Amazon delivers support to sustainability startups via accelerator initiative

19 March 2024 by Acre
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​Entrepreneurs providing climate solutions are to receive support through Amazon’s sustainability initiative.

The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator 2024 is now open for new applications. It steers innovators through the challenges of starting and scaling a sustainable business. The programme combines in-person and virtual workshops run by experts in startup growth and climate innovation, with a tailored curriculum, specialised mentorship and access to a network of entrepreneurs in the sustainability sector.

It is open to innovative startup companies from the UK, the European Economic Area and Switzerland, with in-person sessions to be held in London with an allowance for travel and expenses (virtual options are also available).

Now in its third year, the scheme runs in conjunction with EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation agency, and innovation strategy consultants Founders Intelligence (part of Accenture).

Who can apply and what are the benefits?

Last year, applications were welcomed from climate-tech firms offering consumer products and recycling technologies while this year’s programme also includes two more categories: packaging and energy in buildings.

The programme, which launched in 2022, has supported more than 25 startups across the UK and Europe, provided over $1million in grants and credits, helped those businesses increase sales by 700 per cent and raise more than £16million.

What do the experts say about this opportunity for startups?
Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate KIC, said: "This year’s Accelerator broadens its scope to encompass startups dedicated to decarbonisation, circularity, and resilient value chains.

“This expansion reflects the need to accelerate a fundamental shift in sustainable business practices and in lifestyles that use less energy, resources and materials, reaffirming our commitment to fostering impact-driven entrepreneurship for a just, climate-resilient, beautiful future for all.”

Zak Watts, Amazon’s Director of Sustainability in Europe, said: “Our aim is for the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator to be the best place in the world for entrepreneurs to create cutting-edge sustainable products and technologies, and we want to help them reach their dream of building a business with unicorn potential.”

Jacopo Cesari, Research Consultant at Acre Europe, said: “This programme provides a golden opportunity for startups to receive the right level of support to build a successful, sustainable and resilient business, with the added bonus of a gateway to a strong sustainability network.

“Startups across the UK and Europe will covet this Amazon initiative to showcase their sustainable innovations and continue to focus on being a force for good, with backing from experts in the sustainability space to accelerate tangible results.

“It is another positive step in the right direction for Amazon, as the company continues its sustainability journey.”

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