Laudato Si’ Challenge Is Pope Francis’ New Startup Accelerator
If you weren’t sure the influence of startups and startup accelerators before now, after this story there will be no doubt. Often thought of as the most progressive Pope to date, Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced a new startup accelerator. The accelerator, Laudato Si’ Challenge, wants to launch startups that “sustainably solve the global climate change crisis by 2030”.
While all the talk in American politics in regards to climate change has been around President Trump withdrawing from France’s climate change deal, those in a higher power see the climate as a paramount issue and know startups may help solve it.
“The Laudato Si’ Startup Challenge will unite humanity in common purpose and productive conversation, much like His Holiness Pope Francis’s “Revolution of Tenderness.” It will be a beacon of new business, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to build for-profit, for-purpose companies that address humanity’s biggest challenges in ways that are beneficial to all.” The Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican said in a statement.
The program is six months long with four months of virtual acceleration and two months in person. The two month program will call for startups to either be based in Rome or relocate to Rome for mentorship, acceleration and equity funding. And what startup in their right mind wouldn’t relocate to Rome to partner with the Pope.
“The accelerator will maximize your startup’s potential across a wide array of disciplines–from user-acquisition to business development and investor pitches.” The Vatican says.
The equity funding won’t come from the Pope or the Vatican directly but rather from business and investor partners that are partnering with Laudato Si’ Challenge.