SmartUp Accelerator - Innovation Ecosystem to foster consumer cleantech markets in the Baltic Sea Region
There is a growing interest in consumer clean technology, which is about reducing the environmental burden of consumption and is related to resource scarcity, rising energy and fuel costs, digitalisation and automatisation. The project helps exploit arising business opportunities in consumer clean technology for small and medium sized enterprises, start-ups and intermediaries in the Baltic Sea region by shaping models for networking, partnerships and cultural cooperation.
Cleantech traditionally springs from innovations in the industry sector. Recently, cleantech start-ups also began to emerge in the consumer market. The growth logic of cleantech companies is changing: more and more companies start addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by resource scarcity, rising energy and fuel costs, digitalisation, automatisation and user-centred design. This is called consumer cleantech.
Strengthening innovation capacity
The project addresses innovation actors in order to strengthen their innovation capacity in consumer cleantech: to help them identify brilliant ideas, and foster teams committed to creating new businesses and reducing the environmental burden of consumption. This is done by transnational training programmes and supporting activities, such as testbeds.
The project triggers networking and cooperation, training programmes for intermediaries, small and medium sized enterprises and start-ups. It creates strategic and operational partnerships between organisations and stakeholders, and strengthens knowledge and awareness of consumer cleantech within the innovation and investor scene. All this is being gathered within a model called SmartUp Accelerator.
The SmartUp Accelerator
The SmartUp Accelerator project launches a transnational consumer cleantech innovation ecosystem driving the Baltic Sea region’s level strategic and operative partnerships and new commercialised innovations. This in turn shall create success stories on the EU and global consumer cleantech markets, leading to increased prosperity, well-being and sustainability around the Baltic Sea region.
Highlights by mid-term:
The project organised two accelerator programmes (out of the planned three ones) supporting consumer cleantech small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups in their internationalisation. The topic for the first programme was smart homes and living, and for the second one – smart mobility. For each of the accelerator programme, one SME or start-up representing each partner country – Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Germany and Poland, got accepted by the project partners and took part in the two-day boot camp. The selected SMEs and start-ups received support from international mentors and local partners from each involved country on market-specific insights to develop growth-hacking strategies to reach new markets around the Baltic Sea.
As a result of the first acceleration programme, one finalist of the competition – Finnish smart home start-up that offers a service that improves indoor comfort with stable heating, decided to enter the Polish market with its product and started negotiations of the pilot agreement with one of the Polish corporation.
Some of the participants of the second acceleration programme took part in Latvia StartUp Day 2019, an event uniting policymakers, start-ups and corporations. Among other things, speed dating with investors was an opportunity for them to practice new skills gained during the boot-camp and meet people from related industries.
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Jenny Schmitz Jakobsson
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