How the Nordic countries are tackling climate change

Our competition has been running on a global scale for several years in a row now. Being the curious lot we are, we figured it is time to take a closer look at regional differences. What does it take to create impact with a cleantech start-up on one continent or the other? What success stories can be shared from across the globe? In this first article of a series we take a deep dive in the Nordic countries.

Ever since our first edition in 2014, Nordic countries have been part of our competition. Hundreds of participants trained in our Boot Camps and competed during National Finals and dozens of them made it to our Global Finals.

Steady recruitment by our Nordic local partners among students, PHD’s and early stage start-up communities always results in solid amounts of applications. We also see a good deal of participants coming in through our sister programmes Greenhouse and Climathon.

We see many of our alumni continue to grow their ventures after ClimateLaunchpad. Some enrol in incubation or acceleration programmes, like the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator. Others find their way to market and funding on their own. The list of successful Nordic start-ups that started out at ClimateLaunchpad is growing and starting to change the way the region is embracing sustainable solutions.

Here are just a few examples of alumni that are creating real impact:

Mimbly was founded by a group of students at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017. They develop sustainable laundry solutions and created a system for home use that reduces water usage by 90% and energy usage by 30%, while effectively blocking microplastics from getting into the water. Mimbly has been awarded the SKAPA Prize founded in memory of Alfred Nobel. More about Mimbly.

Another Nordic front-runner is Aqua Robur. This 2015 ClimateLaunchpad participant won the prestigious Horizon Prize worth $2,000,000. This prize, launched by European Commission, “aims to find solutions that can detect water leakages in the grid without being dependent on external power supplies.” Aqua Robur developed The Fenix Hub, which is a self-powered device ‘that utilises energy from the water flow in network pipes to produce electricity, thus making it an eternal battery.”

And just last year we saw Danish Blue Lobster make it to the global top-16 during our Grand Final and win a spot in the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator. We will keep an eye out for the future successes of this start-up that brings fresh, sustainable seafood to everyone’s table by simplifying the way it is bought and sold.

This is the full list of all our Nordic alumni that entered the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator and that are still working hard on their business:

SolarSack – Bringing safe and affordable drinking water to the world
Pesitho – Off-grid clean cooking with ECOCA e-cooker.
The Apple Girl – We turn Apples into a vegan option for Leather
Swedish Algae Factory – Advanced materials from algae
Epishine – Harvesting light to create a sustainable world
Aqua Robur – Monitoring of water pipelines
Mimbly – Changing the way we use water
Modvion – Modular wind power towers in composite materials
Mycorena – Fungi-based Alternative Protein for the Food Industry
TotalCtrl – Gain control over your store’s inventory
Sensero – Software Solutions for the Energy Systems of the Future
InvertaPro – Insects for a circular economy

These start-ups benefit from the training, support and funding the Accelerator has to offer and are seriously kicking a dent in climate change. But not all success  is created equal, we also have alumni who venture out on their own after competing in our competition.

Take Rens from Finland, for example, they took all they learned during ClimateLaunchpad in 2018 to build and grow their business without joining any acceleration programme. They are the creators of the eco-friendly and super comfortable sneakers made out of coffee grounds and recycled plastic. They have already funded, produced and shipped their first batches of sneakers in 2019 after an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign. Thousands of happy customers around the globe are now proud owners of fully sustainable sneakers. A second round of production is currently in full swing and a new version of the shoe offers additional features. Read their success story here.

Interesting bonus reads:

Mimbly – the journey from early stage idea to successful start-up

Aqua Robur secures horizon prize for zero power water monitoring/

Danish start-up challenge makes the fishing industry local again

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