Bloom Cleantech Incubator, the first Cleantech incubation programme in Barbados kicks off with 10 startups.
The Bloom Cleantech Incubator is a unique incubator programme focusing solely on renewable energy, cleantech, circular economy and climate innovation. Its aim is to commercialise research findings and expertise into new businesses, and attract new talents and companies to the Bloom Cleantech Cluster. The incubator, which is a part of the Bloom Cleantech Cluster, aims to build an ecosystem for cleantech entrepreneurs and startups in Barbados. Bloom complements the innovation and product development services that the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) is currently implementing under Create, a special product development initiative that provides funding and other support for qualifying businesses to quickly create, develop and bring new products and services to market.[i]
The first call for Bloom Cleantech Incubator applications (launched in June 2020), yielded a total of 14 applications representing a wide range of cleantech-related businesses. 12 of the 14 applicants advanced to a round of interviews with the Bloom incubator jury. Jury members for the interview process, which took place July 29-30, 2020, reported that they were very pleased to see the diversity of companies in Barbados’ cleantech sector. Andy Armstrong, Jury member and Chairman of the Green Committee of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) noted that incubatees had a wide range of expertise in the fields of solar energy, e-transportation, energy storage, circular economy, biotechnology, green chemistry and climate resilient agriculture.
From the round of interviews, Jari Aaltonen, Cluster Manager of the Bloom Cleantech Cluster, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), noted that “In the selection process, jury members emphasized excellence and scalability of the business idea, market demand and capacity of the team to bring the product or service into the market”.
10 entrepreneurs were accepted into Bloom. The selected entrepreneurs and businesses are as follows:
- Prosolar246 – Solar PV project developer
- Kerri-Ann Bovell – Biodegradable plastics R&D and manufacturing
- OnSolar – Hardware and software developer for the energy grids
- BIMEV – E-bike rental services
- Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute – Solar powered e-vessel
- CEMBI – Recycling app
- Good Ridge Power – Solar PV consulting
- Dee’s Enterprises – Agar and alcohol production
- Red Diamond – Green agrochemicals
- Healing Grove Container Farm – Sustainable farming
Bloom is currently managing two incubation programmes: there is a virtual incubation programme that lasts for 6 months and a residential incubation programme that lasts for 24 months. The enterprises with the top five (5) highest scores were selected for the 24-month residential incubation programme through which they will gain access to a co-working community and maker-space, small grant financing, business matchmaking, training, business advisory and coaching services. All other enterprises that were selected for the Bloom Cleantech Incubator were accepted into a 6-month virtual pre-incubation programme that provides access to business advisory services, training, and coaching services.
All the selected incubatees will undergo a rigorous capacity building and training programme provided by the Bloom Cleantech Incubation Centre, located in the BIDC’s Newton Industrial Park.
The Bloom Cleantech Incubator programme commences on September 21, 2020.