Startups Have Recognized the Importance of Climate Action


Startups Have Recognized the Importance of Climate Action

Seedstars Global

MAY 18, 2021

Climate change shouldn’t be a question of believing in it or not. Just by turning on the news, we can see natural disasters and extreme weather conditions causing havoc in many parts of the world- from Australian bushfires, floods in Indonesia, to hurricanes in Central America.

Even with a worldwide pandemic significantly lowering CO2 emissions it is clear that this isn’t a long term solution. However, it showed what power humanity has in tackling this issue, if we work together with corporations and governments. A single person switching to reusable cutlery or driving an electric car isn’t going to do much, but raising collective awareness will start to undo the unprecedented damage that has been done by human activity since the mid-20th century.

Entrepreneurs from many emerging markets have already started working on technological solutions to issues connected to or caused by climate change. The population of these countries is predicted to be disproportionately impacted by the rising temperatures, draughts, extinction of species etc. Not only are these markets less able to afford the consequences of climate changes, but they are limited in their ability to prevent them as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised concerns about the impacts of climate change on countries with weak healthcare systems, as malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress alone could cause around 250,000 additional deaths per year between the years 2030 and 2050.

Entrepreneurship, technology and innovation have key roles in climate action

Seedstars believes the combination of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship must play a leading role in developing solutions to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. We are, thus, committed to supporting entrepreneurs who are working on tackling one of the hardest challenges of our day and age. Even as consumers are getting more familiar with sustainability and are requesting action from larger players, startups working in CleanTech are struggling to raise capital needed for scaling up.

After heavily investing, and ultimately, losing a lot of money in technology focused on the environment in the early 2000s, VCs are reluctant to invest. The total funding of CleanTech startups has been decreasing over the last decade, with around $6.6. billion invested in 2018. However, as fears of climate change grow, corporate investors and governments alike have recognized the urgency of the situation. We can no longer afford to passively watch as our planet deteriorates because of human activities. Startups working on CO2 emission are just a small part of the community of entrepreneurs fighting climate change. Others work on solutions in waste management, green transportation, clean energy and agriculture, which is the largest consumer of freshwater and arable land in the world.

Our own efforts in going greener are not limited to just supporting startups, but also running our programs more sustainably, building greener innovation ecosystems, and elevating the cause and the entrepreneurs working on it. To further our impact, we work with public and private organizations to support their collaboration with entrepreneurs tackling their climate related issues. Together with the UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and SAFEEM we have hosted the Youth Climate Innovation Lab Demo Day where eleven selected startups specializing in a variety of sectors related to climate action pitched their solution. All of the pitches are available here.

We are also collaborating with ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business idea competition. They are currently running in 55 countries around the world on a mission to unlock CleanTech potential. The competition creates a stage for ideas addressing climate change and offers support from partners around the globe, world-class training, coaching and a vast network. Applications for the 2021 competition are open to startups with innovative ideas in renewable energy, a sustainable transition in the food chain, a mind shift in urban mobility or any other focused on climate change.

The Climate Action Prize goes to Serbia

During last year’s Finale of the Seedstars World Competition, we have awarded the Land Restoration Prize in partnership with the DOEN Foundation, which was focused on solutions in the land restoration and land degradation space. Three selected startups received 1:1 mentorship throughout the Investment Readiness Program and the winner of the Prize- Zafree Papers closed a significant round of funding.

This year’s Prize is on a slightly broader topic of Climate Action, and there have been several startups throughout all stages of the competition presenting solutions oriented towards mitigation of climate change. Here are just a few:

  • Diyalo Technologies Pvt. Ltd: Is a startup that is transforming the wash sector by building IOT enabled solutions to ensure quality water, sustainable water production & transparency.
  • MapMy Apple: Is a startup that predicts pests and diseases in apple orchards to save money by optimizing the number of spraying activities.
  • Mruna: Is a startup that harnesses the power of nature and a suite of internet-connected devices to revolutionize the wastewater sector.
  • Akyas: Is a startup that aims to revolutionize the concept of the toilet in the modern world, whether it is for an emergency context or for urban sitting.

These are just some solutions from our vast network of startups, but because climate change doesn’t have a clear-cut solution, startups are working in sectors that couldn’t be more different such as sustainable fashion and waste management. The winner of the Climate Action Prize, MapMy Apple has created an app that acts as a personal horticultural consultant for growers. They look after orchards 24/7 and provide prognosis of diseases and pests and create optimal spraying programs which could save growers a significant amount of money and therefore help small and medium apple producers to avoid risks connected to agriculture. They have pitched their solution during the CEE Regional Finals which are available to watch here.

Climate change will surely continue to be an important topic of discussion in both the entrepreneurship and the global community. Find out more about what to expect in the startup ecosystems in terms of climate action by registering for the Grand Finale on May 20th at 2 pm CEST.

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