The VELUX Group launches with C40 the Women4Climate Tech Challenge for solutions to cities’ climate issues

The second round of this international challenge - open only to women designing innovative, climate-focused tech solutions to improve cities - is launched at the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen today. The challenge is called ‘Innovation in Climate Action: Women Leading The Way'.

Women have a central role to play in driving climate actions to transform cities and communities into sustainable places for people to live. By sponsoring this challenge, The VELUX Group acknowledges the foresight of women in creating solutions for a sustainable future and the barriers they often face in bringing their ideas to the fore.

Women are key contributors to the societies we live in and therefore need to be more involved in defining, developing and implementing solutions that will make our cities and communities sustainable for years to come. Through our support of this challenge, we can help some women to ensure there is a more balanced approach and drive towards climate actions that change cities and communities for the better and ensure coming generations grow up in environments that are conducive to their learning, growth and development and not least good health and well-being,
says Tina Mayn, Senior Vice President Products, R&D and Innovation.

“In order to reach the 1.5- degree, cities must excel in all fields – and one thing is certain, we won’t make it if we don’t actively involve women entrepreneurs in the process of reinventing our cities,” adds Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr, Stockholm and C40 city member. “With their perspective, expertise and know-how, rest assured we can co-create climate solutions to bend the carbon emission curve. With the C40 Women4Climate Tech Challenge, we invite all participating cities to reach out to their start-up communities and step up their inclusive climate action.”

The call for applications to the second round of the Women4Climate Tech Challenge opens today and runs until January 31, 2020. Four C40 cities – Los Angeles, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Stockholm and Lisbon - have committed to pilot one of the winning solutions in their cities. An expert jury will pick 10 finalists in February 2020, and the finalists will present their solutions to the participating C40 mayors and The VELUX Group at a direct, live pitch event which will determine the 4 winners.

Three thematic Tech Challenge areas

The challenge is within three thematic areas focusing on:

  • Adaptation and risk cities response
  • Healthy public buildings and households
  • Green and healthier streets

Overall aim of Tech Challenge

The Tech Challenge supports diversity in technology and innovation, where women are largely underrepresented. According to C40:

  • Women only represent 17% of employees, 4% of software engineers and 1% of leadership positions in the combined science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.
  • Only 3% of venture capital partners are women.
  • Just 14% of start-up investors (or 'Business Angels') are women.
  • Research shows that start-ups led by men receive over 16 times more funding than those led by women, and survey data suggests that this disparity is gender-based.

According to C40, these inequalities represent a significant barrier to developing inclusive climate responses, which need to be addressed with tailored actions and tools to support female entrepreneurship and break down the barriers women meet in venture capital and start-up creation. The Women4Climate Tech Challenge is one of these tools.

the Women4Climate Tech Challenge

About first Women4ClimateTech Challenge

The first Women4ClimateTech Challenge was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018 and hosted by the cities of Paris and Tel-Aviv Yafo, which committed to piloting the winners’ solutions. The winners of the first challenge, Elodie Grimoin, co-founder of Urban Canopee and Inna Braverman, Founder of Eco Wave Power are still receiving assistance for the next experimentation phase of their innovations from the cities of Paris and Tel-Aviv Yafo respectively. For more information about the specifics of this second edition of the challenge, see

About C40 Women4Climate

The C40 Women4Climate initiative brings together mayors, business leaders, changemakers and future climate leaders from around the world and works to inspire and empower young women and raise awareness about the disproportionate impact climate change has on women around the world, as well as the critical role of women in creating a healthier, greener and more economically prosperous urban future. See more about Women4Climate.

About C40 Cities

Around the world, C40 Cities connect 94 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe.

About the VELUX Group

For more than 75 years, The VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 11,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2018, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 2.6 billion and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 118 million in charitable grants. For more, information, visit

The VELUX Group has extensive knowledge in creating healthy buildings and since 2015 has published The Healthy Homes Barometer, an annual independent research-based report that investigates the effect unhealthy buildings have on people’s health. See the 2019 Healthy Homes Barometer here.