FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Have a look at the most frequently asked questions about the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge.

What is the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge?

The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is an annual international competition that rewards British, Dutch, German, Norwegian and Swedish start-ups (countries where Postcode Lotteries are located)) that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity. The jury looks for innovative business plans that contribute to a more sustainable planet.

Everything we do for a better world at the Postcode Lotteries is made possible thanks to our 13 million players. Starting this anniversary year, we are therefore specifically looking for sustainable innovations or solutions that our players can relate to, which they can use in daily life and/or that can be made into a consumer product.

Our preliminary jury will select one finalist per country in which the lottery is located in. The winner receives €500,000 to further develop their service or product and bring it to market within the next two year. The runner-up will receive €200,000. The other three finalists will receive €100,000 each. On top of the prize money, all finalists will receive six months of expert coaching. No shares, no returns, just support!

What is the timeline of the competition?

Companies and businesses from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway or Sweden can submit their sustainable business plans from 1 March 2021, until 15 April 2021 12:00 CEST (noon), at www.greenchallenge.info. The preliminary jury will then select the applications that may proceed to the next stage, at which point a fuller application form will be submitted. These start-ups will be informed mid-May and will have 2 weeks to complete the full application. By the end of July, the organization will announce the 25 nominees who are in the running towards becoming a finalist. Five finalists, one per country, will then be selected for the final round of the competition, where they will present their business plan in front of the Final Jury.

Why is the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge organised?

Climate change presents us with a pressing global challenge. The world needs help embracing a more sustainable way of life, and one bright idea can make a big difference. We started the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge to promote the invention of great new green products and services. Businesses that are ready to speed up the transition towards a low carbon economy. The answers to the issues of our time are already in front of us, but it takes entrepreneurs like the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge finalists to present us with sustainable solutions and get them out into the world. The competition aims to support these entrepreneurial green start-ups that are often undercapitalised.

By mid-May, the preliminary jury will inform the selected start-ups that proceed to the next round and are invited to complete their application. These start-ups will have 2 weeks to complete the full application.

At the end of July, the preliminary jury will announce the 25 nominees on our website.

In September, we will announce which 5 five start-ups per country will go through to the final. These five finalists will be invited to pitch their plan before an internationally acclaimed jury.

Who can apply?
  • You are an innovative entrepreneur located in Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway or Sweden (countries where Postcode Lotteries are located) with an idea to tackle climate change
  • You have a proven business plan to execute your idea
  • You have a product or service that contributes to a more sustainable planet
  • Your product or service should be developed enough to be executed and brought to market within two years
  • You are able to pitch your business plan in English

Everything we do for a better world at the Postcode Lotteries is made possible thanks to our 13 million players. Starting this anniversary year, we are therefore specifically looking for sustainable innovations or solutions that our players can relate to, which they can use in daily life and/or that can be made into a consumer product.

To find out if your start-up meets our requirements, you can have a look at our entry criteria.

What does the entry form look like?

During the first stage of the application procedure you will have to provide a description of the problem which your business is tackling, your solution, your USP, a pitch video and your financial projections. If you make it to the second round, by mid-May we will ask you to fill in a more extended entry form before 31 May 2021 12:00 CEST (noon). If you’d like to know more about the questions you will have to answer, please click the link below.

Example entry form

What do the finalists of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge win?

The five finalists of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge win a minimum of €100,000, the runner-up receives €200,000 and the winner takes the grand prize of €500,000. But it takes more than prize money alone to become successful and create impact. On behalf of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, Rockstart, a company that supports and empowers startups, organises a tailored accelerator programme lasting several months for the five finalists: the Green Challenge DeepDive. The programme is aimed at identifying the start-ups’ biggest challenges and providing them with mentorship and valuable connections to become investor ready.

Can I enroll the competition with a service or platform?

We're looking for the best idea to combat climate change. This can be a product, service or platform. If you have any doubts if you can enter our competition with your business plan, please email helpdesk@greenchallenge.info.

Where will the final take place?

At the end of this year the five finalists will pitch their plans in front of the international jury. At this point, the location and form of the final of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is still unclear.

What does the jury look for?

The jury looks for a combination of entrepreneurship, innovation and of course sustainability. Your plan should be developed enough to be executed and brought to market within 2 years. Besides these criteria, the jury will also rate factors as communication potential, courageousness and creativity.

