To drive climate tech development in the Baltics, innovation management company Helve with support from the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and Riga City Council, has launched a new pre-accelerator, Future Hub Climate. The pre-accelerator aims to help idea-stage startups develop their products and immediately test them with established enterprises. The program will take place from October to December, and applications are open until September 12 here.
“Climate topics have been in the headlines for a while now and are becoming even more relevant with increasing urgency as time progresses. The urgency is highlighted by the fact that climate tech has been the fastest-growing investment vertical in Europe for years. While Baltic climate tech startups have a lot of potential to make a name for themselves, there are certain gaps in the ecosystem which hinder the speed at which a new startup can get to their first clients and funding rounds. We believe that Future Hub Climate can narrow the gaps by providing a small equity-free capital infusion for product development but even more importantly by giving the startups a shortcut to testing their products in the market with established enterprises,” says Āris Brencis, Future Hub Climate program director.
Future Hub Climate is built on the backbone of an existing co-creation program Future Hub, which for more than 3 years has been solving specific corporate challenges by enlisting the help of startups. But with Future Hub Climate, the tables have turned, and the program prioritises the needs of the startup, while corporations play a supporting role.
As of today, Future Hub Climate invites early-stage climate tech startups from across the Baltics to apply for the pre-acceleration program aimed at helping the startups to further validate their products' readiness to enter the market. The program aims to select 8 promising teams to support them with up to 5000 EUR for product development and to partner them with a corporation to validate the product in 10 weeks.
“The number of startups is closely linked to every nation's innovation power and their ability to compete on a global level. We strongly maintain that it is paramount to support the creation and development of new startups in Latvia across verticals, and that's why we are working closely with the local ecosystem to achieve this goal. As climate is at the top of the global political agenda, it is not surprising that we see the importance of paying special attention to this particular vertical. We've supported climate-related programs in the past, most recently the CityToSea program, and believe that Future Hub Climate will ensure the necessary continuity between past programs and the startups attracting their first investments,” shares Kaspars Rožkalns, Director General at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
The program will conclude with the startups presenting their product validation results in front of climate tech investors during the Baltic Sustainability Awards 2023 on December 7, 2023, onsite in Riga at Splendid Palace.