The clean technology sector is made up of a diverse ecosystem of startups and scaleups working to protect our planet. From electric vehicles and smart devices to plant-based diets, the industry is home to a whole host of innovative clean technologies.
VCs are starting to pay attention to GreenTech companies; €7bn of VC funding has gone into ‘cleantech’ startups in Europe in the first half of 2021. But what sectors are getting the most attention?
Speaking with our expert Consultants, they reveal the aspiring GreenTech sectors execs are applying for and the startups that are attracting a lot of attention.
The Future Is Electric
Mobility as a Service (MaaS), electric and automated vehicles and the use of AI are just some of the new trends that are pulling engineers and product designers to the renewable mobility industry. The recent pandemic has prompted a renewed customer focus on health and the environment whilst government policies centered around sustainability issues have made electric micro-mobility a crowded market. Just four years ago, e-scooters didn’t even exist.
Being the most valued car of all time, Tesla continues to live up to its name of being the EV giant. However, competitors have begun to make their mark on the industry. Fisker is rising in popularity due to being a strong brand with a legacy leader behind the wheel; Henrik Fisker. Their price point and flexible lease-set up make it incredibly disruptive, a winner for green marketers.
The EV market will only soar if there is infrastructure that is accessible and simple. ChargePoint and EVgo hold the biggest network of electric vehicle charging points, but Blink Charging has explosive potential.
Lime, Scoot, Bird, TIER Mobility and Voi Technology are just some of the e-bike, scooters and moped startups that have started to pop up across cities around the USA and Europe.
The Fake Meat Phenomenon
There has been a lot of excitement around the new wave of plant-based startups offering meat alternatives. Whilst the meatless meat veterans such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have excelled because of their like-for-like taste and texture, a new movement of healthy plant-based products are attracting attention from sales and product designers.
Actual Veggies launched earlier this year with four non-GMO vegan burgers, each focused on one veggie. Hooked produces plant-based seafood products rich in protein and Omega-3, whilst Meet Jack is an alternative meat startup turning jackfruit into meatballs, croquettes and burgers.
Fermentation and cell-based startups have also grown attention due to their unique ability to produce food; Dutch-based Jellatech has produced animal-free collagen and gelatin by using cell-based technology, Aqua Cultured Foods has developed the world’s first seafood analogue using microbial fermentation technology, and Stockled Dreamery uses fermented peas and fava beans to make vegan-friendly cheese.
One of the most outstanding innovations hit the headlines last November by Air Protein developing the world’s first ‘air-based meat’. By using a fermentation process similar to yoghurt, it combines pressure, temperature, and culinary techniques to give the protein characteristics of pork, poultry, beef or seafood.
The Clean Software Movement
The need for a sustainable future is becoming a reality with the transition to a circular economy; a model that recovers and reuses as many products as possible to reduce waste. On a mission to reinstall the Earth’s overall system health on a global and local scale, this sector is a great opportunity for product designers and engineers who want to make a real impact.
From food waste apps like Too Good To Go, smart homes devices such as Tado° reducing homeowners energy usage via an app that can control their heating and air conditioning, to energy waste startups like Impact Bioenergy that recovers energy from waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The AgTech Boom
From vertical farming and AI to farm drones and blockchain traceability, talent are zoning in on the sector’s limitless market potential. With 9.8 billion mouths to feed in 2050, there is a huge opportunity for engineers and data scientists to bring farming from the industrial age to the digital one.
Alterative farming companies are attracting attention as innovative solutions are needed to suppress supply chain fragility and ecological uncertainty. Indoor vertical farming startup, Infarm, consists of vertical, modular units placed in restaurants and supermarkets where customers can pick the herbs, lettuces and vegetables fresh from the shelves. Agro.Club is a mobile platform that connects growers to their suppliers and crop purchasers in a single network, whilst Bloomfield Robotics uses portable cameras and AI to assess the health and performance of specialty crops to recommend treatments, predict yield and harvest timing, and identify infestation and pests.
Do any of these sectors or GreenTech companies appeal to you? If you are looking to pursue a career in GreenTech, get in touch. We partner with leading companies at the cutting edge of renewable energy tech and ‘clean’ innovations to scale and grow their teams to accelerate a sustainable tomorrow.