It’s great to see global entrepreneurs lending their considerable influence to urgent challenges facing the world today. Just this week, business magnate, philanthropist and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, helped launch a $3 million Global Cooling Prize in response to the devastating impact of traditional air-conditioning solutions on climate change – and we couldn’t be more excited!

The international competition is spearheaded by nonprofit group, Rocky Mountain Institute; global clean energy coalition, Mission Innovation; and the Government of India. That last one is particularly important: how the world’s fastest-growing economies develop and take shape has the potential to change how every single one of us lives.

By 2019, the two-year long prize aims to fund finalists $200,000 to build prototypes, with the winning technology being announced the following year. For Solar Bear, it’s an exciting challenge – but more than that, it’s inspiring to see this crucial yet frequently overlooked facet of modern life take the spotlight. In an industry dominated by a handful of big-name brands, this is exactly the incentive start-ups and innovators need to realize their vision for a cleaner, cooler and all-round brighter tomorrow.

Read all about it on Fast Company.