As any burgeoning start-up will attest, a fantastic product or idea is one thing - but it’s securing investment that can really make or break entrepreneurial success. With a portfolio spanning 65 equity investments and convertible loans, as well as 12 fund investments, DOEN Participaties (Ventures) is the biggest impact investor for sustainable and socially inclusive start-ups in the Netherlands. The investment arm of DOEN Foundation, a key partner of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, it furthers the Foundation’s core goals.

This year, Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge was delighted to team up with tech and innovation platform, The Next Web. Innovation Program Manager, Gianluca Bellan, took time out from preparing for the company’s calendar highlight, the annual TNW Conference, taking place in Amsterdam 9 -10 May, to discuss how the challenge helps start-ups focus on growth - and why building a network matters.

The DOEN Foundation has been an important partner of Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge since the competition's launch in 2007. DOEN plays an essential role in selecting which start-ups have the potential to really make a difference. Also, the organisation holds and releases prize money to finalists.

Want to get a head start on our entry form? Join our 30 minutes online meetup with our start-up scout Linda Vermaat. During this session you will get to know more about our green business competition. We will also reserve plenty of time for all your questions. Want to take this opportunity?

In 2017, Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge awarded a total of one million euros to five fantastic start-ups worldwide. In particular, it was our very great pleasure to meet Thomas Brorsen Pedersen, CEO and founder of biomaterials firm, pond. Its bioresin systems replaces crude oil in the production of plastics for compostable, durable solutions made from natural fibres such as flax, hemp, or textile waste.

Imagine, someone gave you half a million euros to scale up a business to make our world better. That is the prize money for the winner of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge. Linda Vermaat has been a startup scout for the competition for many years. She reveals who should definitely apply, what makes a winner and why all participants benefit.

Starting 1 March, green start-ups from all over the world can sign up for the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge. The competition has expanded to become one of the largest annual sustainability competitions in the world. There is a total of €1 million in combined prize money for the five best start-ups, of which €500,000 is for the winner. In addition to the prize money, all finalists will receive over six months of expert coaching to optimise their business opportunities. With this international competition, the Postcode Lotteries are helping start-ups from around the world to bring their innovations to market. Business plans can be submitted via until 1 May 2019.

“As a start-up, we always have to focus… it's a constant fight not to go too wide too fast.”

Stakeholders can only do their bit for sustainability if they first understand the issues at stake. That's the rationale behind Reverse Resources, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform aimed at tracking and tracing textile production waste, and encouraging brands to buy leftover materials to produce new garments. Founded by Ann Runnel in 2014, the start-up recently scooped €200,000 of funding as runner-up in Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2018 edition. Here, Ann talks about the impact of the start-up pitch competition, and what 2019 has in store.