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"We have to do business differently. We have to think creatively. ClimateLaunchpad allows you to take this risk."

ECCI opened the ClimateLaunchpad green business competition – with cash prizes of up to €10,000 – for applications in Scotland this month. To enter the competition, budding inventors and entrepreneurs simply have to submit an idea or innovation that is tackling climate change by Friday 5 June 2020.

We caught up with Scott Simpson, founder of IndiNature, to hear his insights into his journey to the final, the motivation behind his world-beating idea and why the competition is needed now more than ever.

What is your company and product all about, in a nutshell?

We manufacture natural construction products on an industrial scale. We combine local industrial crops and new biopolymers to make the world’s best and most sustainable construction insulation. We reverse climate change by having a net storage of carbon in the products, don’t extract non-renewable resources and don’t use plastics. We have two companies now – a parent R&D materials innovation company based in Edinburgh and are setting up a manufacturing subsidiary in the Scottish Borders. Check out our website.

Tell us about your background.

A mixed bag, with no executive experience until now. I worked in local community development with people in poor housing conditions and then did a masters in sustainable architecture. I also have a science background with lab experience which helped me develop materials for the business. IndiNature was incorporated with three cofounders in 2016.

Why did you apply for ClimateLaunchpad?

I had an idea for products and wanted to learn how to commercialise them at scale.

What did you get out of the ClimateLaunchpad Boot Camp and training sessions?

Over the past four years I’ve been a lot of entrepreneurial and business programmes and masterclasses – ClimateLaunchpad (CLP) was the best, and one of the few that involved people like me who don’t want to sacrifice strong values for business success.

It also offered very good course leaders and importantly a great group of peers who are still supporting each other today. It’s very very tough building a business from scratch to scale – you need like-minded people around you. My business model and products were refined and CLP built my confidence to pitch to investors. As of this month we’ve secured £1.3m of investment from private investors, loans and grants. There’s still a long way to go, but we’re in a good place.

Why do you think innovation competitions like ClimateLaunchpad are important at times of crisis like COVID-19?

Simple. We have to do business differently. We have to think creatively – if you see a problem and have ideas for a solution, then go for it. ClimateLaunchpad allows you to take this risk.

Application process

Could you follow in Scott's footsteps and make Scotland proud again at #CLP20? If you’ve got an idea with positive climate impacts and the potential to go stratospheric, submit your idea by Friday 5 June.

To enter the competition, budding inventors and entrepreneurs simply have to submit an idea or innovation that is tacking climate change.

Those selected to join ClimateLaunchpad will get dedicated support to fast track their idea into a business, overcome challenges and secure funding.

After taking part in a Boot Camp online with ECCI and coaching sessions to develop their idea into a rock-solid business plan, participants will get the chance to pitch this idea during the National Final, also hosted online by ECCI, later this year.

The top three winners of each national competition will go on to compete in the worldwide Grand Final with prize money of up to €10,000 for the overall winner.