Climate Launchpad Barbados finalists will compete at the national level in the world’s largest green business ideas competition tomorrow, Friday, August 30.
Climate Launchpad Barbados, the local arm of the global competition, is being executed by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), in partnership with the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), and being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The programme is part of the entrepreneurship offerings by EIT Climate-KIC, the European Union’s innovation programme for climate change.
The competition seeks to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change, creating a stage for those ideas to be grown into global businesses. Starting from May 1, this year, the competition welcomed applications from across Barbados. Seven teams were selected for participation and attended the local launch, in partnership with the CCIC, on July 10, 2019.
Since the launch, the teams have participated in rigorous training with an intensive two-day boot camp. The advancing teams participated in intensive coaching and mentoring sessions to refine their plans and pitches. The Barbados finalists will be pitching their ideas before a panel of judges with expertise in international business, cleantech startups and financing and investment.
The top two successful teams will advance to the Global Grand Final in the Netherlands in November 2019. This is being made possible by additional sponsorship support from Williams Solar: a subsidiary of Williams Industries and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) funded Green Technology Cluster Project (Barbados).
The world’s top 10 best ideas will win access to a regional accelerator programme. The overall winner of the Global Grand Final will receive a cash prize of €10,000; the runner up will receive €5,000 and the team that comes in third will win €2,500. All finalists in the Global Grand Final will have the chance to be further accelerated in Europe’s Climate-KIC Accelerator to further grow and expand their start-up idea.
Barbadian cleantech entrepreneur, Carlton Cummins, is an alumnus of the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme that Grand Final competitors will seek to gain access to. He is the co-founder of Aceleron, an award-winning company that designs and builds advanced lithium battery packs, with a presence in the UK, the Caribbean and East Africa.
ClimateLaunchpad founder, Frans Nauta, said of the ClimateLaunchpad competition: “A green business school in disguise, that is how former participants refer to our competition. We train people with green ideas to become successful entrepreneurs. Since the start in 2014, we already helped 1,500 teams on their way with setting up their global businesses. This year we will run the programme in at least 50 countries. We know climate change is solvable. We also know there will not be one single cure; we need – and there will be – thousands of big and small cures. That is why it is our mission to fix climate change, one start-up at a time.”
As sponsors and local lead for the ClimateLaunchpad competition in Barbados, the BIDC sees this an opportunity for unleashing cleantech business ideas that can grow into globally competitive enterprises.
Chief Executive Officer, Sonja Trotman, noted: “This collaboration with ClimateLaunchpad presents an opportunity for Barbadian ideators to share and develop their solutions on an international platform, with international financial and accelerator backing to bring those ideas to fruition. As Barbadians, our attention to climate change is critical, given our location and the challenges that can and do affect us. We have faced challenges relative to the management of our water resources, waste, coastal zones and energy resources. We face increased threats in this era of super storms and changing weather patterns. These challenges can fuel innovation as we create solutions that can help us and others alike. This is a call to action for entrepreneurs, innovators and young people to create the solutions we need that can help us better cope with, or even mitigate the effects of climate change.”
ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. Over 100 partners, such as Accenture, Benard Schulte Shipmanagement, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Hellenic Bank, Microsoft, PWC, Sparebank, Volvo and World Wide Fund, support the competition.