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Pope Francis is such a visionary, inspiring leader! Check out what he’s doing to promote global ACTION!

Inspired by Pope Francis’s call for global action on climate change, two venture capitalists launch the Laudato Si Startup Challenge—at the Holy See.

DEMO DAY AT THE VATICAN

Companies participating in the Laudato Si Challenge will receive $100,000 in seed funding in exchange for a 6% to 8% equity investment, and expert mentorship. Participating companies will initially receive four months of remote mentoring, and then travel to Rome for two months of in-person work. It all culminates in a Demo Day—a tech accelerator tradition where startups present their companies to an audience—at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican.

While companies don’t receive funding from the Catholic Church, and all investment comes from private sources, the accelerator enjoys close ties to the Vatican.

“Laudato Si functions like a typical accelerator program with capital investment, equity, mentorship, and guidance,” program director Paul Orlando told Fast Company. “There is a demo day at the end, but the twist is that all of the companies that are selected fit in one way or another into a number of big global problem areas that the pope identified in his encyclical.”

Companies applying for the accelerator were encouraged to focus on seven specific challenges: Energy, food, water, crowded cities, human potential, conservation, and finance.

Participants are not required to be Catholic and the program is open to founders of all backgrounds.

Pope Francis’s TED talk.

TED, ACCELERATORS, AND THE VATICAN

In his recent TED talk, Pope Francis called on tech firms to do more to combat social and environmental ills. Speaking to attendees, many of whom come from the tech world, Francis added:

“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us. How wonderful would it be if solidarity—this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word—were not simply reduced to social work and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic, and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples, and countries.”

Companies participating won’t just inch their way toward profitability and growth: They’ll also contribute to a better world. And, in the process, get to pitch their startup in Vatican City.

Read the full article: https://www.fastcompany.com/40424655/inside-the-vaticans-tech-accelerator-thats-targeting-climate-change?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fcweekly-top&position=2&partner=newsletter&campaign_date=06092017

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