Ed note: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge
If you’re not familiar with the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s Green Challenge, you’ll be impressed to know that it’s among the largest and longest running sustainable business plan competitions in the world. The goal of the contest is to bring smart and innovative green products and services to the mass market and thereby help combat climate change. If you have a written business plan for a product or service that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a way to bring it to market within two years, then you’re an ideal candidate for the €500,000 grand prize (that’s $680,000).
But there’s a catch – the deadline is coming up quickly on June 3.
Now it its eighth year, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is open for sustainable startups from all over the world. Over the past seven years the Green Challenge has helped to advance numerous valuable, innovative green ideas — you could be next. This year U.S. and global finalists are urged to submit their business plans, ranging from renewable energy innovations to breakthroughs in sustainable materials.
Need some inspiration? Learn from past years’ winners.
Ginger Dosier won last year’s prize. Her company bioMASON ‘grows’ bricks for use in building construction. American Molly Morse won the 2012 grand prize for Mango Materials, a company that uses bacteria to turn methane into biodegradable plastic. In 2010, Scot Frank won for his low-priced, multi-purpose portable solar collector Solsource. And back in 2008, Eben Bayer of the United States won for his natural insulation material @Mushroom Materials.
To be eligible for the Green Challenge, a product or service must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and it should be possible to be in the market within two years. Entry is free of charge but requires a detailed business plan and elevator pitch. You have until midnight (central Europe time) on June 3 to complete your entry. (More details here).
The grand prize winner will receive €500,000 to help bring his or her plan to the market. An additional €200,000 ($272,000 USD) will go to one or two runners-up. The entries will be judged through an intensive deliberation by a renowned group of global jurors who will look for products and services that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle, directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and score highly on convenience, quality and design. The jury will select five to seven finalists in August which will be announced on www.greenchallenge.info, Twitter and Facebook and on September 11 each finalist will present their plans an event in Amsterdam.