Why climate tech founders should apply for Net Zero 2.0 today

Kane Fulton, June 22, 2021 3 min read

Climate tech is playing a big role in tackling the climate crisis, and the sector needs support. To succeed, climate tech scaleups require long-term investment, access to world-leading talent, insight, expertise, and cross-sector collaboration.

The critical challenge facing the UK is that companies driving towards net-zero need to scale further and faster than any other technology before. Forty per cent of emission reductions rely on technologies not yet commercially deployed on a mass-market scale.

The good news is that the time is right to shine a light on climate tech scaleups in the country. With COP26 being hosted in the UK this year, there will be more of a focus than ever on British sustainable innovation.

Earth-sized ambitions

We are inviting ambitious climate tech scaleups to apply for our Net Zero 2.0 growth programme, which succeeds our inaugural net zero programme that launched last year.

Net Zero 2.0 provides successful applicants with unparalleled access to long-term investment opportunities; insights and education; access to talent and a platform with which to influence green policies and create the optimum conditions for growth.

The programme’s scale coaches will help climate tech scaleups with everything from product/market fit, R&D, the need for patient capital, and talent and skills. Support will also be provided in navigating fragmented regulatory markets, which are specific to the sector.

These focus areas will seek to serve founders while supporting the growth of the sector by bringing together specialists across the climate tech ecosystem to unlock these key insights and pathways to scale.

Following a blueprint

The programme seeks to build on Net Zero 1.0, which ran for six months and was the first government-backed programme to help accelerate the growth of the UK’s most promising climate tech scaleups driving global emissions reduction.

We are the only government-backed organisation providing this specialist support to climate tech founders and building net-zero clusters to fuel knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

The growth of our first Net Zero cohort has been truly impressive. Overall investment has increased from £87.8m to £131.2m, while the average headcount has increased by 50%.

Sammy Fry, Net Zero Lead at Tech Nation, said that the inaugural programme “set a great blueprint” for what a successful net-zero programme looks like, which will benefit companies joining our second cohort.

“The key learning that emerged from Net Zero 1.0 was that climate tech founders require specialist support,” he says. “They must essentially create the rule book at the same time as executing it.”

What our alumni founders say

Our Net Zero 1.0 alumni company founders benefitted from being part of the programme in numerous ways – from learning from and sharing challenges with their peers to acquiring advice on specific subject areas such as managing investors.

Below, our alumni founders describe the experience of taking part in Net Zero 1.0.

Jevan Nagarajah, cofounder and CEO at Better Dairy

“Net Zero 1.0 far exceeded my expectations. The quality of speakers leading sessions and the calibre of the other cohort members were both high. The Net Zero team also remained heavily engaged throughout the program enabling us to really maximise the experience and get the most out of the program.”

Jo Hand, cofounder at Giki

“We had some excellent sessions on lots of different issues. Probably the most relevant for us was international growth. Sessions on launching in the USA and some excellent advice for launching in Australia have been invaluable. We also received some excellent advice on government engagement.”

Claire Rampen, cofounder at Reath

“The Net Zero team’s support of us was excellent; they brokered every introduction we asked for, and put us in front of high-profile PR opportunities regularly.”

Veera Johnson, cofounder at Circulor

“From start to finish the programme was highly focused on the key topics and themes that were matched to the needs of Circulor as it laid the foundations for its future growth.”

Olly Jones, cofounder at Elmo

“Learning from and sharing challenges with the other founders on the cohort was one of the most valuable parts of the experience; and it was fantastic to be included in the cohort alongside some truly extraordinary companies and entrepreneurs.”