Sweden’s climate elite are challenging new startups to fight climate change

Sting and Norrsken, two leading startup ecosystems in Sweden, are today launching Startup Climate Action – a challenge-driven initiative to accelerate the creation and growth of startups that bring solutions to fight climate change. The initiative, which is backed by Sweden’s elite in sustainability, will put Sweden on the world map as a home for Climate Action startups.

− Time is running out and we must act quickly and vigorously. If we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5° C, we must cut greenhouse gas emissions by half every 10 years. We strongly believe in the power of combining innovation and technology with entrepreneurship to create new solutions to major world problems, Karin Ruiz, business coach at Sting and initiator of Startup Climate Action.

Startup Climate Action has a challenge-driven approach and focuses on UN Sustainability Goal # 13 − Climate Action. The starting point is 13 Climate Challenges, presented by 13 heavy-weight Swedish Climate Champions.

The initiative receives funding from Vinnova and among the supporting partners are Stockholm Resilience Center, KTH Innovation, the Swedish Energy Agency, IVL, and the 13 Climate Champions. Among these are Prof. Henrik Österblom from the Stockholm Resilience Center; Prof. Ulrika Edlund from KTH; Maria Wetterstrand, sustainability consultant and community debater and former leader of the Swedish Green Party; Marie Fossum Strannegård, CEO of the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, and Anders Wijkman, opinion leader and former politician.

The goal is to create more fast-growing Swedish companies that contribute innovative, scalable solutions to combat climate change. The initiative will also help put Sweden on the world map and make Sweden the “mecca” of the world for climate action startups.

− Sweden has a unique position. We are an innovation country, the country of “tech unicorns” and world-renowned climate activists and leaders. In addition, we are a country with world-leading climate scientists, fantastic startup ecosystems and strong entrepreneurs. Sweden can lead the way and become a world leader in developing new innovative “climate action startups”, says Shampa Bari, Lead Accelerator, Norrsken Foundation.

Startup Climate Action consists of three parts. The first, to be launched today, is an Open Innovation Challenge focusing on inspiration, ideation and team creation. Deadline to participate with an idea and team is August 2nd. The ideas that qualify go on to part two, Test Drive Climate Action, a workshop series by Sting and Norrsken focusing on validation of the business ideas. The final step, the Climate Action Accelerator, an accelerator program run by Sting, will be launched in 2021.

The vision is for Sweden to become a world leader in creating the future of “climate action startups”, which the initiators believe will play an important role in solving the climate challenges.

− We want to mobilize people with bright ideas and brilliant minds to team up to find solutions. We want to create a movement of climate solvers”, says Karin Ruiz.

> More information: www.startupclimateaction.com

The 13 Climate Challenges and Climate Champions are:

#1 – Green & Clean Transports
Maria Wetterstrand, Former leader of the Swedish Green Party, CEO, Millton Europe

#2 – AI for the Planet
Dr. Victor Galaz, Deputy Director and Associate Professor, Stockholm Resilience Center

#3 – Sustainable Materials
Prof. Ulrica Edlund, Professor in Polymer Technology, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology

#4 – Energy Efficiency
Gunilla Elsässer, Head of Food, Climate and Energy, WWF

#5 – Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy
Anders Wijkman, Opinion Leader, Chairman, Climate-KIC

#6 – Recycling & Reduced Waste
Marie Fossum Strannegård, CEO, IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute

#7 – Reduced Carbon Emission
Markus Hökfelt, Fund Manager Almi Invest Greentech

#8 – Energy Storage & Integrated Energy Systems
Prof. Viktoria Martin, Professor in Energy Technology, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology

#9 – Carbon Capture & Storage
Jane Walerud, Business Angel & Investor, Walerud Ventures

#10 – The Human Ocean
Prof. Henrik Österblom, Professor and Science Director at Stockholm Resilience Center

#11 – Renewable & Clean Energy
Dr. Frauke Urban, Associate Professor in the Management of Sustainable Energy Systems, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology

#12 – Green Buildings & Sustainable Cities
Stefan Henningsson, Climate Expert, Nordea

#13 – The Future of Food – Healthy Food, Sustainable Planet
Dr. Line Gordon, Director at Stockholm Resilience Center