Postcode Lottery Green Challenge has announced the 25 start-ups that have made it through the first stage of the international competition supporting green entrepreneurs. The 25 have been chosen by a panel of experts out of 845 applications to be considered for the top prize of €500,000 to develop their sustainable business.

The diverse group of start-ups that have made it into the top 25 include plans to stop plastic reaching the sea, to make storage of renewable energy more efficient, and to combat water scarcity around the world. They show the broad range of ways businesses can make a positive impact on the planet, while also being successful.

Two start-ups from Kenya are representing the African continent. South America is represented by one start-up from each of Chile and Peru, and North America by four from the United States of America and one from Mexico. Of the five start-ups from Asia, two come from Israel, and Cambodia, Bangladesh and India are each represented by one start-up. Europe is being represented by 11 start-ups; five from the Netherlands, three from the UK, two from Denmark, and one from Finland.

The three UK nominees are:

  • BioCarbon Engineering, an ecosystem engineering company working to counter deforestation. The company's plan involves using technology such as drones and satellites to determine the best areas to plant trees, and aims to plant 500 billion trees by 2060.
  • Phytoponics, a hydroponic growing system which aims to grow fresh food all through the year without using as much water, fertilizer, and energy as traditional processes.
  • LettUs Grow, a company that uses technology such as soil-free aeroponics (nutrients and water are given to plants as a mist) and farm management software to grow food faster and with 95% less water than traditional methods.

Check out an overview of all the nominees.

The five finalists will be announced in mid-August, and will then present their pitches to a jury on 13th September in Amsterdam, where the winner will be announced. Along with the grand prize of €500,000 for the winner, there will be a €200,000 prize for the runner-up and €100,000 for each of the other finalists. In addition to the prize money, all finalists will receive over six months of expert coaching to optimise their business opportunities.

Last year, Rwandan start-up EarthEnable won the competition with its idea to produce sustainable, affordable, clean, and waterproof earthen flooring. This means people in developing countries can move away from unhygienic dirt floors without relying on the expensive and unsustainable alternative of cement.

For the latest information, visit the Green Challenge website.

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Lauren Fletcher, Charles Guy, and Adam Dixon are in the running to win €500,000 for their sustainable business ideas