What do we expect of entrepreneurs taking part in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge? We are often asked questions about our entry form: What kind of questions do you ask? How many questions are there? Do I have to complete them all? Why do you want to see an elevator pitch? Do you have a Word-document with all the questions?

Igor Kluin was the first winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2007. He invented the energy monitor and router Qbox and founded the company Qurrent. After seven successful years with Qurrent, Igor is currently busy with his next start-up adventure, Monyq, an app aiming to upturn the traditional banking world.

Companies no longer need to make a strong business case for investing in CSR. Instead, CSR has become a starting point and more companies are developing around it.

Jos Reinhoudt, Senior Knowledge Manager for MVO Nederland on CSR practices, storytelling, authenticity and real values.

We try to keep up with most of our former finalists. Here, we caught up with Ginger when she stopped by our office in Amsterdam and asked how she and her company bioMASON have been since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2013.

What are the general trends regarding sustainable entrepreneurship and start-ups? What areas or issues do you anticipate will become the future focus for green businesses?
We asked Jos Reinhoudt, Senior Knowledge Manager at MVO Nederland and Councillor for the Green Party in Nijmegen, to share his insights with us on these questions:

You had a great idea, you put the idea to paper, you set the wheels in motion, you found some good people to work with you, maybe you already have a working prototype. But how can you take the next step? Where can you find the funding that you need to bring your idea to market?

Business today is filled with examples of case studies and best practices, which are designed to draw lessons from success stories and help others apply those lessons into their own work. But what about the lessons we can learn from people’s mistakes?

11 September 2014: The champagne bottles are empty, the victory speech has been held and congratulations have been exchanged.

For the 2014 finalists, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge did not end at the award ceremony though. Besides the newfound attention and opportunities that the biggest international competition for green innovation brings to Green Challenge finalists in general, they were all given the opportunity to take part in an intense 10-day program at Rockstart to help them get their business to the next level and overcome their most important challenge.

Ask not: Can this product be built? Instead, ask: Should this product be built? and Can we build a sustainable business around this? Or as Eric Ries, founder of the Lean Startup, puts it: “It’s not about making stuff efficiently, but efficiently figuring out which stuff to make.”