EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon search for climate tech start-ups to help solve the world’s most challenging sustainability issues

Monday 4 March 2024, London, UK: The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, opens for applications from Europe’s leading start-ups. Now in its third year, this year’s Accelerator will be run in partnership with innovation strategy consultants Founders Intelligence, part of Accenture. The expanded Accelerator is welcoming applications from climate-tech start-ups who are focused on building businesses in one of four categories: Consumer Products, Circular Economy, Energy in Buildings, and Packaging – a reflection of the growing sustainable start-up ecosystem.

The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator equips entrepreneurs with the skills and opportunities to grow their business and positively impact the environment. Since launching in 2022, the Accelerator has supported more than 25 start-ups across the UK and Europe, provided over US $1 million in grants and credits, and helped those businesses increase sales by 700 per cent and raise over £16 million to date.

Suri, UK based sustainable toothbrush company, is aiming to tackle plastic pollution with over 4 billion toothbrushes thrown away each year. The start-up was still in the concept stage when joining the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator allowing them to “increase our gross revenue to over £10 million in the last 12 months and provided us with unparalleled access to resources and expertise” according to Mark Rushmore, Co-Founder.

FUNQ‘, a manufacturer of natural superfruit syrup based in Germany and Spain, which was in the pre-production phase before its participation in the Accelerator last year, now has its syrups available in 1,600 stores in Germany and has raised over €2 million in capital. Founder Michael Schwarz said: “The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator 2023 has transformed FUNQ’ and fuelled our growth by bringing us together with other founders and coaches who are committed to developing more sustainable products.”

A newly expanded accelerator

Start-ups in this year’s Accelerator will work with experts in Amazon’s Sustainability, Climate Pledge Fund and Climate Pledge Friendly teams, attend workshops, receive mentorship, and benefit from a bespoke programme, designed to help founders navigate the challenges of starting and scaling a sustainable business. EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon will work in collaboration to guide Accelerator participants through a Climate Impact Assessment where they will learn how to self-assess their business’ climate impact, and develop strategies to improve their environmental footprint. Participants will also receive a grant and Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits.  

New for 2024, the ClimateTech Pilot Challenge will welcome start-ups who have moved beyond prototype testing and are working towards generating initial revenue and growing operations (Tech Readiness Level 6 and above). These businesses will participate in a shorter, intense four-week version of the Accelerator, and pitch for the chance to work on a pilot project directly with parts of Amazon’s business. A typical pilot for emerging technologies could earn them from $50,000 to $2 million, depending on duration and scope. 

Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive Officer, EIT Climate-KIC said: “This year’s Accelerator broadens its scope to encompass start-ups 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.”  

“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,” said Zak Watts, Amazon‘s Director of Sustainability in Europe. “I’m so excited we’re able to expand this year’s Accelerator into new categories and verticals, welcoming later stage start-ups into the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator program, to help supercharge their growth, and realise the potential of a more sustainable economy.” 

Ezra Konvitz, Director & Head of Accelerators, Founders Intelligence said: “Pioneering climate and sustainability entrepreneurs have a critical role to play in decarbonising the economy, but scale and access to markets remain big challenges. The valuable role major industry players like Amazon can have in overcoming these hurdles as partners and buyers of their emerging technologies and services is often overlooked. That is why Founders Intelligence is really excited to support in delivering an ambitious new Pilot Challenge with top founders ready to scale their businesses and impact alongside Amazon.”  

The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator is open to the following:   

  • Consumer Products: Early-stage start-ups developing sustainable and innovative physical consumer products that have recently launched or are on the cusp of go-to-market.
  • Circular Economy: Start-ups who are building solutions that extend the lifetime of products through reverse logistics, repair capabilities accessible to end users, and more. 
  • Energy in Buildings: Start-ups focused on helping buildings to decarbonise through AI and cutting-edge materials. 
  • Packaging: Start-ups creating innovative packaging materials, closed-loop reusable systems technology and more. 

The deadline for applications for the first cohort focused on the Circular Economy, Energy in Buildings, and Packaging is 5 April 2024 and successful applicants will be announced in the spring. The deadline for the second cohort focused on consumer products is 31 July 2024, with successful applicants announced in the autumn.

Start-ups can apply online from today here: https://sell.amazon.co.uk/programmes/sustainability-accelerator?ld=PMUK24_ASA_ClimateKIC 


About EIT Climate-KIC  

EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s leading climate innovation agency and community, using a systems approach to shape innovation to support cities, regions, countries and industries meet their climate ambitions. Together with partners across the globe, EIT Climate-KIC acts to bridge the gap between climate commitments and current reality by enabling decision-makers and investors to act. They find and implement solutions in integrated ways and mobilise finance. They build skills to accelerate learning and explore innovation, opening pathways to shift mindsets and behaviours. Through radical collaboration, EIT Climate-KIC orchestrates large-scale demonstrations that show what is possible when cycles of innovation and learning are deliberately designed to trigger exponential decarbonisation and build resilient communities.  

For further information please contactmedia@climate-kic.org

About Amazon 

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit aboutamazon.co.uk and follow @AmazonNewsUK. 

For further information please contact: 

Amazon UK Press Office 
Email: pressoffice@amazon.co.uk 

Press-releases you may be interested in
EIT Climate-KIC and partners collaborate with Laud...

On 23 March 2021, EIT Climate-KIC, with the support...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners collaborate with Laudes Foundation to advance Madrid and Milan sustainable urban approach across Europe