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Special Representative for Global Partnerships Dorothy McAuliffe hosted an entrepreneurial pitch competition at the 27th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.  She was joined by Monica Medina, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental & Scientific Affairs. The competition was part of the Connecting Climate Entrepreneurs (CCE) initiative, which is designed to nurture entrepreneurial climate solutions to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate priority while advancing global economic development.  The competition featured four climate solutions from the USA, Ghana, Israel, and Egypt that are ready to scale.

The entrepreneurs included:

  • Alexis Pascaris (USA), the Founding Director of AgriSolar Consulting, which is dedicated to advancing innovation at the food-energy-water nexus by creating synergy between solar energy and agriculture.
  • Audrey S-Darko (Ghana), Founder of Sabon Sake, which enables farmers to ease the transition towards climate resilient farming and food systems while earning additional income through a unique carbon financing tool.
  • Adital Ela (Israel), Founder and CEO of Criaterra, a company focused on developing manufacturing technologies which replace the conventional kiln-firing processes and produce fully recyclable, high performance, and practical construction materials.
  • Kamal ElSoueni, Co-founder and CEO at Rabbit Mobility, the first micro-mobility platform for short-distance transportation using environmentally friendly vehicles in Egypt and North Africa.

The showcase at COP27 provided an opportunity for early-stage startups to compete for a range of prizes from private sector judges including Sue Duke, Vice President, Head of Global Public Policy & Economic Graph at LinkedIn; Teresa Christopher, Head of Climate, Sustainability, and Environmental Policy at Amazon; Rania Rostom, Head of Global Marketing & Communications at General Electric; Irwin Boutboul, Founder, Startups for Sustainable Development at Google; and Mark Kroese, General Manager for Sustainability Solutions at Microsoft.

View a recording of the competition .

CCE is a public-private partnership between the Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, the Office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and leading private sector entities (largely U.S.-based) playing a key role in tackling the climate crisis. CCE focuses on four main pillars including capital, expertise, engagement, and deployment. The CCE partnership breaks down silos while connecting the global climate entrepreneurship space. CCE was launched in collaboration with Allen Blue, Vice President and Founder at LinkedIn; Mark Benioff. Co-CEO at Salesforce; and Roger Martella, Vice President at General Electric in 2021 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

To learn more about the Office of Global Partnerships and our current initiatives, visit the Office of Global Partnerships webpage.  You may also email for more information.  For press inquiries, please contact Melanie Bonner at

U.S. Department of State

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