ClimateLaunchpad*, the world’s largest green business ideas competition, held its 7th successful edition of the Global Grand Final from September 30th to October 2nd — an event showcasing the year’s best green startups. This year, the Global Grand Final was hosted entirely virtually for the first time ever, making it accessible to all and unconstrained by timezones, travel, or CO2 (and, thus, greener than ever, to find the silver lining of COVID-era events).
In his opening statements for the virtual event, the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said the climate crisis is the defining task of our generation, and that there is no time for short-term fixes. “Investing in green growth pays back and will help to build back better.” He highlights the urgency around the work ClimateLaunchpad is doing, which includes an online learning curriculum and a full training program, beyond the annual green business ideas competition.
There were 8 categories this year: Resilient Regions, Climate-Friendly Food, Healthy Clean Cities, Circular Economies, Clean Energy Systems, Sustainable Mobility, Cleantech, and The Next Big Thing. More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 56 countries participated in the 2020 competition, with 3 big winners rising to the top. These startups were chosen as the best suited to achieve ClimateLaunchpad’s mission of unlocking the world’s cleantech potential to address climate change.
The grand prize winner is a startup called Cassetex, which is a solar-powered battery swapping service for electric three-wheelers in Bangladesh, serving as a last-mile transport option. The Cassetex team hopes to transition more than one million vehicles and save 0.47 megatons of CO2 per year, helping them solve some of transportation’s critical challenges in Bangladesh. We’re definitely on board with that goal.
Gopal Kumar Mohoto, the co-founder and CTO of Cassetex, said, “Being amongst the top startups in the world is a tremendous recognition for Cassetex and Bangladesh. The transport sector is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and one of the toughest sectors to bring change to. We are humbled by this award.”
Runner-up Sosei, from Uruguay, is a company that provides customized solutions to help farmers and agricultural companies ease into regenerative agriculture while optimizing profits and minimizing risks.
In third place comes Carbon Craft Design, a Mumbai-based design and material innovation startup building architectural and interior products by upcycling carbon emissions.
More recognized startups from the Global Grand Final are listed here.
Narrowed down from 68 regional and national finalists, these 3 top companies were chosen by a combination of expertise an international jury that looked at the business potential of the finalists’ ideas, as well as the social impact, job creation, and climate impact, along with a public vote. The top winners received financial support to take their startups to the next level and continue making a difference on crucial climate change–related issues with their innovations.
EIT Climate-KIC’s CEO Kirsten Dunlop says, “The competition shows how many entrepreneurs have the expertise, the ingenuity, and the dedication to help us tackle the biggest climate challenges. ClimateLaunchpad offers green entrepreneurs from all around the world the chance to transform their best ideas into a company, a product, and jobs for people in their community.”
The larger goal is figuring out how to harness the power of technology, systems innovation, and entrepreneurship to accelerate the green recovery. With the support of organizations like ClimateLaunchpad, eco-minded innovators are doing just that. We look forward to watching the winners of the Global Grand Final flourish and seeing what they accomplish as part of ClimateLaunchpad’s successful alumni community.
*This article is supported by ClimateLaunchpad.