Why is cleantech innovation so important in the transport sector?
There’s so much opportunity for growth and positive change in transport, with air quality, carbon emissions, and the fight for space in cities becoming increasingly important – as shown by the Extinction Rebellion movement. These are societal challenges that need to be addressed now.
The good news is that we’ve seen more investment in transport tech over the last two years than we have over the last ten! Decarbonising transport can have a huge impact on fighting climate change due to its links with other sectors such as food and housing, meaning that transport is one of the most important areas for innovation.
What challenges need to be overcome to catalyse cleantech innovation in transport?
Speed and execution: we need to be quicker at bringing good ideas to market. There seems to be good appetite from venture capitalists, corporate investment funds, and traditional original equipment manufacturers (such as InMotion Ventures), who are being increasingly active in this space. There are a lot of really good ideas around but they’re currently taking too long to get to market; I think we can collectively do better at moving from ideas to delivery and scale.
What are the opportunities for entrepreneurs from game-changing innovations?
Entrepreneurs with good ideas are pushing an open door. The investment community is becoming more ethically minded by the day, meaning that there are more and more places for entrepreneurs to go with their innovations.
What are you looking forward to from the start-ups pitching in the transport session at Cleantech Innovate 2019?
This session is a broad church of start-ups, featuring some in areas that I know nothing about – I’m keen to learn more about these new ideas. The session includes a few really innovative technologies, and I want to understand the science behind them and whether they are proven – so the pitchers should expect some difficult questions!
Why do you think entrepreneurs and investors should attend the event?
For entrepreneurs it’s a great place to network, cross-pollinate ideas, and see good pitching. For investors, it’s a brilliant event to see some of the best of what’s happening in cleantech, and with the Selection Committee having only chosen the most exciting start-ups to pitch at the event, investors can be sure it will be a good use of their time.