Viraj Sikand


Big Idea: 
Nature-based payments to incentivize biodiversification practices

EarthAcre pairs community knowledge with technology to ensure landowners are paid for their role in the protection of nature. EarthAcre works with communities and local partners to implement regenerative and sustaining activities on the land. Biodiversity assets are measured through on-ground and spatial technologies, and payments are distributed from the markets equitably, transparently and directly to individuals for their sustainable contributions as part of the community. 

Viraj grew up in a multi-generational environmentalist household in Nairobi, and has worked in environmental-focused startups for the past 10 years. He received an environmental studies degree from Brown University, where he also co-founded Kulisha, a startup that created sustainable protein from food waste. He later worked at Optoro, a company that has raised $300M to accelerate circular economies. Viraj enrolled in a joint program at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, but took a leave of absence to co-found and focus on EarthAcre.

Henry Arnhold Fellows