On the 8th of August, we organised the National Final of the ClimateLaunchpad Moldova competition. The sixth edition of this annual pitching event gave the startup teams, whom we had trained and coached via the digital Boot Camp and the following six training sessions during the last two month, the opportunity to put all the accumulated entrepreneurial knowledge and developed skills into practice and to present their green business ideas before a professional jury. Furthermore, the National Final represented an open door to the Regional and Global Grand Final of the ClimateLaunchpad competition to those teams, who had succeeded in convincing the jury about the market potential, job creation potential, technology or innovation potential, team strength, and climate-change-mitigation impact of their ideas.
Certainly, the National Final, just like all other events of ClimateLaunchpad Moldova this year, happened in an ‘online mode’. This obviously created higher dependence on technologies and their ‘caprices’. To adapt to the situation and to minimize possible technical challenges, we had slightly changed the format of pitching: instead of doing live presentations, the participating teams had to record their five-minute pitches on video beforehand. We had then shown the recorded pitches during the event for the judges to watch them and to determine three national winners based upon those videos. Nevertheless, the three-minute Q&A sessions after each video-pitch were still done live with the teams answering jury’s questions directly.
Talking about the participating teams, in this sixth edition of ClimateLaunchpad Moldova, five environment-oriented startups had reached the National Final and had qualified to present their offerings and potential at the event. These startups included:
- Compost Energy (former Marinoff Cardaslar), which recycles manure from animal farms and sells both organic fertilizer and biogas-based energy
- Ecotreatment (former Eichhotreatment), which offers effective and environmentally friendly solution for cleaning bodies of water from toxins by using a special plant species
- HomeGrown, which produces and sells self-watering and adjustable indoor plant-growing kits made out of recycled plastic and designed for in-house organic gardening
- SaverConsumer, which provides a web platform and an online marketplace connecting producers of environmentally friendly and sustainable goods with consumers willing to purchase them
- VegoMix, which sells dried fruits that are prepared, packaged, and delivered to customers in an environmentally friendly way.
These startup teams and their pitches were being judged by a highly professional jury with experience in both entrepreneurship and environment, including climate change mitigation. Members of the jury this year have included:
- Maria Tarigradean from Moldova, national assistant in the Shared Environmental Information System (ENI SEIS) project of the European Environment Agency and former national lead of ClimateLaunchpad Moldova
- Mihaela Radu from Moldova, sales manager at Wordminds and former director of Dreamups Innovation Campus
- Ivan Low from Australia, lawyer, policy adviser, and business strategy adviser at MEGA.
After watching all video-pitches and clarifying certain aspects of the presented business ideas with their founders during Q&A sessions, the jury decided upon the three national winners. These became HomeGrown, Ecotreatment, and Compost Energy. We congratulate these teams for successful demonstration of the viability and business potential of their ideas and for winning ClimateLaunchpad Moldova this year.
However, the ClimateLaunchpad journey has not yet ended for these successful startup teams. Now, together with our coaches, we started preparing them for the next ‘level’ of the competition, the Regional Final, which is set to happen on the 17th and 18th of September this year. There the startups will join other national winners from Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia to compete for the spots on the online ‘stage’ of the ClimateLaunchpad Global Grand Final. And it is really worth striving to reach that final challenge, since the winners of the Global Grand Final receive not only quite generous cash prizes, but are also offered places in the Climate-KIC accelerator.
Until then, we are going to continue supporting our startup teams and getting them into shape for high-level pitching at the Regional Final through additional coaching sessions and advanced workshops within the GreenTech Rangers programme. Stay tuned for further updates about the journey of this year’s national winners towards greatness and success!
GreenTech Rangers and ClimateLaunchpad Moldova are organized by MEGA and Generator Hub and supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).