• GreenJams

WINNERS! Clean Energy Challenge: What Design Can Do

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Agrocrete is one of the two startup winners from New Delhi, earning us a place in the Accelerator program

It was just 2 days until deadline when we discovered the Clean Energy Challenge through some friends of ours. A little reading about the challenge, the organisers and supporters got us supremely excited. Not everyday do you get an opportunity to be a part of something that gets supported by the IKEA Foundation and endorsed by the UNFCCC. Not just that, the challenge brief fit our solution so well, there wasn't an option other than applying for it.

Tarun was just freshly back to work from the INK Conference where he had developed an extensive network of marvellous individuals. A quick text to a couple of people within the INK family, and like serendipity, we got connected with Ms. Ruchie Kothari. Some quick discussions and decisions later we had in our hand what we thought was a winning proposal. A lot of back and forth, and fine-tuning later, right as the deadline was about to close, we clicked on the submit button.

As they say, the rest is history. We made it. We got shortlisted, and then we got interviewed and finally, we won! From New Delhi. Our idea not only made it to the list of winners, but also had won the approval of a genius panel of jurors, reinforcing our idea of doing what we had set out to do. Agrocrete took birth, and our journey to create carbon-negative homes was now underway.

Subsequently, our accelerator program had begun. The ideas and projects that had made it to the winning list were nothing short of mind-blowing, and the people behind them were above and beyond. For people like us, who had no background in business, the online sessions were eye-openers. We learnt 2 years' worth of business in a total of 4 months. And within the duration of these 4 months, we had a spectacularly organised accelerator bootcamp at the fabulous Amsterdam! We met some remarkable individuals and spent time with fellow challenge winners. Oh how exciting that one week was! After the mind-bogglingly fast 7 days came to an end it was time for us to get back to India, put our learnings into action and prepare ourselves for the exciting and meaningful world of social business!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank What Design Can Do and Social Enterprise NL. A special mention definitely goes to Maxime Hofman, for being so thoughtful, kind and accommodating. None of us challenge winners will ever forget her. And we're sure of it! By the way, along with the business accelerator program we had also won ourselves 10,000 Euros, courtesy of WDCD!

A little more about how we did what we did can be found here.

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