Amazon's Sustainability Accelerator Welcomes Startups
Research by Amazon indicates that investors value startups that prioritise sustainability, with over 50% of UK investors refusing to invest in a startup in the past year due to concerns about its sustainability credentials.
The announcement coincides with the revelation of eight UK startups selected for the second Amazon Sustainability Accelerator programme.
According to Amazon research, startups with robust sustainability credentials can receive a 15% valuation premium from UK venture capital and private equity investors, indicating potential opportunities for entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. Conversely, startups with a poor sustainability track record may experience a valuation decrease of up to 4%.
Amazon, in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC and UK NGO WRAP, has announced the second cohort of its Amazon Sustainability Accelerator programme, consisting of 16 startups, eight of which are from the UK, selected from over 1,500 applications.
In the last 12 months, a majority of investors (81%) have requested additional information about the sustainability credentials of startups they intend to invest in. The reasons behind this request include personal values and their organisation's ESG commitments.
More than half (56%) of investors have rejected a startup investment opportunity in the past year due to concerns about the company's sustainability credentials. The investors have mentioned that the sustainability of the startup's logistics throughout the supply chain and responsible waste management processes are lacking.
The current and upcoming ESG regulations are deterring 70% of investors from investing in sustainability-focused startups.
To encourage environmentally-sustainable practices in startups, 83% of investors feel that startups need better support to embed these practices. Additionally, 83% of investors have identified that more than half of the startups they encounter lack the necessary technology and knowledge to operate more sustainably.
The announcement comes just before the launch of the second Amazon Sustainability Accelerator programme. The programme supports 16 startups from different parts of Europe and the UK that focus on developing new recycling technologies or creating environmentally-friendly products.
John Boumphrey, the UK Country Manager, said that recent research indicates that businesses with strong sustainability credentials have a competitive edge. He further added that investment decisions are now influenced by environmental impacts as investors look for solutions to tackle climate change and waste management challenges.
The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator provides an excellent platform for high-potential startups, and the company is proud to assist the second cohort of founders in scaling their businesses and delivering innovative technologies and sustainable products.
The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator is a tailored 12-week programme that aims to assist founders in navigating the challenges of starting and scaling a sustainable business. It includes in-person and virtual workshops led by experts, specialised mentorship, a customised curriculum, and access to a network of like-minded founders.
Amazon and EIT Climate-KIC will collaborate to guide the participants through a Climate Impact Forecast, where they will assess their business's climate impact and develop strategies to reduce their environmental footprint.
The participants will receive a £10,000 equity-free grant and US$25,000 worth of AWS Activate Credits, which they can use to access cloud computing services, work with Amazon leaders, and get free office space at Amazon's headquarters in London and Berlin. Additionally, the startups in the Consumer Products cohort will receive free access to Amazon Launchpad for one year.
The Accelerator comprises two cohorts: startups creating sustainable consumer products and, for the first time, startups developing technologies to help businesses recycle products more effectively and efficiently.
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