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Top-performing ECCI alumni meet young Estonian climate entrepreneurs

Four members of the ECCI alumni - SolarisKit, Waterwhelm, Clean Water Design and Carbogenics - will meet a cohort of young Estonian entrepreneurs this week to share insights from their individual entrepreneurial journey and take part in an interactive discussion. 

The international exchange has been organised by has been by ECCI-collaborator David Westwood, Director of Ashburn Energy, who has been contributing to Estonia's Negavatt programme.

The Negavatt programme is Estonia’s energy and resource conservation competition for youngsters (aged 18-30). The annual challenge fund and Accelerator, pitched at encouraging entrepreneurship in younger people, is organised by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre in cooperation with Estonian Ministry of Environment.

The Estonian cohort are keen to share experiences with international peers, specifically to understand challenges of starting and scaling an enterprise, how to finance growth at each stage of company development, understand the trading context, including tracking competitors and understanding what a successful local support ecosystem looks like.

EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator

SolarisKit, Waterwhelm, Clean Water Design and Carbogenics all took part in ECCI's renowned EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, launched in Scotland at ECCI in 2017. The EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator offered early stage entrepreneurs a three-step development programme with access to funding, business coaching with experienced professionals, a range of masterclasses and free workspace at ECCI’s vibrant Edinburgh hub.

From 2017-2020, ECCI supported 43 innovative climate start-ups to create 115 jobs, earn over £8m investment and £6.5m in grants and awards, create £1.44m turnover and 42 new products and services.

David Westwood, Director of Ashburn Energy, said: "This is the first time that the Estonian cohort has reached out for international collaboration and they chose ECCI because of its high reputation on the EIT Climate-KIC programme."

“The Estonian Negavatt event is a first class example of how to leverage the power of alumni networks to multiply the effectiveness and impact of the ECCI business support heritage on an international scale.”      

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