Advancing 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.

Applications are now under review

For its inaugural year, The Terraton Challenge is focusing on three critical areas: technologies that accelerate soil carbon sequestration, methods to quantify soil carbon, and innovative financial offerings that reward growers for capturing and maintaining soil carbon. More than 260 applications are currently being reviewed by our judges.

What are the judges looking for in round one of The Terraton Challenge?

How The Terraton Challenge works

APPLICATION JUL. 23 - OCT. 1, 2019

During this 10-week application period, applicants submitted their proposal for their category of interest.

Current Phase

Over the course of three weeks, a 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 in late October.

INCUBATION NOV. 2019 - JAN. 2020

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 Beneficial Ag 2020 Conference. Post-Beneficial Ag 2020, all semi-finalists will continue to refine their solutions and prep for the final contract stage.


All semi-finalists will demo at Beneficial Ag 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.

AWARD Oct. 2020

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

The Challenge: by the numbers

Verification 4_Red 266 APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
Contract_prizes $ 3000000 IN TOTAL CONTRACT PRIZES

Our partners

Thank you to our partners for their support in this global effort.


What is happening in the current phase?

Applications are being evaluated via a multi-round review process. We will reach out to selected semi-finalists with a personal invitation to participate in the program by late October.

Who are the judges?

We have recruited an expert panel of judges to review applications in each Challenge track. Judges consist of academics, investors, thought-leaders, and growers.

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 Beneficial Ag 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.

How will semi-finalists be announced and notified?

The Terraton Challenge team will personally reach out to selected semi-finalists and formally invite them to participate in the program. All semi-finalists will be announced in late October 2019.

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.

Interested in learning more?