10 new sustainable innovation startups will be selected to join us at thecamp. We talked with Pashû Christensen, Sourcing and Startups Manager at the Village by CA Alpes Provence at thecamp, to get a peek at what’s awaiting us this fall.
– Hey Pashû! For Climb#03, you told us about how the Village by CA Alpes Provence wanted to put a spotlight on local innovation on the topics of tomorrow’s food and mobility. Will this be the same focus this season?
A lot is new in Climb#04! Starting with the duration: 4 months, instead of 3. In 3 months, the startups just manage to arrive and familiarize themselves with the campus and the ecosystem. We need to understand their needs and better target their interactions with our founding partners and all of our ecosystem. So we decided to make the program longer. The 4th season will run from October 21, 2019, to February 21, 2020.
We’ve also got new topics: we’re keeping the topic of sustainable food, and adding habitat (construction materials, waste management, smart buildings, energy, green building) and fashion!
We’re looking for entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo, reinventing the ways we produce, transform and consume on a daily basis. There are a lot of local innovations that we want to spread internationally.
– Fashion and habitat, interesting! What environmental and innovation challenges are ?
Fashion and “fast fashion” in particular is the second most polluting industry in the world, between growing cotton, manufacturing, transformation, transport and waste management. In all of these areas, startups can innovate and build new ways of working. And they can also reinvent what we wear, and how we can use eco-friendly fabrics. Fashion also has a significant social impact, when you look at the very problematic working conditions that many people making our clothes have around the world.
Regarding fashion, we’re very happy to welcome a new ambassador, Sakina M’sa, an activist fashion designer. Through her original creations, she fights against “junk fashion” like other people fight against junk food. We’re counting on Sakina to inspire our Climbers #04 to challenge the status quo and respond to the expectations of millennials.
Concerning habitat, the challenges are just as numerous. Today, cities, the population, and their related needs are growing. Many players are thinking about new modes of habitation, from construction to use. Today, advanced technologies (AI, data, blockchain…) and innovations in habitat are multiplying and new projects are being launched in response to urgent ecological needs.
– Climb also announced a partnership with Women4Climate. Why team up?
Because we take gender equality very seriously! The percentage of women entrepreneurs is really low: only 10% of startups are created by women, even though they represent half of the world’s population.
To encourage women to become entrepreneurs, and to support women founders, we’re partnering with the Women4Climate, program, a C40 initiative. It aims to inspire the next generation of climate leaders through a mentoring program for women, so as to guide them in the development and acceleration of their projects related to the climate. The program has already launched in Paris, London, Quito, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Montreal, Sydney, Vancouver, Mexico City and Aukland. It highlights the key role that women play in promoting climate-related action in cities, all while creating a movement, a community, and women leaders committed to creating tomorrow’s world.
Together, we want to encourage women entrepreneurs and give visibility to their projects, and that’s why we’re also calling for women committed to helping the climate to aply to the first session of Women4Climate Provence.
Women co-founders of startups selected for the Climb acceleration program will become members of Women4Climate in their own right, and benefit from all the advantages (communication, opportunities, mentoring, networks, events, etc.).
Also, for the future, we’re working on a program that would be adapted to mothers, and who don’t have as much time to participate in the acceleration program. It might be possible to do the program remotely, so as to avoid as much travel times as possible, but the schedule could also be adapted so that the women can participate in as many workshops and events as possible.
Are you a startup developing sustainable solutions in food, habitat or fashion? Are you looking for an accelerator with international connections, with mentors, investors, and real-world experimentation opportunities? Don’t wait! Apply for Climb#04 by August 10.