Impact Venture Builder supports innovative ideas that reduce climate impacts

Caroline Wendt
June 17, 2019

In spring 2019, a new initiative has emerged within Lund's innovation system. It’s the Impact Venture Builder initiated by the company Cleantech Scandinavia and partners, such as the French energy utility EDF, with the ambition of lifting ideas that meet the climate change challenges in areas such as mobility, energy, water and circular economy. "We bring relevant actors together to support the development of climate smart ideas as a common responsibility. Breaking silos and following a collaborative approach could be a really good way to optimize a typical innovation journey", says Charlotte Jost, project manager at Cleantech Scandinavia.

One of the foundations of the Impact Venture Builder is to make innovation initiatives have more success and greater impact. It’s a way to focus the resources to improve the lives and wellbeing of people everywhere, in order to solve the magnitude of the climate change challenge. Therefore, Cleantech Scandinavia in collaboration with the global energy utility Électricité de France (EDF) and other partners, initiated a new way to work in an end-to-end innovation process which is open to various types of partners and covers the whole innovation journey, from ideation to market growth.

- The idea is to bring innovative ideas to the market in a collaborative way. First, we are collecting ideas in the field through our contacts with researchers and with the help of our partners, such as Venture Lab, Sten K Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship and others, says Charlotte Jost. Then the best ones are chosen and matched with talents to build diverse start-up teams that develop them further with the support of the network. We are looking for customer-focused ideas that have a positive impact on the environment and may be related to the following areas: Mobility, energy, waste, water, material, circular economy, recycling and consumption behaviour.

The Impact Venture Builder joins forces with a network of universities, innovation hubs, cities, industry actors and investors to optimize each step of the innovation journey and bring smart products and services to the market in a faster, more efficient and successful way.

- In this end-to-end innovation process we like to include relevant actors really early in order to secure support for the idea development, for example through access to testbeds or expertise, says Charlotte.

Cleantech Scandinavia works closely with Valery Prunier from EDF, a global energy group fostering innovation to support the global energy transition. When Valery Prunier was in Lund in the autumn of 2018, he explained how EDF started Innovation EDF in 2009, which has since then met and evaluated over 5,000 start-ups.

- In the work we have learned that it is important to transform especially the teams so that they become more innovative, said Valery Prunier.

Valery Prunier.

The team behind the Impact Venture Builder will work both locally and internationally.

- The idea is that the new start-up teams gather in Lund to develop a few chosen ideas further. Companies and public entities who support this can be from Lund - but they don’t have to. We are going to make use of the international network we already have at Cleantech Scandinavia but also welcome new actors that have an interest in being part of this new process, says Charlotte.

Charlotte Jost has a background with studies both in business and sustainability.

- I am driven by finding great innovations that have a positive impact on the environment. For me personally, working in the Cleantech Scandinavia team is a great way to engage in the business world while keeping the sustainability perspective. I think that especially big corporations have the responsibility to actively support the development and implementation of smart solutions and new business models for a more sustainable future. The Impact Venture Builder can be a great way to achieve this by engaging them in an early stage of a classical start-up innovation journey.

Ideas in the field of mobility, energy, waste, water, materials, circular economy, recycling and consumption behaviour can be submitted until mid-September here. After that, a call for talents will be published in autumn to create project teams that work on the chosen ideas for six months, starting in December 2019.

Get in contact with the team.

Read more about the Impact Venture Builder.

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