On August 21, we hosted yet another National Final of the world’s leading green business ideas competition called ClimateLaunchpad. That was the third time we had done it. However, in terms of the entire “history” of ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova, that event was already the seventh edition of the National Final and the whole competition.
No doubt, organizing this edition was a challenge, since for the second time we had to do the Boot Camp and practically all trainings, workshops, and coaching sessions online via Zoom. Truth to say, that was quite tiring for both our participants and our trainers and mentors, who had begun experiencing “Zoom fatigue” since last year.
Nevertheless, the most proactive and committed teams had remained with us throughout the entire educational programme of ClimateLaunchpad and therefore received practical knowledge and valuable resources on how to build up a GreenTech / CleanTech / EcoTech startup. To be more specific, from our trainings and workshops the participating teams learnt how to do market research and experiments, how to find a suitable customer, how to conduct informative interviews with potential clients, how to formulate customer value proposition for their business ideas, how to present that value proposition and the whole idea in a pitch, and much more. In addition to all that, we highlighted the importance of the participants’ ideas to contribute to climate change mitigation (after all, the competition is called ClimateLaunchpad) and explained them how to quantify that contribution in greenhouse gas emissions reductions or other appropriate metrics.
Surely, the support we offered to our participating teams did not limit only to trainings and workshops. The startup teams also benefitted from a series of individual coaching and mentoring meetings, which helped their members to clarify certain aspects of their business ideas and resolve specific challenges faced. A number of meetings were dedicated to pitching practice, where the teams tried to deliver their startup pitches and the mentors gave them important feedback and valuable suggestions. Additionally, the participants received some useful books and tools about startup development, as well as access to our brand new online platform.
Indeed, at this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova we tested our newly developed GreenTech Rangers platform for constructing GreenTech / CleanTech / EcoTech startups online. Even though the platform was not completely ready and had a good number of limitations, we still offered it to our participants for them to document their thoughts and learnings and to assemble well-organized startup concepts out of that information. That also helped us to see how users react to different features of the platform, to identify problems and bugs in the functioning of our product, and to introduce the necessary fixes and modifications into it.
Truly, there were plenty of online activities and events in the seventh edition of ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova. To mix things up a bit and to allow our participants to enjoy some offline teamwork and networking, we did several trainings and mentoring sessions physically in the coworking space of our partner Generator Hub. The National Final also took place offline in that space, which was certainly appreciated by the teams.
As an outcome of that National Final, three startup teams were selected as the national winners of ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova.
One of these startups, Cosul Bun (in Romanian meaning “Good Basket”), sells textile products (carpets, rugs, tablecloths, etc.) made from collected and recycled / repurposed textile waste with the involvement of local socially vulnerable groups. The team demonstrated readiness and viability of this social business idea, as well as personal commitment to go forward with the business. Moreover, the team members had participated in Climathon Chisinau, an ideathon, which we had organized prior to ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova, and since then, had shown good progress in the development of Cosul Bun.
Another national winner, eTorba (in Romanian meaning “eBag”) offers mobile-application-based service for assisting restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets in selling their food products with short shelf life and at reduced price thus preventing generation of food waste and associated economic losses. This startup team impressed our jury with the entrepreneurial and environmental potential of its idea. In addition, the startup had all the necessary capacities and roles within the team in place.
Last but not least, NovaTerm presented how it offers B2C and B2B service of energy audit and provides efficient and effective energy solutions to households and businesses. This startup had the most appealing presentation with a well-done delivery of the pitch. Besides that, NovaTerm already had paying customers and therefore market validation of its offerings.
While the above-mentioned startup teams were surely happy and excited about their victory at the National Final, their journey in ClimateLaunchpad is not over yet. Next, the national winners will deliver their pitches at the Regional Final for Eastern Europe and Greater Middle East, which will happen on September 30, 2021. Besides our teams, there will be startups from Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates pitching there. We expect live transmission from the event to be available on the Regional Final webpage.
If our teams succeed at the Regional Final, then they will ascend to the final “level” in the ClimateLaunchpad competition: the Global Grand Final. This is where valuable prizes are won and real investment deals are made. The event is scheduled to happen on October 28 and 29, 2021. It will be possible to watch it live on the Global Grand Final website.
However, all that is in the future. Right now, we congratulate our national winners – Cosul Bun, eTorba, and NovaTerm – on their victory at the seventh edition of ClimateLaunchpad in Moldova. And we wish them great success in evolving their promising green business ideas further.
GreenTech Rangers and ClimateLaunchpad Moldova are organized by MEGA and Generator Hub. The seventh edition of the competition was financially supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Additional consultative, promotional, and technical support came from IXOBIT and VOX Marketing.