Why we invest in sustainable start-ups

A growing number of investors recognise the value of sustainable business. The global challenge of climate change undeniably poses an immense threat, however clever entrepreneurs are finding ways to turn climate risk into business opportunities. At a recent event in Oslo, we spoke to some of the early movers among green investors, who extend an open invitation for others to follow suit.

The inevitability of climate change makes the case for tackling issues head-on compelling to early-mover businesses. However, a new breed of entrepreneurs is currently emerging – one that goes beyond “tackling”, but rather embraces climate change issues and risks to the extent that their value offering directly targets climate change adaptation or mitigation.

Many of these entrepreneurs have entered the EIT Climate-KIC start-up accelerator, where they receive first-class coaching, training and financial support to professionalise and scale their business. They moreover enter a European-wide community of change makers – people who collectively possess the means to make the required shift to increased sustainability happen across industry and national borders. 

The pioneers

At a recent breakfast event during Oslo Innovation Week, investors and start-ups in the greentech, cleantech and sustainability space met. We spoke to Susanne Gløersen, who has been working within the field of sustainable investments for many years:

“Investing in cleantech and green capital is crucial to enable the necessary transition to a more sustainable low-carbon economy and society. Moreover, companies deliver solutions that directly or indirectly address global sustainability problems represent clear growth cases. Investors who want to make smart, profitable and resilient investments onwards need to look to investment cases that somehow tap into sustainability issues and -solutions.”

A call to investors

Several of the speakers at the Investor Breakfast called for the investor community to open their eyes to the many high potential investment prospects that emerge out of EU- and other publicly backed entrepreneurship programmes.

Jørn-Lein Mathisen from Business Angels Norway furthermore hailed the many positive aspects of being an active angel investor:

“Why become an angel investor? Because you learn a lot every day and it’s fun!”

Susanne Gløersen believes there is a need for more knowledge and a competence lift for investors to become more active in the cleantech and greentech areas:

“Some investors still carry the outdated view that all forms of investments linked to “green” are unprofitable and too volatile. We need to eradicate those misconceptions.”

Meet Europe’s Top 30 Cleantech Start-ups at Slush

Are you an investor looking to meet some of the most promising entrepreneurs and teams within cleantech, greentech and sustainable business? EIT Climate-KIC is bringing Europe’s Top 30 Cleantech Start-ups to Slush in Helsinki in November. Come by our stand or sign up for our Climate Impact Battle on 5 December (sign up page forthcoming).

 
Location
Norway
Articles you may be interested in
In Detail
Municipality-led circular economy case studies from EIT Climate-KIC and part...

How can cities create prosperity for expanding populations whose rates of consumption are increasing, while strengthening the systemic change that supports waste and resource management?...

Municipality-led circular economy case studies from EIT Climate-KIC and partners
In Detail
Transformative change through innovation: An analysis of the role of innovat...

One of the areas with significant potential to reduce carbon emissions is the energy sector, including the transition away from coal. It is, and...

Transformative change through innovation: An analysis of the role of innovation in five transition regions
In The News
COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation
In The News
COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement
Opinion
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
In The News
COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions
In Detail
DLT for climate action assessment

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a myriad of milestones that have put the vision of a prosperous, climate-resilient society on...

DLT for climate action assessment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters project—which aims to accelerate innovation clusters...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES
Opinion
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
Sandra Vlašić, Partnerships, Resources and Stories Terra Hub
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
In our community
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
In The News
How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches

Why integrated landscape approaches matter and how to unlock...

How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches
In The News
Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported...

Last month (October 2018) in Vienna, Austria, 32 start-ups...

Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported by EIT Climate-KIC
In The News
City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sust...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sustainable cities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emis...

As an active member of the community working to...

EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emissions reduction
Opinion
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
Dr. Harald Rauter Regional Innovation Lead, Climate-KIC
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
In The News
Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched

The EU-backed Mission Innovation initiative has launched a framework...

Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched
In The News
Can self-reporting be effective for investors?

Most climate and ESG data is self-reported – can...

Can self-reporting be effective for investors?
In The News
Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital

Decision-makers with responsibility for capital need to make bold,...

Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital
In The News
No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option

Only a fraction of global climate finance is reaching...

No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option
In The News
Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?
In The News
Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap

Financing climate adaptation took centre-stage at Day 2 of...

Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap
In Detail
Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 util...

CO2 utilisation technologies, also known as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) or CO2 re-use, capture CO2 and convert it into new products or services....

Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 utilisation
In The News
Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions

EIT Climate-KIC and partners recently launched the Re-Industrialise programme,...

Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions
In Detail
Reframing our current approach to urban transformations

EIT Climate-KIC gathered the outputs and lessons-learned from an urban transformations community workshop in Malaga, which saw more than 100 city leaders and teams...

Reframing our current approach to urban transformations
Opinion
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Opinion
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are ...
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are investors in the dark on climate risks?
In The News
Gaining a better understanding of climate risk

The roadblocks that stand in the way of companies...

Gaining a better understanding of climate risk
In The News
The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-re...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-reporting
In The News
A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure

If we want to keep on track with the...

A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure
In The News
Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C