U.K. tech accelerator Founders Factory is joining forces with a European counterpart to launch the Founders Factory Sustainability Seed program. Launched in partnership with G-Force (the "G" is for "green") based out of Bratislava, Slovakia, the program will look to invest in and accelerate climate tech startups.
The program will invest in entrepreneurs with startups that can reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions, speed up the transition to a circular economy, create sustainable housing and manufacturing solutions, as well as address climate-friendly mobility, food/feed production, and capturing/storing CO2 and methane.
The program, run with G-Force largely out of Bratislava, Slovakia, will be operated in a “hybrid” manner: mixing remote and in-person support. The idea is that any ecotech venture in any location in the world can apply and join the program.
Founders Factory’s partner in the Sustainability Seed program, G-Force, is being backed financially by a syndicate of Central and Eastern European investors including Boris Zelený (figure behind AVG, which sold to AVAST for $1.4 billionn), Marian Gazdik (Startup Grind), and early-stage investors Peter Külloi and Miklós Kóbor.
Startups selected for the program will get a seed investment of up to €150,000, six months of startup support using Founders Factory’s team, as well as introductions to potential customers, partners, corporates and investors.
Henry Lane Fox, chief executive officer at Founders Factory, said:
By nurturing the disruption entrepreneurs are so good at creating we can design a better, more sustainable future for all. In partnership with G-Force, Founders Factory Sustainability Seed Program will be a leading pre/seed program committed to building and supporting the ventures that will have a positive impact on the world.
Marian Gazdik, co-founding partner of G-Force, said: “Our ambition is to make G-Force, in partnership with the Founders Factory Sustainability Seed Program, into a world-class sustainability innovation hub, based in the heart of Europe.”
Expanding on the idea, Lane-Fox told me:
In this particular case, rather than being aligned to one individual corporate partner, which has been our model to date, we're able to bring together a group of angel investors and make this more of a pure financial investor play. We think that actually suits this specific sector better. We will also be providing a bit more capital to those companies early on to make sure they can benefit from the program to the maximum degree.
Gazdik added that by being based in the EU rather than the U.K., the program will also be able to take advantage of some EU grant programs.