Wyre Forest District Council and BetaDen launch cleantech bootcamp

Linda Smith

Kidderminster-based Wyre Forest District Council and Worcestershire technology accelerator BetaDen have launched an industry-first Cleantech bootcamp to help businesses develop and commercialise solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges facing industries around the world.

BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and will see leading figures from the cleantech world bringing their expertise to Worcestershire, helping cleantech entrepreneurs and established businesses alike develop the technologies required to lead industry supply chains to a net zero future.

The programme, which is delivered by Carbon Limiting Technologies (CLT), is designed to bring to life the real issues and opportunities for businesses arising out of the push towards Net Zero, which will impact businesses and organisations of all sizes across all sectors.

The significance was brought even more sharply into focus at COP26, where over 40 governments signed up to ‘the Glasgow Breakthroughs’ – a series of commitments to speed up the development of clean technologies to help achieve key climate targets by 2030.

Ostap Paparega, head of North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp is a fantastic opportunity for start-up, scale-up and established businesses within the Wyre Forest and wider North Worcestershire areas to access specialist support to develop their clean tech ideas.

“Promoting low- and zero-carbon technologies is a key part of the county’s industrial strategy and we have a wealth of innovative companies here that have the potential to make a real difference.”

Councillor Helen Dyke, leader of Wyre Forest District Council, said: “Supported by the Community Renewal Fund, this cleantech-focused programme is part of our work to reinvigorate the local economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic by providing targeted support for local businesses that will be key to our long-term success.

“The BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp will not only actively support our local businesses but also encourage greater investment in the local area, helping attract growing businesses with a focus on technology-led solutions to address climate change and wider environmental issues. That could be through improving energy efficiency, using resources more sustainably or encouraging environmental protection.”

The pilot programme will begin with a series of four workshops delivered by some of the industry’s leading lights, illustrating the issues and challenges facing business and highlighting significant opportunities for cleantech innovators. Eight companies will then be chosen to take part in a specialist clean tech bootcamp, with participants receiving professional mentoring and support to develop their ideas, before taking part in Dragon’s Den-style pitch to potential customers, partners and investors.

Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “The BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp will is a pioneering programme that paves the way for a nationally significant centre of excellence for carbon reducing technologies to develop in the region.

“Participants will have access to advice and support from innovators who have truly been there and done it in this emerging field, helping them shape their ideas to provide real world solutions for real world problems, as well as developing an invaluable network of peers, partners, potential customers and investors who can help them turn their cleantech ideas into commercial success.

“The programme is suitable for start-ups, early-stage and established businesses alike, sharing knowledge and best practice to help businesses meet their own environmental objectives, as well as guidance and contacts to make the most of commercial opportunities across a range of sectors. This could be through creating new ways of working, reducing emissions and waste, or contributing to changing consumer behaviour.”

BetaDen North Cleantech Bootcamp kicks off with a series of four, weekly workshops featuring high-profile speakers and meet-the-buyer style events at Wyre Forest House on Thursday 24 February. These will cover themes from putting NetZero at the heart of your business strategy and decarbonisation, to supply chain sustainability drivers and making the most of digital to deliver sustainability gains.

From here, eight businesses will be selected to take part in the Bootcamp, where they will receiving tailored support and mentoring from industry leaders across a range of specialisms, including market growth, developing the route to market, financial management, investment readiness, access to finance, and presentation and pitching skills.

Companies and individuals interesting in joining the programme should register their interest at www.betaden-north.co.uk Workshops will take place at Wyre Forest House on Thursday 24 February and throughout March, with applications for the bootcamp programme closing on 25 March. The bootcamp runs for eight weeks from Tuesday 25 April, culminating in a live pitch event in June.