NatWest’s inaugural Climate Hackathon, which will take place at Cranfield University this month, will see students develop ideas for green and sustainable business practices.
Developed as part of NatWest’s commitment to championing climate solutions and the push towards a low-carbon future, the event will be delivered as part of the bank’s Business Builder and Climate Accelerator programme.
Josh Winfield, regional enterprise manager at NatWest, said:
“The UK is moving towards a greener economy, with companies of all shapes and sizes having to change the way they work – from start ups right through to well-established global firms.
“As part of our commitment to championing a green economy, we want to encourage the entrepreneurs of the future to have sustainability at the heart of what they do from day one.
“It’s the responsibility of all of us to carry sustainability forward, but especially the next generation of new businesses, which have the potential to play a particularly vital role in the UK’s climate change ambitions.”
Around 50 of Cranfield University’s current students and alumni will be invited to take part in the two-day interactive event on 27 and 28 May 2021, where they will be challenged in teams to develop innovative, green-focused business solutions.
They will then take their idea through to business modelling, proof of concept, prototyping and to market, with the event culminating in a pitching workshop.
The main aim of the Climate Hackathon will be to encourage the development of new ideas and innovations that provide a positive impact on the world’s fight against climate change.
It is hoped that many of the ideas formed during the challenge will be taken further by the students, either via their University studies or through the NatWest Climate Accelerator programme.
At the end of the second day, teams taking part will be invited to submit a completed business overview and 60-second pitch for consideration.
The winning team will be announced at a ‘Pitch Perfect’ session which NatWest are running with Cranfield on 24 June and will receive up to £1,500 towards funding their concept as well as access to NatWest’s Climate Accelerator content and mentoring.
Dr Oksana Koryak, programme director for the Management and Entrepreneurship MSc at Cranfield School of Management, said:
“Entrepreneurs can become the driving force behind meeting the world’s ambitious climate focus targets and combating the negative consequences of pollution and climate change which are affecting billions of people today.
“This event is set to leverage and enhance the knowledge and skills of Cranfield graduate students and alumni to enable them to create and scale the sustainable businesses of the future.”
At least 25% of the spaces in NatWest’s 12 UK wide entrepreneurial accelerators, which support around 1,000 entrepreneurs a year, will be dedicated to supporting climate-focussed businesses.