A new launchpad to fund climate startups

Earthshot's new matchmaking service offers a funding pipeline for the planet.

A new launchpad to fund climate startups
source: via Canva

The Earthshot Prize is stepping up once again for the planet with a brand new venture to support the ecosystem for fledgling climate solutions.

In addition to its annual awards for climate solutions, it has established a new online matchmaking service called Launchpad to help innovators attract the funding necessary to scale up their impact.

The current level of investment in clean energy technologies is insufficient to set the world on track for net zero by mid-century according to a recent report from researcher BloombergNEF.

“Energy transition investment spending grew 17% last year, but it needs to grow more than 170% if we are to get on track for net zero in the coming years,” said Deputy CEO of BNEF Albert Cheung. “Our report shows just how quickly the clean energy opportunity is growing, and yet how far off track we still are.”

“We need you, innovators and philanthropists, to join us in our mission. Join our community and invite your peers to be a part of this community.”

Launchpad was created to help bridge this shortfall by connecting funding partners with the innovators and startups identified by Earthshot Prize.

“We need you, innovators and philanthropists, to join us in our mission. Join our community and invite your peers to be a part of this community,” said the Prince of Wales, who established Earthshot in 2020.

“It is only through collective action we will meet the ambitious 2030 targets we have set to save our planet.”

Earthshot says that by tapping into its growing number of nominators it can identify diverse early-stage solutions that could help repair and regenerate the planet.

“Our aim is to convene and catalyse courageous conversations about patience, risk and ambition, unlock new alliances, new financing tools and vehicles all with one focus. To take a pipeline of solution to scale at speed,“ Earthshot said.

Pilot program

Currently in its pilot phase, the Launchpad is now live with profiles of 24 finalists and winners with collectively more than $500m in funding needs. In time, more solutions will be added from the Prize’s pipeline which comprises over a thousand nominations each year, Earthshot said.

Its members will receive invitation-only access to mentorship sessions, community gatherings and solution briefings for CEOs.

Orianna Bretzger, the co-founder of 2023 Earthshot finalist Aquacyl, said: “The launchpad platform is a tremendous opportunity now to connect funding groups with companies seeking funding in a much more curated way relative to climate and impact and that is going to save us all a lot of time.”

Since it was founded, The Earthshot Prize has awarded £15 million of prize money to its network of environmental and sustainability startups.

The Earthshot prize
The Earthshot Prize was launched by Prince William in 2020 to identify and scale innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Each year it awards £1 million each to the five ‘Earthshots’ it selects from thousands of nominations. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot challenge in 1962 to land a man on the moon within a decade, Earthshot's stated mission is to "unleash the urgent optimism required to accelerate and scale the environmental innovations that will repair and regenerate our planet".