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Five top green entrepreneurs compete for €500k prize, winner to be chosen by panel led by Richard Branson

Date
02 September 2013
Five top green entrepreneurs compete for €500k prize, winner to be chosen by panel led by Richard Branson

LONDON: Five finalists have been chosen to compete in the final round of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013 to win €500,000 (US$660,800) towards their green business plans. The winner will be selected by an expert panel which includes billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

Green start-ups

In its 7th annual international competition, earlier this year the Dutch Postcode Lottery issued a worldwide call for inventions that reduce carbon emissions, to help green start-ups bring their innovative, sustainable products and services to market. This year, the jury received 311 green business plans from around the world.

The entrepreneurs picked to be finalists for Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013 are: Alison Greenlee, Ginger Dosier, Kavita Shukla, Patrick Heuts and Wolbert Allaart. They will present their ideas at the final on Monday September 16 in the Netherlands, to a jury which includes Sir Richard Branson, The Climate Group co-founder Jim Walker, and Steve Howard of IKEA. See the full expert judging panel.

Business potential

The jury will award the grand prize–intended to help the winner get their product to customers within two years–at the final, which takes place at the Westergasfabriek cultural complex in Amersterdam. One or two runners-up will receive €200,000 (US$264,320).

The finalists and their products are:

  • Wolbert Allaart - Ampyx Power: Allaart’s company’s glider, the PowerPlane, flies at high altitudes to harvest wind energy at a low cost. It captures stronger, more constant winds than a conventional turbine while producing a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Ginger Dosier - BioMason: Dosier’s company uses bacteria to “grow” bricks out of readily available materials such as sand without producing CO2. They compare favourably with traditional fired clay bricks, whose manufacturing releases copious greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Alison Greenlee - SachSiSolar: Greenlee’s company’s Clean Liner doubles productivity in solar panel manufacturing through preventing contamination of silicon wafer moulds. It lowers the cost of solar energy while cutting carbon output and waste by up to half.
  • Patrick Heuts - Oscillating Foil Development BV: Heuts’s company's propeller replacement, Ofoil, moves up and down like a dolphin’s flipper. Fitted to inland shipping vessels, its nature-inspired design cuts fuel use by up to half, slashing CO2 emissions accordingly.
  • Kavita Shukla - Fenugreen: Shukla’s company’s biodegradable FreshPaper is infused with spice extracts that keep produce fresh almost as long as refrigeration. A quarter of the world's food is lost to spoilage; FreshPaper could cut the resulting carbon pollution and waste of food waste.

Take part

Members of the public can also vote for their favourite finalists on Facebook from Monday 2 through Monday 16 September. At the final, the candidate with the most votes will receive a €5,000 cheque to spend on a workshop or conference of his or her choice. The Green Challenge will also distribute 10 copies of Richard Branson’s book Screw Business as Usual and 10 solar phone chargers among voters.

Read more about Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013

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Sir Richard Branson is looking for the next big green business

Mark Kenber in live broadcast: The UK is in a recession, yet its green economy has grown 5%

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