The ‘biggest international sustainable entrepreneurship competition’ is underway! The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is open to entrepreneurs and businesses who have a product or service which reduces CO2 emissions. Now in its 10th year, this annual business plan competition for eco-entrepreneurs aims to promote a low carbon economy by supporting “sustainable innovation in the battle against climate change.”
London-based bio-bean Ltd, which recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels, won the top prize in 2014. Arthur Kay, Founder and CEO of bio-bean, said, “Winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge came at a vital point in bio-bean's growth and has been fundamental in making bio-bean a reality. I can't wait to see what this year's crop of low-carbon entrepreneurs deliver.”
Bio-bean has since partnered with Network Rail to collect coffee waste at Network Rail’s 6 largest stations to produce over 650 tons of biofuel, and won the inaugural Mayor of London’s inaugural Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award, enabling the company to grow their London operations to create enough biomass pellets to heat up to 15,000 homes.
Last year’s winner was Land Life Company, an organization that develops biodegradable tree incubators to help young trees survive in extremely dry climates, eliminating irrigation and maintenance in reforestation efforts. The money enabled the realisation of large-scale demonstration projects in Mexico, Spain and California.
This year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge winner will receive €500,000 to develop their business and bring their product or service to market within the next two years. €200,000 will be awarded to the runner-up. Entries are being accepted until June 1, 2016.
In July, the organization will announce the 25 nominees in the running towards becoming a finalist. From these nominees, 5 finalists will be selected in August for the final round of the competition, where they will pitch their business plans to an international panel of experts and selected audience during the grand final in Amsterdam on September 14. After the decision round, the judges will announce the winners.