A new accelerator programme for Irish businesses which aims to address climate change through innovation has been announced. Over €400,000 has been pledged to the EIT Climate-KIC Dublin Accelerator programme for 2018, which will Irish entrepreneurs and start-ups to progress products and services that can help to fight climate change and decarbonise the economy. A total of €350,000 is being made available by EIT Climate-KIC, with €50,000 from AIB, to run the Dublin Accelerator programme, which is being managed by Sustainable Nation Ireland on behalf of EIT Climate-KIC in Ireland.
AIB and EIT Climate-KIC made the announcement as part of the Year of Sustainable Business 2018, a year of climate-linked finance events and initiatives overseen by Sustainable Nation Ireland. Sustainable Nation is the national platform for the promotion of Ireland as a hub for sustainable finance, business and innovation. The Year of Sustainable Business includes 50 separate events taking place across Ireland, including the Climate Innovation Summit.
With a specific focus on supporting breakthrough innovations in climate innovation and finance, the 18-month accelerator programme will provide business coaches and mentors, as well as the benefits of access to the EIT Climate-KIC European community network. Irish companies that have already benefited from being put through the accelerator include Hexafly and Mimergy, which together raised more than €2 million in 2017.
By the end of 2018, EIT Climate-KIC will have invested €1.6 million into Ireland via Sustainable Nation Ireland. Under programmes including Accelerator, EIT Climate-KIC support has enabled Sustainable Nation to support 88 ideation and early-stage companies, providing direct and indirect grants, mentoring, network and de-risking support.
Commenting on the news, EIT Climate-KIC chief executive, Kirsten Dunlop, said: “The Irish transition to a low-carbon economy is gathering pace. To get to where we need to, as quickly as we need to, depends on a shared commitment to action across the public and private sector. We are delighted to be working with AIB and Sustainable Nation on our Accelerator programme, supporting a new generation of Irish entrepreneurs.”
Pictured above: Stephen Nolan, CEO, Sustainable Nation; Kirsten Dunlop, CEO, EIT Climate-Kic; Colin Hunt, Managing Director, Wholesale, Institutional & Corporate Banking, AIB; and Aideen O’Hora, Director, Sustainable Nation Ireland
Image by: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic