2020: Urban Heat Island Effect

Given rising temperatures and disproportionate impacts of heat, how do we keep people safe and cool?

This year’s Climathon Challenge is seeking innovative business, tech, and social enterprise solutions to address the urban heat island effect.  For example, we suggest innovators consider these potential solution themes:

  • Improving cooling centers to make them more welcoming
  • Increasing tree canopy in highest heat areas
  • Checking in on people most at risk 

Typically the hackathons take place over 24 hours. This year however, with modifications to go virtual, the event will launch on November 9th and the hackathon will take place on November 13th and 14th. Teams will work with the event hosts to refine their ideas then pitch to a panel of judges. Winners are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in implementation funds, and winning teams with a GW student are eligible to move forward to the George Washington University’s New Venture Competition, which offers more than $200,000 in prizes. Partners provide additional opportunities for Climathon teams to incubate and implement their ideas. Seed Spot, an incubator for local entrepreneurs, offers a free bootcamp program and $50 off registration for their Launch Camp

How can I participate in DC Climathon?

Climathon is a global movement, with hackathon events held simultaneously worldwide to develop climate change solutions. DC Climathon is held annually at George Washington University, in partnership with the University of the District of Columbia and the District Department of Energy and Environment. 

At this year's virtual event, you'll meet other innovators and entreprenuers interested in launching a start-up to make an impact on the planet. Participants will form teams, and hone their idea into a viable business model.  Finally, teams pitch their proposals to a team of expert judges.  Winning teams can receive prizes ranging from cash to entreprenuerial training.  Winning teams of GW students receive a bye into the second round of the GW New Venture Competition.  

Individuals from all academic backgrounds and disciplines are encouraged to attend.  In fact, the best teams bring together different perspectives and areas of expertise. 

Register to Attend

Where and When is DC Climathon 2020?

Date: DC Climathon 2020 will launch on November 9th and the hack will take place on November 13th and 14th.

Location: Online via Zoom

Participant Resources

Our hosts and facilitator are thrilled to welcome all participants.  Watch the video below.



Opening Remarks 



Learn about how urban heat impacts DC communities with Melissa Deas from DOEE.


Have an idea? Watch this webinar with Seed Spot’s C’pher Gresham, to gather the tools you need to make a winning pitch. 



Thank You To Our Sponsor
Wells Fargo

Core Partners
DC Department of Energy and Environment
Sustainable GW

Thank You to Our Supporters
GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
GW Institute for Corporate Responsibility
GW Innovation Center
George Hacks