The fifth annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge opens today. The organisers of this international competition welcome ideas for sustainable, creative and innovative products and services. The best business plan will win a €500,000 prize, with an additional €200,000 going to one or two other promising entries. The winning inventions must reduce CO2 output and be realisable within two years. Entries can be submitted at www.greenchallenge.info through Friday 29 July.
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, an initiative of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, calls on creative, innovative thinkers around the world to submit ideas for green products and services. Entries that reduce CO2 emissions and score highly on design, user-friendliness and quality have a shot at the prize.
Entrants are asked to submit detailed business plans. An expert preliminary jury will assess the entries’ viability and select five to seven finalists after 29 July. The finalists will present their ideas before an international jury of experts and an audience of invited guests on 14 and 15 September at the multimedia conference PICNIC ‘11 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. After the presentations and private interviews with the finalists, the jury will choose the winner and one or two runners-up.
The Green Challenge finalist presentations and award ceremony have taken place at PICNIC every year since the competition began in 2007.
Past winners have enjoyed success with innovative products, thanks in part to publicity and contacts gained through the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Last year, the American Scot Frank won for his low-priced, multi-purpose portable solar collector SolSource. In 2009, Briton Dean Gregory took the prize with The Power Collective’s near-invisible rooftop wind turbines. In 2008, Eben Bayer of the United States won for his natural insulation material Greensulate. And Dutchman Igor Kluin’s Qbox, a device that helps to enable decentralised energy production, took the prize at the first Challenge in 2007.
For more information on the Green Challenge, see www.greenchallenge.info.
Supporters of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge:
Bill Clinton: “I’m pleased that the Dutch Postcode Lottery has launched the Green Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs to develop new ways to fight one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change.’
Sir Richard Branson (2007 Green Challenge juror): “People aren’t going to stop consuming. 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. The large number of entries demonstrates that awareness of the need to change and the willingness to do something about it are felt worldwide.”
Niklas Zennström (2009 Green Challenge juror): “As an entrepreneur, I know how profoundly new ideas can affect the way we live and do business. Not only is this prize an important step in recognising a promising solution for fighting climate change, it provides the winner with essential money and the contacts he or she needs to be successful and help make the world a better place for all of us.”
To provide extra support to sustainable entrepreneurs, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has started The Green Challenge Blog. Bloggers from all over the world report on their efforts to bring sustainable products and services to market. The blog team includes past Postcode Lottery Green Challenge participants.