BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 22 July '18

Three British start-ups are in the running to win €500k in green business competition

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge has announced the 25 start-ups that have made it through the first stage of the international competition supporting green entrepreneurs.

The 25, including three from the UK, have been chosen by a panel of experts from 845 applications to be considered for the top prize of €500k to develop their sustainable business.

Businesses making an impact

The UK is represented by three promising start-ups competing to secure the prize. BioCarbon Engineering has come up with a method of tree-planting to combat deforestation, and both Phytoponics and LettUs Grow have come up with have developed new ways of growing food to reduce its carbon footprint.

The international competition saw applications from over 100 countries from all over the world. The diverse group includes plans to stop plastic reaching the sea, to make storage of renewable energy more efficient and to combat water scarcity around the world. They show the broad range of ways businesses can make a positive impact on the planet, while also being successful.

‘Postcode Lottery Green Challenge shows that you can make money with a company that contributes to the planet. I am incredibly impressed with the top 25 – some are really revolutionary, and some show how feasibility and scalability can make all the difference. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey with them!’

JACQUELIEN BUNT
Deputy head of charities at the Dutch Postcode Lottery and chair of the preliminary jury

Prizes and coaching for start-ups

The five finalists will be announced in mid-August, and will then present their pitches to a jury on 13 September in Amsterdam, where the winner will be announced.

Along with the grand prize of €500k for the winner, there will be a €200k prize for the runner-up and €100k up for grabs for each of the other finalists. In addition to the prize money, all finalists will receive over six months of expert coaching to optimise their business opportunities.

Last year, Rwandan start-up EarthEnable won the competition with its idea to produce sustainable, affordable, clean and waterproof earthen flooring. This means people in developing countries can move away from unhygienic dirt floors without relying on the expensive and unsustainable alternative of cement.