ECCI is on the hunt for a new batch of Scottish entrepreneurs eager to take their markets by storm, as it opens its EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator for applications today.
The recruitment drive is part of ECCI’s partnership with EIT Climate-KIC - Europe’s largest climate entrepreneurship programme - which aims to get low carbon start-ups investment-ready. The deadline for submissions is Friday 29 May 2020.
The renowned Accelerator programme, which gives low carbon start-ups the funding, tools and coaching they need to grow into great businesses, is being adapted to meet the challenges of COVID-19, switching coaching and mentoring sessions online while restrictions are in place.
Stage 1 and 2 of the programme, which comes with up to €5000, helps companies find their market niche, figure out how to make money, understand their target audience and scale up.
Innovating for a new economy
The world is changing and support for a green recovery will be at the heart of Scotland’s ‘new normal’. While current circumstances may be difficult and uncertain, the Accelerator programme can help businesses adapt and access opportunities that will help deliver a fair and sustainable future.
ECCI’s Head of Innovation and Skills Jamie Brogan said: “We’re having to do things differently this year but ultimately the aims of ECCI’s Accelerator remain the same - we want to bring together a group of like-minded entrepreneurs that can help build a sustainable, better future.
“While working remotely presents challenges for us all, it also creates opportunities - we’d really like to encourage applications from all over Scotland to join this year’s programme and share their unique ideas and insights with those in other parts of the country.”
Since launching in 2017 ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator businesses have secured more than £1.75m worth of investments, won more than 50 awards and made a significant contribution to reducing Scotland's carbon emissions.
In 2019 ECCI supported 10 new recruits though the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, with innovations ranging from a waste-reducing reusable menstrual pad, to a unique solar thermal collector capable of converting solar radiation directly into heat and Scotland’s first seagrass restoration company focused on revitalising Scotland’s rapidly reducing natural carbon sink.
2019 success stories include low carbon technology start-up Waterwhelm, who won a string of awards and accolades while progressing through stages 1 and 2 - from a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship and Young EDGE Award, to being shortlisted in the MSDUK Innovation Challenge and securing a SMART Feasibility grant from Scottish Enterprise to build their first plant.
Founding Director of Waterwhelm Alireza Abbassi Monjezi said: "The Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI has significantly improved Waterwhelm’s proposition and we look forward to building on this momentum and speeding up commercialisation of our technology in order to make clean water available and affordable for all."
2017 Accelerator participant Stephanie Terreni Brown, Managing Director of Clean Water Wave said: “The programme really helped Clean Water Wave go from being an idea to being a big step closer to a dream realised. In the short time of the programme, we incorporated as a company, developed our business model (an ongoing and evolving process!), and attracted funding so we can pilot our project.”
Have you got a business idea that could help build a green recovery?
Find out more and apply by Friday 29 May 2020.
Last week ECCI opened the ClimateLaunchpad green business competition – with cash prizes of up to €10,000 – for applications in Scotland. To enter the competition, budding inventors and entrepreneurs simply have to submit an idea or innovation that is tackling climate change. Unlike the Accelerator, ideas can be at a very early stage and come from individuals and teams right at the start of their entrepreneur journey.