A call for solutions that accelerate the drawdown of 1 trillion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide into agricultural soils

Many of the world’s largest industries have transformed and unlocked new value through digital systems innovation, and now’s the time for agriculture to do the same. The Terraton Challenge rallies innovators to develop solutions that advance The Terraton Initiative, the global effort to remove 1 trillion tons – or a teraton – of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to enrich agricultural soils. Fueling the Initiative with technological innovation and competition, The Terraton Challenge seeks to focus global innovators on agriculture as a climate solution.

Who should apply?

Any team with an original solution to one of our Terraton Challenge tracks should apply. We invite applicants from:

All Geographies: This is a global problem that needs a global solution. Innovators from around the world are encouraged to apply. Semi-finalists must be willing and able to travel to the U.S. at their own cost to demo their solution at the BeneficialAg 2020 conference.

All Stages: We want to hear solutions from innovators at all levels of development. Whether your idea is scribbled in a notepad, or already deployed on thousands of acres, we encourage you to apply.

All Industries: The Terraton Challenge welcomes ideas from industries beyond agriculture.

Please note that each application must be original and must not contain any material that violates or infringes on the intellectual rights of any non-team member or  party.

How The Terraton Challenge works


During this 10-week application period, you may submit your application using the specific website form for your category of interest. Up to $3.5k is available for submitting an idea.


Over the course of three weeks, Indigo’s panel of judges including thought leaders, academics & entrepreneurs will review applications. A select number of round 1 applicants will be invited to the next round as semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will be announced on Oct. 22.


Semi-finalists moving forward will be eligible for up to $60k in grants and $3M in contracts. They will join a virtual incubation cohort with access to mentors, review panels, expert speakers & real-world experimentation.


During this time all semi-finalists will work with Indigo staff and mentors to pilot their solutions on research acres and prepare for live demos at the BeneficialAg 2020 Conference. Post-BeneficialAg 2020, all semi-finalists will continue to refine their solutions and prep for the final contract stage.


All semi-finalists will demo at BeneficialAg 2020, an important multi-thousand attendee event that convenes stakeholders from across the supply chain to reimagine ag for people & planet. The winner in each category will receive a $20k grant to accelerate their work.

PHASE 6: AWARD Oct. 2020

Select finalists with scalable solutions will be eligible for up to $3M contracts by Indigo, all while maintaining business independence and IP rights to their solution.

Why participate in The Terraton Challenge?


Still not sure if you should apply?

Contact The Terraton Challenge team with your questions by emailing the link below.

The Challenge: By the Numbers

Contract_prizes $3000000 IN TOTAL CONTRACT PRIZES

Other ways to participate


How can I apply for The Terraton Challenge?

  1. Review the three Challenge categories (Accelerate, Quantify & Reward) and decide which track you are most interested in applying for.
  2. Fill out the Challenge-specific application form (which can be found on the landing page for each Challenge track).
  3. Upload a pitch deck that explains your solution and your team. See guidelines here for creating your pitch deck.
  4. Submit all materials by October 1, 2019.

Can I apply for multiple Challenge tracks?

Ther Terraton Challenge is a solicitation for the best solutions out there. If you have a solution on how to solve more than one of the Challenges, we encourage you to apply to more than one Challenge track. Please note, that if more than one of your solutions progresses past Round 1, you will have to decide which solution to develop during Incubation and Experimentation.

A select number of applicants will be invited beyond the round 1 contest to participate as semi-finalists, subject to additional terms and conditions.

What is the process for choosing the award winners?

Round 1 application materials will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges representing a variety of backgrounds, including experience in agriculture, industry, academia, and venture capital. Judges will use evaluation criteria specific to each challenge category to select semi-finalists.

Each semi-finalist will work with mentors to refine and test their solution on Indigo acres leading throughout the 2020 Growing Season. Semi-finalists will demonstrations solutions to a crowd of 5000+ stakeholders at BeneficialAg 2020 The $20k award at Beneficial Ag will be evaluated based on its proven results to date, reliability, and potential scalability.

Select finalists with scalable solutions will be awarded up to $3M in contracts by Indigo, all while maintaining business independence and IP rights to their solution.

Who is eligible to participate in The Terraton Challenge? Does my solution need to reach a specific stage before I can fill out an application?

Whether you are a large or small company, we encourage anyone with a solution to one of The Terraton Challenge tracks to apply.

There is no specific development stage that is required to apply to a challenge. We ask that competitors are honest about their current development stage and set realistic goals for progress throughout the challenge.

What networking and educational opportunities will be provided during the challenge? Will Indigo provide me or my group with any resources if my application is approved?

Each Challenge track will have a group of mentors that will provide advice and feedback throughout the competition. Indigo will provide resources to help design and implement pilots and tests of successful ideas on Indigo acres.

What are the Terms & Conditions of The Terraton Challenge?

The Terraton Challenge contest is composed of two distinct parts: Round One and the Final Round. Please note that only contestants that are invited to participate as semifinalists during Round One will be required to sign the Final Round Terms & Conditions.   

  • Round One Terms & Conditions: We have certain Terms and Conditions (T&C) listed here  for Round One. Round One T&C’s will apply to all contestants who apply before October 1. Since this is a newly launched initiative, we have reserved the right to make changes to accommodate any unforeseen circumstances during the initial round of the contest.

  • Final Round Terms & Conditions: Since the Final Round operates as a unique part of the contest, with substantial dollar prizes and contracts, it will require a different set of terms and conditions. Final Round T&C’s will include additional details around IP protection meant to support semifinalist participants during incubation and experimentation and additional details around evaluation criteria for up to $60K in grants and up to $3M in contracts. Indigo will release the Final Round Terms and Conditions as soon as they have been finalized.

The Terraton Challenge is subject to contest rules, terms and conditions located here. The Terraton Challenge is made up of two separate contests: an initial screening contest (“Round One”) and a semi-finalist contest (“Final Round”). By submitting an application, applicants are enrolling in Round One only. The only potential prize for Round One is an invitation to participate in the Final Round, subject to additional terms and conditions, acceptance of which are required to participate in such Final Round. Submission of an application to Round One does not guarantee participation in the Final Round.  Only Round One winners are eligible to participate in the Final Round. Subject to additional terms, Final Round participants may be eligible for a chance to win a grant of up to $20,000.00 and one or more contracts with Indigo that may be worth up to $3 million in total. No purchase necessary to enter. Contests are void where prohibited.

Not ready to apply but interested in learning more?