The grand finale was earlier this week, where the Low Carbon Challenge celebrated another successful programme. Business, government and community leaders came together to hear each team pitch their funding campaigns.
It was standing room only at Wellington’s Deloitte Lounge as a diverse range of start-ups were showcased, including software for food co-ops, repurposed notebooks from business waste, a beekeeping collective for child wellbeing, and more.
Now in its third year, the Challenge is an accelerator programme helping ventures in energy, transport and waste minimisation scale up their impact in lowering carbon emissions. This is a partnership between Enspiral and Wellington City Council aimed at changing the way Wellingtonians live, move and grow.
The teams are now in need of your support. You could pledge to one of the four teams seeking to raise capital through PledgeMe, spread the word about a venture, offer industry support, or be a loyal customer and community member.
Throughout the Low Carbon Challenge, six teams were involved in workshops to validate their business models, collaborate with industry experts, receive feedback from mentors, and realise their emissions reduction potential.
Now, with validated business plans, teams are going public and want you to get on board.
City Councillor David Lee, who holds the Council’s Climate Change Portfolio, says: “The Council is happy to support the Low Carbon Challenge. It’s a way for us to foster Wellington’s innovative thinkers and encourage start-ups, as well as take steps towards becoming a low carbon capital.”
Deloitte’s Ian Fay was an advisor in this year’s Challenge. He believes innovation is central to sustainability and wants to support the next generation of environmentally conscious businesses.
“This year’s participants have structured their businesses and the customer experience to provide sustainable solutions to make impacts that matter,” Fay says.
Past participant Mevo has shown what is achievable in this space. Since taking part in last year’s Challenge it has become New Zealand’s first on-demand electric car sharing service, partnering with motoring giants Audi along the way.
Founder Erik Zydervelt recognises that relationships go a long way to succeeding in green innovation and highlights the invaluable connections they made from the Low Carbon Challenge.
“Working in the Challenge has certainly been a huge support in helping us step up to the plate,” he says.
Although the 2016 Low Carbon Challenge has wrapped up for another year, this is only the beginning for the teams who participated. There are many ways you can support them, either through pledged funding, industry support, or as a loyal customer and community member.
Each of the six Low Carbon Challenge teams is scaling up their operation in unique, sustainable ways, and five are launching PledgeMe campaigns. Be sure to look out for the awesome rewards and opportunities you can receive from getting on board.
- CoBuy - helping people buy good food at good prices, together.
- The Misprint Co - we make unique and good looking notebooks from your waste paper.
- Beeple Honey Collective - to enhance the wellbeing of communities by the action of preserving our bees.
- Kaicycle - minimising food waste by thinking global, acting local.
- Papertowns - zero waste designs. They make beautiful objects with maximum material efficiency.
- SpaceBetween - waste is design gone wrong. Providing ethical solutions to the high waste fashion industry.