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Helping the tough to get going

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Smart and green energy solutions are the focus of many of the entrepreneurs taking part in the US programme

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The US Unreasonable Impact programme in action Photo: Caitlin Kleiboer/Unreasonable Group
The US Unreasonable Impact programme in action Photo: Caitlin Kleiboer/Unreasonable Group
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The programme focuses on scalable solutions to environmental and societal problems

Participating ventures could become major employers at the frontier of the green economy

“Within the next four years, it is estimated that we will need 212 million new jobs”

Smart and renewable energy ventures are among those taking part in the US’ inaugural Unreasonable Impact programme this month.

 

The programme is the product of a partnership between Barclays and the Unreasonable Group, which aims to help entrepreneurs that have the potential to solve some of the toughest environmental and societal problems to scale-up their companies. The programme’s mission is also to help those burgeoning companies who collectively may one day generate thousands of jobs on the frontier of the green economy.

 

Those being mentored across an intensive two-week period include a venture which offers distributed energy generation systems through low-cost durable wind turbines and solar energy streetlights, and another that uses algorithms and big data to democratise air quality data for the masses. Innovations also include an adaptable intelligent window that uses technology to reduce electricity consumption.

 

Not all the entrepreneurs are focused on energy with one venture producing snacks from what it describes as the “most water-efficient” sustainable protein on the planet: crickets. Another transforms trash from the poorest communities into a responsible fabric.

 

Mentors on the programme include Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capital Solutions and Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, Tom Chi,co-founder of Google Glass and Google’s self-driving car, and Steven Berkenfeld, managing director at Barclays, among many others.

 

“Within the next four years, it is estimated that we will need 212 million new jobs to accommodate current unemployment and projected job loss due to new industries,” said Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group. “By partnering with Barclays to support entrepreneurs who have developed scalable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, we will not only scale up technologies that address significant societal and environmental issues, but we will in turn be accelerating the creation of millions of new jobs.”

 

The programme is taking place 70 miles outside of New York City at Cedar Lakes Estate and will include two exhibition events in New York City where entrepreneurs will showcase their innovations.

 

The first Unreasonable Impact accelerator programme took place in the UK and Singapore will host the next one in April 2017.

 

The full list of ventures taking part are:

 

Off Grid Electric: provides distributed solar power for the off-grid world, resulting in dependable energy services to over 50,000 people per month.

 

Semtive: offers distributed energy generation systems through renewable solutions such as low-cost durable wind turbines and solar energy streetlights.

 

Bitty Foods: produces nutritious snacks made from the most water-efficient, sustainable protein on the planet: crickets.

 

BreezoMeter: uses advanced algorithms and big data infrastructure to democratise air quality data for the masses.

 

Altaeros Energies: delivers infrastructure including power generation, telecommunications, and technology enabled agricultural services to rural and isolated communities with tethered airborne platforms.

 

General Fusion: develops fusion technology that could provide unlimited, economically viable, carbon-free clean energy to the entire world.

 

LanzaTech: provides clean, cost-competitive, fuels and chemicals through economical carbon capture and reuse.

 

re3d.org: pioneers of affordable 3D printing using waste materials with Gigabot, which rivals other industrial printers at one-tenth of the cost.

 

Accio Energy: is the world’s first commercially viable electrohydrodynamic (EHD) wind energy system, using turbine-free technology to generate high-voltage direct current electricity.

 

Thread: transforms trash from the poorest communities into the most responsible fabric on the planet.

 

d.light: delivers affordable solar-powered solutions for the two billion people without access to energy.

 

View: an adaptable, intelligent window that uses technology to reduce electricity consumption by an average of 20 percent

 

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