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ClimateLaunchpad 2017 – helping green business ideas take off

Here at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), bringing people together to make good ideas happen is the bread and butter of what we do. One of the most rewarding aspects of this is being able to offer entrepreneurs and innovators access to business support, networks and a home at our low carbon hub.

So it was a huge privilege last week to chair the first selection panel for the Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI. We were recruiting for Accelerator stage 1, the first of three levels of intensive business support and funding for early stage businesses. We’ll soon be able to announce the lucky few who have been chosen from a strong field to get dedicated help to find their market niche, work out how to make money and scale their business.

The Accelerator stage 1 is one of two programmes to be delivered by ECCI with Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate entrepreneurship programme. We’re also running ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s biggest green ideas competition. It’s the younger sister of the Accelerator programme for anyone with a climate-positive business idea or invention that they’d like to explore further.

Applications are open until Sunday 28 May and we are keen to hear from any budding Scottish-based entrepreneurs whose ideas could help reduce climate impacts or displace more carbon-intensive products and services.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been dreaming of making it happen for years or have just scribbled something on the back of a napkin. If you’re successful, you’ll get dedicated support to fast track your idea into a business and bypass pitfalls along the way. You’ll also learn how to get your idea funded and launched. You’ll pitch your idea at the UK final later this year with the aim of making it to the global Grand Final and the chance to win prize money of up to 10,000 euros and a place on the Climate-KIC Accelerator.

I’ve noticed a step-change in the climate innovation scene in recent years, driven by the Paris agreement and our own world-leading climate targets here in Scotland. Low carbon entrepreneurship is alive and well in Scotland – now we’re looking for the next generation of green businesses to put their names on the map.

Do you have a green business idea with the potential to go stratospheric? Apply to ClimateLaunchpad 2017 for help developing a rock-solid business plan and the chance to compete for up to €10,000 and a place on the Climate-KIC Accelerator. Deadline Sunday 28 May 2017. Submit your idea.

Charlotte Waugh, Innovation Manager, The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) - 23 May 2017