Everything we do for a better world at the Postcode Lotteries is made possible thanks to our 13 million players. Starting this anniversary year, we are therefore specifically looking for sustainable innovations or solutions that our players can relate to, which they can use in daily life and/or that can be made into a consumer product.

Tip: Make sure you create an impressive elevator pitch, stating who you are, who is in your team, what your business is, and why you are the one to make this a success. Good luck!

Whose initiative is the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge?

The Postcode Lotteries organise the annual competition. In 1989, the Dutch Postcode Lottery was started to work towards a greener, fairer world by supporting charities in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2005, the format of the Postcode Lottery has also been operating in Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, and since 2018 in Norway, where the People’s Postcode Lottery, Svenska PostkodLotteriet, the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie and Norsk PostkodeLotteri respectively raise funds for good causes. Novamedia/Postcode Lotteries is the third largest private charity donor in the world.

Who are the juries?

All the Entries of the second stage will be reviewed, and judged by the preliminary jury . They will select 25 nominees by the end of June. The five finalists will be announced in September. The international jury will select a winner and a runner-up during the final.

All juries can be found on: www.greenchallenge.info/info/juries

Who were last year's finalists?

You can find the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge finalists from last year here

What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for submitting your entry for the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2021 is 15 April 2021 12:00 CEST (noon).

What happens to the ideas that don't win?

The team behind the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is in touch with a number of organisations that are interested in helping to realise ideas that don't win. The entry form allows you to grant permission to these parties to contact you directly. The purpose of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is to encourage people to think about products and services that can make the planet greener. We hope many of these ideas will be realised – not just the ones that win the prizes!

What is the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge Fund?

The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge Fund, established by the DOEN Foundation, aims to support former finalists of the competition. For start-ups, funding is often necessary to achieve further growth. Promising business plans of former finalists that have the potential to develop further are eligible for further investment. For more information check the Green Challenge Fund page on our website.

When will the entry period for the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2021 open?

The entry period for the next edition of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is open from 1 March 2021. So are you an entrepreneur with an innovative, green business plan that contributes towards a more sustainable planet? Then mark your calendar and write down to sign up your business plan on www.greenchallenge.info.

Can I enter the competition with a NGO or nonprofit organisation?

Our competition is in search of the best solutions that contribute towards a more sustainable planet from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway or Sweden. For example: stopping plastic pollution, reducing food waste or fighting climate change by reducing co2 emissions. An NGO or nonprofit organization can enroll in our competition as well as businesses. If you are unsure whether there is a good fit between your business plan and the competition, send an email to helpdesk@greenchallenge.info.

Can I participate in your competition without a prototype model?

We’re in search for the best innovative, green and scalable businesses from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway or Sweden. Please have a look at our winners from the previous years. Click here for an overview. Most winners already existed for quite some time and have a prototype or MVP (Minimal Viable Product). If you are unsure whether there is a good fit between your business plan and the competition, send an email to helpdesk@greenchallenge.info.

Do you have any tips for making a successful pitch video?

A pitch video is one of the required elements to participate in the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge. We're not looking for the best-looking clip; we're looking for a good pitch and a clear view of your company. We want to see the person behind the business. For a good pitch video, it is important to keep it as short as possible. Introduce yourself and the story behind your product. Show the problem you are committed to solve, how you propose to do that, and who will benefit. Please don't forget to tell us how the price money will help you make more impact.

Read the following article for more tips for a successful video: https://www.greenchallenge.info/articles/news/making-a-winning-pitch-video-5-tips-for-success

Should my company be incorporated?

It’s not necessary to be a registered company. However, if you do look at our winners from the previous years they were incorporated and did have a prototype. More specific, there should be a legal entity. We won’t give prize money to individuals.

Why did the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge change from a worldwide competition to a competition only open for start-ups from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden/Norway and Great Britain?

After 13 editions of the worldwide competition, we have changed the format as of 2020. We want to focus on green start-ups that are working out of one of the five countries where there is a Postcode Lottery operating. We have been receiving a great number of qualified entries from these five countries over the years, and we are confident to find 25 promising nominees and five great finalists.  As the number of entries has grown immensely over the years, we have introduced a two-step application procedure in order to be as time efficient as possible for both the applicants and the jury.

Further questions?

If you have any further questions, please send it to the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge team using our helpdesk form. Contact us.