World : Helping the tough to get going

Smart and green energy solutions are the focus of many of the entrepreneurs taking part in the US programme.

Smart and renewable energy ventures are among those taking part in the US’ inaugural Unreasonable Impact programme this month.

The programme is the product of a partnership between Barclays and the Unreasonable Group, which aims to help entrepreneurs that have the potential to solve some of the toughest environmental and societal problems to scale-up their companies. The programme’s mission is also to help those burgeoning companies who collectively may one day generate thousands of jobs on the frontier of the green economy.

Those being mentored across an intensive two-week period include a venture which offers distributed energy generation systems through low-cost durable wind turbines and solar energy streetlights, and another that uses algorithms and big data to democratise air quality data for the masses. Innovations also include an adaptable intelligent window that uses technology to reduce electricity consumption.

Not all the entrepreneurs are focused on energy with one venture producing snacks from what it describes as the “most water-efficient” sustainable protein on the planet: crickets. Another transforms trash from the poorest communities into a responsible fabric.

Mentors on the programme include Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capital Solutions and Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, Tom Chi,co-founder of Google Glass and Google’s self-driving car, and Steven Berkenfeld, managing director at Barclays, among many others.

“Within the next four years, it is estimated that we will need 212 million new jobs to accommodate current unemployment and projected job loss due to new industries,” said Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group. “By partnering with Barclays to support entrepreneurs who have developed scalable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, we will not only scale up technologies that address significant societal and environmental issues, but we will in turn be accelerating the creation of millions of new jobs.”

The programme is taking place 70 miles outside of New York City at Cedar Lakes Estate and will include two exhibition events in New York City where entrepreneurs will showcase their innovations.

The first Unreasonable Impact accelerator programme took place in the UK and Singapore will host the next one in April 2017.


Source :

Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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