Seedstars, together with the DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN), a Dutch fund supporting green initiatives, has launched the DOEN Land Restoration Prize to find and award startups in the land restoration and land degradation space.
According to Saskia Werther, Program Manager at the DOEN Foundation, “Landscape restoration is a vital part of this regenerative economy and social entrepreneurs play an important role to establish innovative business models to counter land degradation and deforestation. Through this challenge, DOEN wants to highlight the work of early stage restoration enterprises and inspire other frontrunners to follow suit.”
The two firms argue that land restoration is an urgent response to the poor management of land. Startups in this sector will look for solutions to restore forests and landscapes by reversing the degradation of soils, agricultural areas, forests and watersheds to regain their ecological functionality. According to the World Resources Institute, for every $1 invested in land restoration it can yield $7-$30 in benefits, and now is the time to prove it.
The winner of the challenge will be awarded 9 months access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program, the hybrid program challenging traditional acceleration models by creating a unique mix to improve startup performance and get them ready to secure investment. They will also access a 10K USD grant.
Applications are open now and will be accepted until October 15th. Startups should be less than 4 years of existence, must have a Minimum Viable Product and can be scalable, must show clear environmental impact as well as a clear social impact.
The competition is open to technology startups, tech-enabled startups and/or businesses that can show a clear innovation component (e.g. in their business model)
Startups can be in areas that finance the restoration of degraded land or in big data and technology to reverse land degradation; resource efficiency optimization technologies, ecosystems impacts reduction and lower carbon emissions; water-saving soil technologies; technologies focused on improving livelihoods and communities.
Ventures in planning, management and agricultural education and conservation, agroforestry and clean energy solutions are also open to participate.