Frequently Asked Questions


What is the PCV Fall Ideathon?

The PCV Fall Ideathon is a new annual competition where student teams can pitch a climate tech startup concept for a chance at cash prizes in non-dilutive funding, as well as mentorship and publicity opportunities. The Ideathon will be similar in concept to a standard hackathon, where the majority of the competition’s events will take place over a single week.

Why are you holding the PCV Ideathon?

The primary motivation of the PCV Prize is to catalyze climate action in the Penn community by encouraging more students to test the waters of the climate innovation scene. We believe in the immense potential of climate tech startups, and want to help students get their ideas off the ground.

How do I participate?

  1. Register as an individual to get updates on everything related to the PCV Prize. Registration opens on Sept 9 and closes Oct 16.
  2. Register your team. Registration opens on Sept 9 and closes Oct 16.
  3. Put together your deck, prepare to present a 3-minute speech, and then submit your pitch!


Who can participate?

All undergraduate or graduate students at Penn can compete in the PCV Fall 2021 Ideathon.

How many people can I have on my team?

Up to 5 students can be a part of the same team.

Can I compete on multiple teams?

Yes! You may compete as part of more than one team.

Can I compete without prior experience with tech or startups?

Definitely! We strongly encourage anyone interested in the PCV Ideathon or climate innovation to compete. There are no requirements for what a successful PCV Ideathon team will look like, and we will be hosting classes and workshops to help teams build and strengthen their startup ideas.

What stage should my startup be?

In the ideation stage - competing teams should not have any working prototype. As much as we would love to support great and growing climate startups, we’re focused on encouraging new students to enter the scene.

Why is this competition Penn exclusive?

The primary goal of our parent organization, Penn Climate Ventures, is to catalyze climate action at Penn and encourage more students to explore climate tech innovation. Penn’s climate entrepreneurship ecosystem is nascent, so to ensure that we’re bringing more Penn students into the picture, we’re putting a focus on the Penn community for the fall iteration of this competition. The Spring Iteration (PCV Prize) however, will be open to all students irrespective of school affiliation :)