Techstars Sustainability Accelerator

Introducing the 10 Start-ups of the 2021 Techstars Sustainability Accelerator

Over the next three months, this global cohort aims to rapidly scale their smart solutions for the planet's food, water, and climate challenges.

Graphic drawing of a solar panel, wind turbine, butterfly, and plant growing in soil in hands.
Nature Tech Nature and technology together can accelerate our solutions for the world's greatest challenges © TNC
Niraj Swami headshot.
Niraj Swami Sr. Director, Conservation Tech Strategy & Enablement


Recently, we’ve all been facing some harsh reality checks on the trajectory of our planet—in the form of extreme weather events, terrible air quality, water and food challenges, or even just the harsh climate report from the IPCC. It is clear we have never been at a more critical juncture to put our planet–and all life on which it depends–on a healthier and more sustainable path.

If there is one thing all these crises are showing us, it’s that everything is deeply interconnected. The choices we make as humans affect the health of our planet, which then comes back to affect us through health, security, and even prosperity. Humanity is not exempt from the repercussions of nature loss and climate change. We need a swift transition to a nature-positive, carbon-neutral world: one that works with nature and creates only a net increase in carbon in the air.


It is imperative we leverage technology to help us accelerate our solutions to put us on a sustainable path.

It is imperative we leverage technology to help us accelerate our solutions to put us on a sustainable path. Technology allows us to identify the interconnections of nature and humanity, then measure, evaluate, and learn to enable us to apply the most impactful solutions at a much faster pace. It’s more than just large-scale innovative tech, it also helps increase the impact of day-to-day conservation work. And we recognize at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that we must develop these solutions at the pace of the tech industry to be able to match the pace of our growing planetary challenges. 

This month, TNC is thrilled to welcome the 2021 cohort of 10 startups to the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator – an intense, three-month mentorship-driven program aimed at giving startups access to experts and resources to help them rapidly scale-up technology that is solving for a sustainable future across food, water and climate change. 

On a personal note: as a technology strategist, it’s always inspiring to partner with the innovators behind these startups, work closely with them and explore ways to pilot what they are building with an amazing network of Techstars mentors, TNC subject matter experts and industry collaborators. This year, the class boasts a global and diverse footprint that unlocks a whole new dimension of perspectives that shed light on nuances that impact the local “us” and the connectedness that make the global “us.” I’m excited to collaborate with these global minds and bridge their ideas with TNC’s global teams.

We are excited to introduce you to the ten teams in this year’s cohort:

Aclymate makes climate action for small & medium sized businesses easy, fast, and free. Aclymate takes the data businesses already have to account for their climate footprint and gives them ways to act.

Benchmark Labs
Benchmark Labs offers environmental forecasts for the agricultural, energy, and insurance sectors by linking in-situ IoT sensor data, weather forecasts, and asset specific information using their technology.

Climatescape helps people find opportunities to dive into climate through jobs, community, and investment. Climatescape is a community platform for people to learn about climate solutions and contribute their skills and capital for a sustainable future.

Climate change data is fragmented, inconsistent, and poorly documented, which is thwarting efforts to manage interventions and investments. Elio is building a data platform to centralize, structure, and analyse this data to provide big-picture climate intelligence.

Farmz2U helps farmers farm better using data. With a focus on smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Farmz2U provides digital extension services and market access to improve the sustainability and profitability of farming.

Finch decodes products' environmental and social impacts to incentivize consumers and brands to make better decisions. Using machine learning capabilities, Finch scores products based on a series of attributes and equips consumers with the right information at the point of purchase.

Gardenio is a new kind of digital garden club membership for new food growers with an app to get connected to localized alerts and plant care, tools to identify and address issues in the garden, and ways to connect to your local gardening community for support and celebration.

Influunt provides water and flood risk intelligence to insurance, government, and asset owners using cutting edge satellite data and artificial intelligence for reducing losses and building climate resilience.

Igugu Global
Igugu Global is Africa's Green Deal Room. From the Zulu word for treasure, Igugu Global is a company accelerating the flow of capital to Africa's $1.5 trillion gap in sustainable infrastructure.

Renoster Systems
Environmental data collection is tedious and costly causing researchers to miss out on data that can drive further conservation and research efforts. Renoster Systems provides nature preserves with climate sensing information via remote sensing to fill that gap.

Techstars Sustainability Accelerator It's time for a tech revolution for nature.
Niraj Swami headshot.

Niraj Swami is Senior Advisor, Applied AI for The Nature Conservancy. Follow him on Twitter.