Climate Launchpad is a world-wide competition for climate innovation. Each local organiser selects and trains the entrepreneurs with the best ideas and the winners get a chance to compete at the global grand final, where winners receive a monetary award. The participants are often young and inexperienced in terms of business creation but, if they have a good idea, they get access to mentoring and funding opportunities. Successful ideas have then gone through an accelerator programme offered by the same organisation and have managed to be sustainable businesses.

The competition has no prerequisites on the skills or experience of the participants, or even the development of the business ideas. The only thing you need is a good idea – this is ideal for unemployed youth that hasn’t gotten the opportunity or the financial support to start something on their own. Competences such as business model generation, patenting, talking to investors, how to make a good pitch, and other business-related skills are provided to the participants as part of the programme. Moreover, regardless of the outcome of the final global competition, the best ideas at the local level get access to an accelerator programme to advance their business idea and access more funding.

One of the main barriers is the lack of entrepreneurial culture, especially in islands, since economies of scale and the cost of transport haven’t historically helped the sector. However, with more and more success stories emerging, more people are interested and open to trying to develop their own ideas for business.

The Climate Launchpad competition has started in 2014 in Cyprus. Since then dozens of start-ups have gone through the programme, many of them continuing through stage 2 and 3 of the Accelerator programme Chrysalis LEAP is running. From there, some start-ups have actually managed to enter the international market as well.

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