Innovation Birmingham appoints four Entrepreneurs in Residence to drive €1million climate change programme

Innovation Birmingham has appointed four Entrepreneurs in Residence to drive activity across its Low Carbon Accelerator and Clean Launchpad programmes, which are part of the European-funded Climate-KIC initiative.

Mike Goodfellow-Smith has been appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Clean Launchpad, which is a project to uncover innovative business ideas for tackling climate change from students and other applicants. The best concepts are then taken forward onto the next stage of development, which is the Low Carbon Accelerator for business start-ups.

Stephen Harris and Alan Wood have been appointed as Entrepreneurs in Residence for the Low Carbon Accelerator programme, working alongside Richard Davies MBE, who has had his contract renewed. All four are spending two to four days per month working with the 35 early-stage businesses enrolled onto the 2014 programme.

Catherine Shelley, Innovation Birmingham’s Climate KIC Programme Development and Delivery Officer said: “The Innovation Birmingham Campus is one of six centres across Europe, working to develop the low carbon economy. We are spending over €1million per annum, spread across a number of local initiatives, including comprehensive support for start-up businesses focused on climate change.

“Having expert Entrepreneurs in Residence to work with these start-ups is critical to their growth as sustainable businesses. The team of four is advising on business plans, routes to market, access to finance and sales and marketing.”

Mike Goodfellow-Smith is an experienced international sustainable development director and an external lecturer at Aston University.  Stephen Harris is a Chartered Quality Professional, Management Accountant, Occupational Psychologist and qualified Business Coach, who has supported over 400 business start-ups during the past 15 years. Alan Wood is a business consultant, specialising in energy solutions from renewable sources. Richard Davies is an entrepreneur and chartered engineer, specialising in environmentally friendly technologies. Richard received an MBE for services to sustainable energy in 2011.

The culmination of the Low Carbon Accelerator programme will see the best start-ups selected to visit Silicon Valley during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. Silicon Valley is the world-famous California home of many large technology companies – such as Google and Facebook – and thousands of start-ups.

Clean LaunchPad and the Low Carbon Accelerator are Climate Knowledge Innovation Community (Climate KIC) projects. Climate KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, and was one of the first Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in 2010. The EIT is the European Union body tasked with creating sustainable European growth and jobs while dealing with the global challenges of our time.

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