How it works

how it works


If your company has any solution that can help fight air pollution – Smogathon is the contest especially for you!

Online applications will be open from June 15, 2017 to August 15, 2017.

Who can apply? We welcome any group that works as a registered company, start-up, foundation, or a research group with a legal entity. The main requirement is that your solution needs to fight smog. It can be an air purifier, a device that measures the levels of pollutants, or anything that can help! Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis, so early applicants will know in advance when to book their flights to one of the semi-final locations and will have a greater chance of saving their spot. If your team needs to travel for more than 500 kilometres in order to participate in a semi-final, we can provide you with financial support of up to $500 to cover (part of) your travel expenses.

In 2017, the most-wanted categories of projects include:


Up to 60 groups will get to pitch their ideas during the semi-finals. Depending on the quality of applications, 10-12 start-ups will be invited to each of the five semi-final cities to participate in a pitch contest. Two projects from each city will get a place in the finals in Krakow, Poland.

The groups will be evaluated by the interdisciplinary jury of at least six members, consisting of professional of scientific, VC, business and administration background. Not everyone can afford to travel. We saved two spots for exceptional start-ups that will be interviewed on Skype. Why should you come to the semi-finals? Start-ups that apply through the online application are not guaranteed a spot.  If level of participants interviewed online is not satisfactory, we will grant places in the finals to the start-ups that gained the highest scores in the pitch contest instead.


The Lucky 12 will go through two days of Questions & Answers sessions in Krakow, Poland on 25-26th of November 2017. You will be questioned intensely the experts and every solution you offer will need to be proven. The top six teams will pass to the final stage - The Grand Finale. The results from the Q&A sessions will count for 80% of your final score.

Here comes the good news: all 12 finalists will be granted space to exhibit their products/solutions in front of government officials, entrepreneurs and investors during the Global Clean Air Summit on the November 27th. You will be among the biggest players in the air pollution-fighting playground, so be prepared to sell your innovations well!

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered for up to two team members from every group who is invited to the finals.


The world’s top six Smog Fighters will get a chance to pitch their ideas in front of 800-1000 people in ICE Krakow Congress Centre. During this five minute presentation, you will need to convince our strict (but fair) jury that your solution is the one that can make the air crystal clear again and deserves to win the $100,000 prize! Are there any strings attached? Well, you get $25,000 in cash. However, the remaining $75,000 will be in the form of a contract for implementing your idea in the city of Krakow.  The winner takes it all and the runner-ups will be left with nothing, so make sure you prepare yourselves well!