The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is open for entries, seeking CO2-reducing business ideas from start-up entrepreneurs. The winner of the international competition will receive euro 500.000 ($680,000 USD) to develop and bring to market his or her product or service. The organization will also award euro 200.000 (roughly $272,000 USD) to one or two runners-up.
Entrants can submit their business plans at www.greenchallenge.info through June 3, 2014. The jurors will choose the winner on September 11 at an event in Amsterdam. This is the eighth year that the Dutch Postcode Lottery has staged the competition. For a chance to win, submitted products or services must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be capable of going to market within two years.
The United States has been well represented over the years with multiple winners and finalists. U.S. entrepreneur Ginger Dosier won the euro 500.000 grand prize in 2013 for her revolutionary brick production process. Her company, BioMason, offers a clean alternative to the existing process, which generates massive emissions worldwide. In 2008, Eben Bayer of New York won the euro 500.000 grand prize for developing a plastics alternative from agricultural waste and the roots of mushrooms. Using this material, his company, Ecovative, produces packaging and building materials for companies such as SteelCase and Dell. Additional U.S. and global finalists have submitted business plans ranging from renewable energy innovations to breakthroughs in sustainable materials.
“The fundamental problem is an entrepreneurial, disorganized, undercapitalized opportunity competing against a highly organized, overcapitalized, old-energy economy that still has many, many people in its grip,” said President Clinton at the Postcode Lottery’s 2006 World Meeting in a speech that helped inspire the organization’s annual challenge.
Supporter Sir Richard Branson also noted the importance of developing a venture capital environment wherein entrepreneurs are better able to source funding to tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges – climate change.
“People aren’t going to stop consuming,” said Branson. “Instead, we must offer the consumer a green alternative to bring climate change to a halt. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about stimulating the development of these alternatives.”
To enter, entrepreneurs can submit their detailed business plans via the website until June 3 at 5:59 a.m. ET (11:59 a.m. CEST). Entries are judged through an intensive deliberation process by a renowned group of global jurors.
“[We are] looking forward to judging new brilliant ideas this year,” said United States jury member Marty Pickett. “Every year, the quality of entries improves and the decision gets more difficult. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge gives products or services that can create real change every possible chance of success.”
The jury will select five to seven finalists in August. On September 11 in Amsterdam, the finalists will present their plans before the jury, public and press.
Entrepreneurs are urged to enter today by visiting www.greenchallenge.info.