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.

“For us, it was one of the only challenge that identified precisely with our message and goals for the future.”

Year on year, Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge attracts some of the brightest minds and most in-novative solutions to sustainability. 2018 was no different, with US-based biomaterials company AlgiKnit taking home a €100,000 finalists prize. Focused on the future of fashion with durable yet quickly degradable yarns made from kelp, the start-up recently announced a $2.2 million investment from Horizon Ventures and SOSV. Here, co-founder and Director of Innovations, Tessa Callaghan, talks future plans and the team’s competition experience.

2016 marked another fantastic year for Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Among the five finalists was Ioniqa Technologies, a Dutch company focused on creating value from waste and in particular, developing Magnetic Smart Materials for recycling any kind of PET to produce ‘virgin’ raw materials. We caught up with co-founder and CEO, Tonnis Hooghoudt to find out what’s changed for the firm since their Postcode Lottery Green Challenge adventure.

Green City Solutions from Berlin is a start-up company that has developed the world’s first bio-tech filter to quantifiably improve air quality. We talked to founder ZhengLiang Wu to catch up on how the company is doing since participating in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2016, when the company was runner-up and took home the prize money of €200,000.

In this series we want to highlight some of our scouting partners who have been of great value in finding the brightest start-up talents from all around the globe. Leading start-up hubs, accelerator programs and entrepreneurship competitions shared their enormous worldwide networks with us. In this episode: GreenMomentum, a market intelligence firm focused on the Latin American cleantech industries. We talked to Rafael Carmona, founding partner, about how entrepreneurship and innovation can accelerate economic development opportunities.

In this series we want to highlight some of our scouting partners who have been of great value in finding the brightest start-up talents from all around the globe. Leading start-up hubs, accelerator programmes and entrepreneurship competitions have shared their enormous worldwide networks with us. In this episode we focus on Intellecap, the advisory arm of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group. We talked to Kanika Kumar from Mumbai, Associate Vice President, about their entrepreneurship-based approach towards development.

The Amsterdam-based start-up The Great Bubble Barrier is the winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2018. During the final, 29-year-old Anne Marieke Eveleens convinced the international jury that her “Bubble Barrier”, a revolutionary air bubble curtain that combats the plastic soup in our oceans was the winner. As the winner, Anne Marieke and her team will receive a cheque of EUR 500,000 to further develop their green innovation.

The Westergasfabriek, once the place where gas was produced from coal for the city lighting of Amsterdam, is investing heavily in sustainable redevelopment. The organisation has been working for some time to make this transformation from 'old' to 'new' energy and to take all possible steps to make the area completely sustainable. The goal is to be fully climate neutral by 2025. The organisation challenges suppliers, partners and event organisers to follow suit. The final of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge takes place in the Gasholder for years and we are proud to host it in an ever-increasingly sustainable location.

Duncan Stutterheim, founder of ID&T and sustainable entrepreneur, is the newest member of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Jury. We talked to him about how he incorporates environmental building into his real estate ventures in the city, such as ADAM Tower and the former regasification plant Westergasfabriek, and his views on sustainability in daily life.