New Venture Challenge

NVC15 Climate Track

5 Student Teams. $20,000 At Stake

New Venture Challenge NVC 15

CU Boulder has cultivated a unique environment where innovation thrives. Mission Zero partnered with CU’s New Venture Challenge Program to assist students in bringing their ideas to market.

The New Venture Challenge (NVC), Boulder's premier entrepreneurial competition, hosted its Climate Prize Night on March 8th, 2022, in downtown Boulder. Five teams competed head-to-head for a share of $20,000 in prize money, presenting their innovative solutions to tackle climate change to a panel of judges.

The 1st place winner, awarded $10,000, was Team Agraaze (pictured below), with their concept of adding red seaweed to cows' diets, reducing their methane emissions by up to 82%. Livestock currently produces 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector. Other innovative solutions included a disruptive composting and recycling service, an underwater vacuum to remove invasive species, a bio-based emulsions system, and an app-based carbon credit platform.

Event - NVC Agraaze New Venture Challenge
Credit: Omar Kaheel

Team Agraaze, first place winner and audience favorite, was awarded $10,000 for their carbon-reducing concept: To add a very small amount of red seaweed to cows’ diets, shown in a scientific study to cut their methane emissions by 82%.

Credit: Omar Kaheel

Awarded second place and $6,000 to runner-up was Next Use Composting & Recycling. Already up and running with 50 clients, this business currently based in the Denver metro area envisions “a world with no more landfills,” as they produce tons of methane and are quickly reaching capacity.

NVC Credit: Omar Kaheel New Venture Challenge
Credit: Omar Kaheel

“I was blown away by the solutions our students are creating in solving the climate crisis. From a deep-sea vacuum to carbon credit platforms to reducing methane in ranching to sustainable emulsions, our students are bringing amazing innovation to our climate challenges. I can’t wait to see these ventures grow!” said Erick Mueller

NVC Latimer Controls

Watch the video for a sample of what an NVC may look like. For more information on the New Venture Challenge view the link below.


“Our team is so inspired to be the audience favorite and to win the grand prize, because it incentivizes us to move forward and actually to tell people how much we need to put action towards saving our climate, saving the animals and the humans that live on the planet,” said Dasha Prosolova, Agraaze team member. “It makes us believe in ourselves more and bring the project to life.”

Event - NVC Agraaze New Venture Challenge

Dasha Prosolova
Agraaze Team Member

“Who the heck would have thought of an underwater vacuum?” said judge Chris Vargas, impressed by the unique solution in their pitch.



Chris Vargas Linkedin

Chris Vargas