Here's how it will work. Over the next three years, we'll identify and recruit entrepreneurs with the most promising ideas for tackling the world's food, water and climate challenges to join the accelerator. Each year, we will grant seed funding to 10 companies. They’ll also participate in an intense 3-month program where TNC, Techstars and other mentors will do all that we can to help them grow their business. At the end of each year's program, the participants will also participate in a "demo day" to showcase their technologies to potential investors for subsequent funding rounds.
To launch the accelerator, we are partnering with some superb investors to raise the equity fund for the program. They include Zoma Capital, Lukas Walton, the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, and Lyda Hill. TNC is an equity investor, too. Techstars takes a financial position in the companies and splits proceeds with the investors. While our investors expect to earn good returns, the primary motivation for these funders is the opportunity to drive innovation and impact in the environmental sector.
From my perspective as CEO of TNC and a former Goldman Sachs banker, I think opportunities like this have huge potential to scale up progress in the social sector. Well-designed three-way partnerships between NGOs, startup technology entrepreneurs, and smart investors should lead to big and valuable breakthroughs. What's more, I think there's a lot we can learn from the startup way of doing business.
It's too early to say for sure how we will do. But we are very optimistic. We're excited about the opportunity to get more tech entrepreneurs focused on sustainability issues. We're eager to learn from the sector's culture of innovation and speed. And we hope to build some buzz in the investment community, too. Private philanthropy alone can't drive the scale of innovation needed to solve the enormous challenges facing people and nature today.
Technology will be essential if we want to live in a world where 10 billion people have the food, water, energy and economic growth they need without sacrificing nature. So let's do all we can to encourage a greater culture of innovation in the environmental field—and create a future where people and nature thrive together.