Start-ups encouraged to enter £429k green challenge

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The Green Challenge is an opportunity for green start-ups looking to scale up their operations
The Green Challenge is an opportunity for green start-ups looking to scale up their operations

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Food and drink start-ups are being encouraged to apply for a chance to win up to €500k (£429k) and a place on a six-month bespoke accelerator programme.

Green start-ups and entrepreneurs have until noon on 1 April to enter the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, which rewards start-ups that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

The competition is open to businesses in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

It will award €500k to the overall winner while the runner-up receives €200k (£172k) and three other finalists receive €100k (£86k) each.

All the finalists have the chance to participate in a bespoke accelerator programme to identify the biggest challenges they face and provide mentorship and valuable connections to tackle them.

In addition to a short video pitch, applicants are required to submit a short business plan outlining the description of the environmental problems their business is tackling, their solution to the problems, the business’s USP and financial projections. There are no fees for submissions.

Grand final in Amsterdam

The five finalists will go on to pitch their businesses to an international jury at a grand final in Amsterdam on 30 September, where the competition winner will be chosen. The jury will assess the pitch and proposal, team competencies, market strategy and business model, financial status and the impact of prize money.

Former jury members include Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder and chair of trustees at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and Sir Richard Branson, founder and chair of Virgin.

Last year’s winner was Sofie Allert, chief executive and founder of Swedish Algae Factory (SAF). Founded in 2014, SAF cultivates algae that enhances solar panel efficiency and can be used as an ingredient in sustainable personal care products.

Bio-bean, a British company that recycles coffee for consumer and industrial markets, won the competition in 2014.

George May, director and chief commercial officer at bio-bean, said: “Winning Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge was a springboard for bio-bean. The funds and business coaching helped us to expand our team and industrial facilities, not to mention the media attention and further investment interest we received off the back of winning the competition.

‘A fantastic opportunity for green start-ups’

“Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for green start-ups looking to scale up their operations.”

The competition is hosted by the Postcode Lotteries. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery in the UK have raised more than £500m for more than 7,500 good causes. Together with its sister lotteries, more than £10bn has been raised.

Clara Govier, managing director at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “If you believe you have a solution to one of the biggest problems facing the planet and would like to join world-class alumni, I urge you to enter this year’s Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge.

“We recognise the time constraints that many entrepreneurs face and so we have made the application process quick and free to enter. I also encourage you to sign-up to our webinar​ to ask any questions you have and to ensure your application has the strongest chance of succeeding.”

Visit​ for more details on entering the awards.

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