The Ray of Hope Accelerator supports nature-inspired solutions addressing the world's biggest environmental and social challenges.

Spurred by the pressing environmental and social challenges of today, a growing number of scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs are learning from nature and reimagining the way business is done. AskNature is proud to highlight the innovations developed by the top nature-inspired startups selected each year to participate in a transformational program run by the Institute.

The Ray of Hope Accelerator is built upon eight years of programming. Launched in 2016 in collaboration with our visionary funding partners, The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, the program operated as a Design Competition between 2016 and 2019, then as a $100,000 startup prize competition associated with a 10-week program from 2020 to 2023 (view each of those winners here).

2024 marks the program’s evolution into a 6-month accelerator where each selected startup receives $15,000 in non-dilutive funding and over $50,000 worth of in-kind services.

In the galleries below, dive deeper and learn more about the nature inspiration behind each startup’s technologies, products, or services. Each one has the potential to reduce or eliminate current extractive industries and practices, while revitalizing degraded ecosystems.