Entrepreneurs Fast Track: support for early stage low carbon companies

The Carbon Trust is launching an ‘Entrepreneurs’ Fast Track’ scheme. Applications open in September 2010

This looks as if it will be more useful for most Green Enterprise members than the previous scheme, as it's giving more emphasis to supporting early stage proof of concept and prototype development, rather than just focussing companies that are nearly ready for major VC investment. The scheme will also consolidate its existing Applied Research Grants and Business Incubation products into one service.

The CEO of the Carbon  Trust, Tom Delay said  that the service is open to conventional start-ups as well as university and corporate spin-outs and focuses on “genuinely innovative” pre-revenue businesses with “good IP”, the potential for scale and “outstanding future carbon saving" potential.

The good news is that £5M is going into The  Entrepreneurs' Fast Track programme (an increase from 2009/10 where the Carbon Trust spent £1.8m on incubation and gave out £1.65m in R&D grant funding)

The bad news is that £5M is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the investment that countries like China and South Korea are putting in.  Theres also a strong rumour that the Carbon Trust may get merged into the proposed Green Investment Bank, and it looks as if thats like to focus on funding major infrastructure projects (ie run by big utility companies) rather than innovative startups.

To find out more, or to register for their first funding applications in Sept, click here

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