately every 10,000 residents, Wards 7 and 8 have one grocery store for every 60,000 residents. While the long-term solution includes new grocery stores in underserved areas, the District needs creative solutions to connect residents to healthy food now. The DC Climathon called on innovators to help develop solutions to convenient quality food for underserved areas in the District. 


Hollis Maye-Key

Hollis Maye-Key

GW Sustainable Urban Planning Master's Program
DC Climathon Participant

"You can come with an idea or brainstorm when you get there. Either way, you will be amazed with the knowledge and creativity you can gain in 24 hours."

Winning Teams


District Connect Team


District Connect aims to eradicate food deserts with mobile, full service grocery stores. At the DC Climathon, team leads Winona Francis and Gabby Levet worked with three other student team members to develop a business model that would address a challenge too many DC residents encounter; healthy, affordable food is too far away. Making sure to complement--not duplicate--efforts of existing organizations, the team created a plan to receive community input, establish sound revenue streams, and launch the start up.  Following the DC Climathon, the District Connect team took their pitch to the second round of the GW New Venture Competition and took advantage of the GW Summer Startup Accelerator, where they worked to test their model on a pilot scale.



Last Call team photo


Last Call addresses food insecurity and food waste by partnering with local restaurants to sell extra meals at a discount. GW students Erin McGeoy and Chloe King knew they wanted to address this problem in their community, so they participated in DC Climathon and worked with onsite mentors and experts to develop their idea and plan of action. With the cash prize they won at the DC Climathon, Erin and Chloe were able to pursue establishing an LLC. Today, consumers and restauranteurs can sign up to purchase food or to sell food through Last Call's website. Students can join the team by working as a Last Call Fellow