Impact Hub, PEF, WWF to choose 3 start-ups in sustainable energy for funding and training

SEEING a handful of innovative concepts from local entrepreneurs that could create a positive impact to today’s world being faced by various environmental issues, a global entrepreneurial network aims to translate those ideas to solutions that can specifically respond to the energy problem with the second leg of its fellowship program launched on Thursday in Makati City.

Impact Hub, in partnership with the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF), is inviting applicants, who focus on providing sustainable-energy solutions on areas of renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency, access to energy and off-grid solutions, energy systems and energy-consumption reduction.

“One-fourth of Filipinos still don’t have access to energy,” Impact Hub Cofounder LizAn Kuster said, while noting this is evident mostly for those residing in the country’s far-flung areas.

While RE sources, like solar and wind farms, are slowly penetrating the local market, investors still choose to direct their funding to less risky investments, like real estate, where there is a sure assurance of future revenue.

“Clean energy is not that sexy, primarily because you need hardware and maintenance,” clean-energy expert Charles Cole Navarro said.

He added that there is a noticeable lack in incubators, who choose to direct their efforts and resources to work on clean technologies.

Impact Hub aims to rise above the mold by giving start-up companies with novel energy solutions the financial support they need to develop their ideas into viable business models.

Applications for the fellowship program, centered on sustainable-energy solutions, are being accepted until July 24.

To be chosen are three fellows who will get a chance to win P1.5 million in seed funding. They will also be given a skills-development workshop and coaching, modern workspace and wide entrepreneurial networks provided by Impact Hub—all in an effort to scale up their respective businesses into a significant force of positive change.

Such program of Impact Hub is deemed pivotal in meeting the growing interest in the role of clean-technology entrepreneurship and innovation, including clean and sustainable power as an important tool to meet climate-change goals.

Globally, the demand for RE is significantly increasing and the call for 100-percent RE by 2050 is gaining momentum worldwide in the face of climate change. In the Philippines the Department of Energy aims to triple RE capacity by 2030, under the National Renewable Energy Plan, which lessens greenhouse gases to help meet the national target of reducing emission by 70 percent in the same year.

This initiative is part of the Philippines’s intended nationally determined contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With our partners, we are excited to search for innovative ideas and enterprises, which are aligned with our core values and objectives,” WWF Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma said.

With Sandra Sendingan

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Roderick L. Abad graduated from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with a degree course in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He has 12 years of journalism experience, starting as a Special Features Writer in a major daily newspaper. In 2006, he moved to the BusinessMirror in the same capacity and, eventually, became a beat reporter. To his credit, he was a finalist in the 2011 Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction and the 2013 Lasallian Scholarum Awards. He remains affiliated with the BusinessMirror as a contributor.