Starting a new business is not "for kids". It takes a good dose of hard work, persistence, good timing and a little luck too. But, as they say, those who take no chances will never know the taste of the reward in the end. That is why we need innovators and brilliant minds at the table, with the necessary will and determination to help us face one of the greatest challenges of our time: the climate crisis.
Do you have an innovative cleantech idea that can make a difference in the environment? Are you looking for the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and start your business from scratch? Read on to discover some tips on how to launch your idea, and how we can invest in your success while investing in the Planet too.
Tip #1 - Solve a real problem
Finding your purpose is important to a company's success. It’s a kind of internal mission statement. A commitment that will serve as an engine to propel you forward and prevent you from straying from your purpose. Think: what would make you happy and motivated to get out of bed every day?
Once you find your purpose, it is essential that you align it with a real problem in society. Something that needs an answer or solution. Whether in the area of food security, reducing CO2, saving water... It helps to think about the challenges faced by people, companies, ecosystems, communities, among others. You can do research, getting in touch with other people, looking for what already exists or what has failed in the past, or you can even cling to your own experiences. The most important thing is that your product is a solution. Something that will make a difference for someone, and for the Planet’s well-being.
Tip #2 - Create enabling technology
You don't always need to invent something that doesn
't exist for your solution to be innovative. For example, the invention of the internal combustion engine gave rise to the car, but the automobile era would not have existed if we were to stop there. It was Henry Ford's production process and the construction of infrastructure (roads, gas stations, among others) that made the difference. In other words, for progress to be viable, it must be part of an interdependent system. Think: How will my innovative solution be part of / contribute to a system?
Tip #3 - Find the help needed
During the development of a CleanTech startup, or any other startup, you probably won't have all the answers, and this is normal. The good thing is that other people can get the answer you need. Finding good mentors in your area and available to give you honest feedback will be a key element to take you further and, above all, to stay alert and not make unnecessary mistakes.
"One of the highlights we like the most I would say is the mentoring sessions. It is the most crucial for us: to check our product and to think" what kind of story are we going to tell to our investors? " - Iwa Pawlak, COO and Founder at Smart Forest (Participant of BGI Accelerator 2019 edition)
To find the right mentors, sometimes you just think about your network. Entrepreneurial friends, college colleagues, a family friend you admire, among others. But if you don't have anyone to advise you in the vicinity, we are able to help you with that.
At BGI, we are excited to boost innovation in sectors contributing to a net-zero carbon economy and resilient societies by providing tailored support and training to startups in Portugal.
For this reason, we implemented the MED ClimAccelerator program, supported by the EIT Climate-KIC, the largest network of CleanTech and Sustainability companies and institutions within the EU. This program aims to accelerate sustainable startups in 3 stages, and entrepreneurs who successfully complete each of the 3 phases, will receive a prize of 25,000 euros. More information is available here.
One application. One Tree. A better planet.
Climate resilience needs roots. So we decided to take care of that!
For every application we get to MED ClimAccelerator we will plant a tree. So, your idea can contribute to improving the world more than you think! A single tree can sequester a half a ton of CO2 over its 100 year lifetime. Apply for the program here, become a successful entrepreneur and help us mitigate our carbon footprint for a healthier planet!
Cleantech startups can solve climate change!