City Announces Innovate Fort Collins Challenge Award Recipients

City of Fort Collins Panorama.
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Emily Wilmsen
Senior Communications Specialist

The City of Fort Collins has named five projects winners of the 2018 Innovate Fort Collins Challenge.

The projects were selected from an original list of 19 submissions from businesses and organizations proposing solutions to challenges related to waste materials, transportation, energy and behavior change. Final award dollar amounts are pending approval. Finalists participated in a public pitch night on August 30.

Winning projects:

  • MISSion Innovation by Pretty Brainy
    • The MISSion Innovation project includes hosting a community event for young women ages 14-24 to develop interest, preparation and relevant projects for young innovator and problem solvers to address climate change.


  • NoCo Tool Lending Library by EcoThrift
    • The NoCo Tool Lending Library is a project to address the community demand for a tool lending library to eliminate overconsumption of tools, decrease the amount of material in the landfill and address social equity challenges through low-cost tool access and education.


  • Taco ‘Bout Solar by Renewablue
    • The Taco ‘Bout Solar project will provide neutral, third-party solar education to Fort Collins community members. The strategy is to provide free tacos with free solar information for a winning combination to get curious folks in the room, keep them there, and help them create their path to clean home energy.


  • She’s In Power 3.0 by C3E
    • She’s in Power 3.0 is a new program component for mentors and mentees designed to address two key problems: growing a diverse clean energy workforce and scaling the numbers and types of energy-saving projects implemented in Fort Collins.


  • Solar United Neighbors of Colorado by Solar United Neighbors of Colorado
    • To help Fort Collins jumpstart the next wave of solar adoption, Solar United Neighbors proposes to apply a solar bulk purchase model, the solar co-op, to dramatically increase solar penetration by reducing barriers to adoption and cultivating an informed community of solar ambassadors.


The Innovate Fort Collins Challenge is a City competition that awards funding for community projects capable of achieving greenhouse gas reductions and additional social and economic benefits. Applicants were encouraged to include such tactics as innovative applications of new or existing technologies, behavior change projects, new business models, or new public-private partnerships.

The City has set aspirational goals to cut carbon emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020and 80 percent by 2030 with the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. The City aims to achieve those goals through a variety of strategies in such areas as energy, transportation and waste reduction.

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