Climate change as a new source of innovation: ClimatUp at HEC Paris

4 June 2015

As part of the run-up to COP21, HEC Paris and Code for Climate organized their first ClimatUp on 23-24 May at HEC Paris, where participants tested their ideas to reduce impacts on the climate.


ClimatUp invited students to think, market and build their startup or NGO project to reduce the global climate footprint. As a good climate tool needs a business and strategic vision, ClimatUp offered entrepreneurs the opportunity over these two days to create a legitimate business concept.

The event was the brainchild of two MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation students, to raise awareness about the COP21 conference in Paris next December. Furthermore, the ambition behind ClimatUp was to turn climate change into a source of innovation.

Diego Le Gallou, co-organizer and founder of Code for Climate, noted: “French Grandes Ecoles have a responsibility to give their students a vision consistent with today’s global priorities. Providing climate entrepreneurial simulations to students is one of the best ways to do so.”

Marie-Laure Piednoir and Alexandra Jackson, the two MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation students who initiated ClimatUp at HEC, said that HEC had been mobilizing efforts towards COP21 since October 2014, under the motto ‘The 2°C Challenge – Climate is our business’.

Fifty participants came from all over the Paris area, including from schools such as HEC Paris and ParisTech and the Paris-Saclay network. In order to foster entrepreneurial spirit, support highly creative projects and offer space to build stronger teams, ClimatUp unified participants from management, climate science, engineering, law, marketing, ICT, communication, design and many other fields.

The best projects were awarded the ClimatUp prize—€1000 for their project—or the BETC ClimatUp prize, a two-week incubation at BETC with access to sustainability experts. ClimatUp was part of Climate Week Paris, from 18-24 May 2015. The official partners were BETC, HEC Paris, Code for Climate, UNEP, Fondation Nicolas Hulot, Futur En Seine, Etalab, My Positive Impact, Explicit and Treez.

Back to News list