The best early stage tech startups from across the UK revealed in Tech Nation’s final Rising Stars competition
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We are excited to announce Tech Nation’s newest growth programme – Net Zero X, launched in collaboration with PwC – is open for applications.
While our original Net Zero programme continues to focus on supporting early-stage climate tech startups at a crucial stage of their growth, Net Zero X has been designed specifically for the UK’s leading later-stage climate tech scaleups.
Net Zero X aims to futureproof the UK’s climate tech sector by reducing the climate tech carbon funding gap, countering the climate tech ‘valley of death’ experienced by many R&D-intensive companies due to longer times before commercialisation. The programme supports the growth of high emissions reduction potential (ERP) companies, primarily in hard-to-abate sectors, by connecting them to investors, corporates, partners, policy-makers and other stakeholders. This will help shape the ecosystem that founders need to succeed.
Leo Johnson, head of disruption and innovation at PwC UK, said: “If bending the emissions arc is a global imperative, then one lever we’ve got to pull, and pull hard, is climate tech – unlocking a startup ecosystem that has the potential to decarbonise hard to abate sectors at speed and scale. The UK has emerged as a leading global climate tech centre and Net Zero X has got a simple goal: to harness this talent and connect these high impact startups with the capital, know-how and market they need to deliver on their full potential.”
Up to 20 companies will be selected onto the programme and, over 6 months, these companies will be helped to tackle sector and stage-specific challenges through sessions delivered by expert scale coaches and entrepreneurs. Founders and their leadership teams accepted onto the programme will benefit from both Tech Nation and PwC’s expertise, investor networks and mentorship.
Sammy Fry, Net Zero and Net Zero X programme lead, said: “As the need to address the climate crisis becomes ever-more apparent, I am excited to be announcing the launch of Net Zero X this year. The new programme will support the UK’s leading, high-impact climate tech companies to accelerate the UK’s goal to drive down global emissions and ‘futureproof’ the climate tech industry. We will be reducing the carbon funding gap, countering the climate tech ‘valley of death’ and supporting the UK’s most impactful climate tech companies to scale, while educating the market and creating a thriving climate tech landscape to scale down global emissions.”
In its State of Climate Tech 2021 Report, PwC found that only 25% of total funding raised in climate tech is being channelled into the technologies that hold 81% of the emissions reduction potential (ERP).
Many high-impact technologies are not obtaining the crucial funding they need to scale, which is slowing down the UK’s push towards net zero.
Through Net Zero X, Tech Nation will continue to accelerate global decarbonisation and help the UK reach net zero by 2050.
Net Zero X will build on the success of the Net Zero programme, which saw its first cohort of companies increase their funding by £5mn since joining, and its second and most recent cohort of companies increase their funding by £3.8mn over the last 6 months. In total, climate tech companies in the first cohort (Net Zero 1.0) have almost doubled their total investment (from £88mn to £154mn) since joining the programme, while climate tech companies in the second and most recent cohort have more than doubled their total investment (from £55mn to £123mn) since joining Net Zero 2.0.
Jo Parker-Swift, CEO and co-founder of Solivus (Net Zero 2.0 programme alumni), said: “Being part of Tech Nation’s Net Zero 2.0 cohort not only gave us access to a community of like-minded peers, but it helped put us on the map. It was a huge moment of recognition and celebration for our team. We were part of a group of climate tech companies invited to Glasgow during COP26 and since joining the programme, we have successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign, securing £2.4 million to scale our thin-film solar solutions for both commercial and domestic customers. We have featured in many leading publications – and being selected for Tech Nation’s Net Zero 2.0 absolutely contributed to establishing our credibility as an ambitious and innovative tech scaleup.”
To qualify for the programme, companies must:
Companies that are chosen to join the six-month programmes will benefit from over 60 hours of support, including access to tailored coaching sessions with industry experts, and extensive networking opportunities.
Applications for Net Zero X will be open from today (16th May 2021), alongside Tech Nation’s 6 other sector and growth programmes (Upscale, Future Fifty, Libra, Applied AI, Fintech and Net Zero).
Submit your application here.Applications will close on the 28th June. There will be a month-long judging period before successful applicants are notified and onboarded in August. The programme will commence in September.
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