C-Prize Coming to Notre Dame

Author: Alexander Hajek

Chris Vargas

Alumnus Chris Vargas ('85,'88) will be coming to campus on September 5th to launch the 2019 C-Prize. Chris Vargas, a Silicon Valley private investor and founder/CxO of five start ups, is the founder of the C-Prize, an annual startup competition that provides funding to students committed to solving problems in conservation, climate change and clean energy. Through the C-Prize, ND student teams are currently working with non-profits in Columbia, Kenya, Mozambique, Honduras, and North America. 

Applicants are encouraged to develop an idea that helps a non-profit organization(s) address conservation, climate change, or clean energy challenges. Ideas can be technology solutions, running a fundraising campaign, creating a branding and marketing strategy, completing a social media audit, or more.  The only requirement is that students help an existing non-profit accelerate and scale their work. 

Each Fall, C-Prize accepts applications from any Notre Dame student teams – undergraduate or graduate – and select ten of the most promising ideas. These ten finalist teams are invited to pitch their idea to a panel of investors and experts.  The winning team will receive $10,000 in seed capital to develop their idea. Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 C-Prize.

Interested students and teams are encouraged to visit with Chris while he is on campus September 5th at 7:00pm. Chris Vargas will give a talk on How to Change the World (…before you graduate). He will share stories about current ND student teams. Last year’s C-prize winner, Ralph Moran, will also share his team’s solution to help protect Marine Wildlife at Roatan Marine Park Honduras, and their trip to the Honduras this Summer where they deployed their solution.  Chris will wrap up the hour with a discussion about the C-prize and answer any questions.

There is still time to apply to the C-Prize! Interested students can apply to one of five idea groups. Applications close November 15th!