Climate Innovation Accelerator

The Climate Innovation Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind Nashville initiative that engages an inclusive network of local universities, small businesses, and nonprofits to advance the city’s leadership initiatives toward a climate positive future through a 10-week, no-cost, cohort learning journey.

Check out the 2023 presentations here!

CIA Introduction Video

Client Application for small business owners and nonprofits.

  • No climate or innovation experience is necessary, yet priority is given to clients that provide a compelling reason why they want to participate. Please review selection criteria in the application to ensure you qualify. If you are selected to progress to the next step of the process, a Zoom interview will be scheduled.

Applications are currently closed.

Climate Innovation Accelerator Collage

Program Information

  • How it Works

    The Team Journey: Students will have the opportunity to select their client via the application process once selected into the program. The team is comprised of a client (a small business or nonprofit), a student team of four, a skilled advisor on sustainability, and a Wond’ry instructor. The team will meet weekly for a 30 minute check-in to advance their project together.

    The Learning Journey:

    • Clients (businesses and nonprofits): receive executive education on three critical business functions—sustainability, strategic frameworks, and innovation, through two half-day sessions per month within the program. Clients can expect to dedicate approximately 40 hours over the course of 10 weeks. A stipend is provided upon successful completion of the program to reduce financial barriers.
    • Students: receive a parallel learning track on Thursdays from 4:30-6pm, students expect to dedicate no less than 5 hours a week towards this program (class & work time).
    • Advisors: expect to spend approximately 1 hour a week of support and attending the weekly team zoom meeting.
    • See full learning journey here

    The Project Journey: A skilled advisor and Wond’ry instructor will work with each client prior to the program to identify a climate innovation opportunity within their mission or business model to scope, research, and analyze during the accelerator. During the program the client will meet via zoom weekly with the student team, advisor and instructor co-collaborate on the opportunity with the mentor and instructor guidance and counsel.

    Immersion: this program qualifies as an immersive experience for Immersion, for students seeking how this aligns with their Immersion journey, see full details here.

  • Important Dates

    Important Dates Prior to Program Launch: 

    • Zoom info learning session: January 9th, 5-6pm (zoom link)
    • Social Innovation Lunch n Learn: January 9th
    • Team matching: Week of January 29th
    • Team Lead training: January 26th (time TBA)

    Client (business & nonprofit) schedule: weekly 30 minute zoom meetings with your team and in-person sessions below.

    • Kick off: February 8th 4-6pm
    • Site visit w/o February 12
    • 1st Session: February 15th, 1-5pm & February 16th 9am-1pm
    • 2nd Session: March 21st, 1-5pm & March 22nd 9am-1pm
    • 3rd Session: April 11th, 1-5pm & April 12th, 9am-1pm
    • Final presentations: April 18th 4-6pm

    Student schedule: classes are from 4:30 PM-6 PM on the Thursdays below as well as weekly 45-minute zoom meetings with client/advisor & instructor

    • Week 1: Kick off February 8, 4-6pm
    • Week 2: February 15, 4.30-6pm plus an additional site visit w/o Feb 12
    • Week 3: February 22, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 4: February 29, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 5: March 7, 4.30-6
    • Spring Break: w/o March 11-15
    • Week 6: March 21, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 7: March 28, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 8: April 4, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 9: April 11, 4.30-6pm
    • Week 10: April 18, 4-6pm, Final Presentation
  • Inquiries

    For student inquiries please contact Sarah Saeed at sarah.saeed@vanderbilt.edu.

    For all other inquiries please contact Jaclyn Mothupi at jaclyn.r.mothupi@vanderbilt.edu.

Project Spotlights

R.E.D. Academy Project Spotlight
Perfectly Cordial Project Spotlight
SourceMark Medical Project Spotlight