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Kerry On CleanTech Challenge 2014

Each year since 2010, Mexican innovators have submitted their green ideas and business plans to implement them.

CleanTech Challenge Mexico is Latin America’s top green business plan competition. Each year since 2010, Mexican innovators have submitted their green ideas and business plans to implement them. After six months of elimination rounds, eight finalists present their project proposals to a group of judges. The ultimate winner receives $25,000 in cash as well as other benefits.

But more importantly, over the last four years, CleanTech Challenge has become an open forum for investors, entrepreneurs, government, and development entities to share ideas on developing, financing, and implementing clean technology. The program is funded by some fifty private, public and non-governmental organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID; the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the Mexican government.

And it is an extraordinarily successful program. It has led to the creation of new startup companies, high-quality green jobs, and an enhanced entrepreneurial culture in Mexico.

“It absolutely matters that the CleanTech Challenge in Mexico has produced nearly 200 clean technology businesses. It matters that the CleanTech Challenge has created more than 2,500 green jobs. It matters that the hundreds of companies that are engaged in this competition . . . . are on track to slash nearly 22 million metric tons of CO2, greenhouse gases, over the next five years,” said Secretary of State John Kerry as he helped kick off the final round of the 2014 CleanTech Challenge.

“USAID is a very proud sponsor of the CleanTech Challenge, and our challenge is clear: in the past, we used to trade together. Today, due to trade relationships, we build together. In the future, we want to innovate and invent together. And we believe in the possibilities of a Mexico-U.S. strength with respect to that. If any nation has an ability to be able to drive towards that horizon, we believe it is Mexico,” he said.

“This is how we have a chance to define the future, and this is how Mexico and the United States can do it together – by innovating, conserving, and educating. This is one big challenge.”