Start-up scout Linda Vermaat of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge reaches all corners of the globe to promote our sustainable competition. She has some recommendations for any green initiative to improve their entry and impress the jury. Learn from her insights and find out why it is a great idea to submit your proposal for the 2018 edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

What is your absolute hot tip for start-ups who want to impress the jury?
“Foremost, I would say that any start-up that wants to enter the competition has to emphasize their CO2 reduction. That is what the jury will pay most attention to. Even if your idea is about much more than that, for example, also about improving the health of many, or lifting people out of poverty, still put the CO2 reduction first. Also, find a great way to highlight that potential impact, use vivid examples to better bring your intended impact across.”

Is competing in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge an all or nothing chance?
“No, not at all. Actually, you have five chances of winning prize money. There is the grand prize of €500,000, another one of €200,000 and three prizes of €100,000. So, if you become one of the five finalists you will win at least an amount of €100,000! The prize is supposed to enable market entry of an investor ready business plan. Show us that your company and plan are mature enough to take the next step, and at the same time need this investment to be able to do so.”

What, besides the prize money, is the main benefit of competing in this global competition?
“The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is one of the most important sustainable competitions worldwide. We collaborate with many other international competitions and trustworthy partners to reach start-ups across the globe and source the best potential participants. The screening of the submissions is incredibly thorough. People know that. Investors know that. If you become a finalist in this competition, or even one of the 25 nominees, it has tremendous effect on your next funding round, the expansion of your network, the possibility to attract high quality people, etc. It creates trust for others to invest in your business model. It functions as a stamp of recognition.”

Is there another reason why start-ups should definitely participate in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge?
“Yes, there is. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge really wants its finalists to succeed in their business endeavour. They receive extensive pitch training in the days before the final, to get their story straight and bring it across in the best way possible. Apart from that, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge created tailored business coaching together with Rockstart. Every finalist is followed for about six months. Coaches with targeted expertise are connected to the finalists. These experts also visit the start-ups in their working environments to see and reflect on the actual action. All of this is aimed at bringing the sustainable ideas to market and let the start-ups succeed in making an impact.”