Twenty startups have been chosen to participate in Tech Nation and PwC's first climate technology accelerator programme, which is intended to promote late-stage UK climate tech businesses with significant potential to reduce emissions. The Net Zero X programme, which was introduced on October 4, 2022, aims to future-proof the UK's climate technology industry by closing the funding gap for climate technology's carbon emissions and ensuring that firms that invest heavily in research and development (R&D) can survive and thrive considering the long time it takes for products to reach the market.
The Net Zero X initiative is made to aid in the development of high-emissions-reduction climate tech businesses with exponential prospects. The program's goals include closing the funding gap for climate technology, overcoming the "valley of death" for climate tech, and establishing connections between climate tech entrepreneurs and investors, corporations, partners, policymakers, and other stakeholders. This will contribute to creating a flourishing startup ecosystem.
According to PwC's State of Climate Tech 2021 Report, only 25 per cent of the funds raised for climate technology are directed toward the innovations that have the most potential to reduce emissions by 81 per cent. The UK's effort to reach net zero is being slowed down by the fact that many high-impact technologies are not receiving the necessary financing they require to scale. Tech Nation will help the UK achieve net zero by 2050 by accelerating global decarbonisation through Net Zero X.
The success of the Net Zero programme, whose first cohort of companies increased their funding by £5 million since joining and whose second and the most recent cohort of companies increased their funding by £3.8 million over the past six months, will be built upon by Net Zero X. Climate tech companies in the first group (Net Zero 1.0) have nearly doubled their total investment since joining the programme (from £88 million to £154 million), while those in the second and most current cohort have more than quadrupled it (from £55 million to £123 million) after joining Net Zero 2.0.
In contrast to Tech Nation's Net Zero accelerator programme, which is currently in its third year and specialises in early-stage climate tech scaleups, Net Zero X is only accessible to companies that are in the later stages of development. Magway, Better Dairy, Solivus, Petalite, Sero, Small Robot Company, OLIO, Artemis Technologies, Greyparrot, Satellite Vu, and CATAGEN are 11 of the 20 companies that make up the initial cohort that has participated in the Net Zero programme in the past.
The 20 businesses, which operate in a variety of fields such as agriculture, energy, aviation, construction, and carbon removal technology, have attracted about £387 million in venture capital investment to date. Eight of the organisations are attempting to decarbonise the energy industry. For example, Solivus, a manufacturer of climate hardware, makes thin, light solar panels for residential and commercial structures. To ensure that every building on the earth is energy efficient, the space technology business Satellite Vu specialises in high-resolution thermal photography.
The grouping also includes Magway, which is developing underground delivery tunnels for goods that are all-electric, ultra-high-speed, and emission-free, and Better Dairy, which declares to be reshaping the dairy industry by developing substitute "dairy" products that don't use animals in the production process.
Attendees at the London Tech Week ClimateTech Summit in June 2022 heard from delegates that tech organisations looking to increase the sustainability of their operations must reassess their growth mindset and work together across the industry to effectively address the challenge in the timeframe required by the climate crisis.
The 20 organisations participating in Net Zero X will receive assistance from specialised coaches and entrepreneurs over the course of the following six months as they work to overcome issues that are stage- and sector-specific.
Additionally, they will participate in roundtable discussions with business leaders from the policy, corporate, and investment worlds to discuss how to increase the impact of climate technology collaboratively. Founders and their leadership teams who are selected for the programme will gain from the knowledge, investor networks, and mentoring offered by PwC and Tech Nation.