This is the text of the presentation I gave to Eco16, the first edition of Ecosummit to take place in Amsterdam, on July 7th, 2016. Ecosummit brings together smart, green start ups, greentech investors and corporations in a high-energy day packed with presentations, round tables and conversations.
I’m Francesco Cara, co-Founder with Stefana Broadbent, of Cleanweb Ltd, a start-up formed 11 months ago in London to invest in, build and bring to market digital products and services for climate action. With Cleanweb Ltd, we want to unleash the transformative power of the web, a power that has been fully demonstrated over the past 20 years as it drove a rapid and profound transformation of the societies we live in. We want to apply this power to accelerate the transition to sustainable lifestyles across society.
Today, I will present to you IYWTo, our first product that, with your support, we aim to make available across Europe first, and then globally.
2. The problem: the gap between demand for smarter ways of living and offer of solutions
There is a missing link in the world of green innovation: a meeting point where people who actively look for new ways to live more smartly and more sustainably, connect with all the great apps, products and services that innovators, like us at Ecosummit, imagine, build and take to market.
Certainly there is Google, but many of these great innovations end up beyond the attention span, that is the first few results and the first page.
In the example below, Enostra, the innovative renewable energy cooperative based in Milan, came up in 10th position when we searched “renewable and sustainable energy”.
There are also many excellent online green lifestyle magazines, but articles on digital products are rare and fleeting.
As the examples below show, it took us a couple of hours to find three articles on the same day. In the Guardian we found an article on electric mobility that mentioned the car sharing app ZIPCAR and the VW Golf-e it has added to its fleet; the renewable energy company ECOTRICITY and its network of renewable energy charging points; the apps EVHIGHWAYSTATUS and ZAPMAP to find EV charging points nearby. In the sustainable living online magazine Collectively we found an article on the app Copia to reduce food waste in catering. And on the food innovation, waste and security blog Hazel Blog, the reference to the app Gebni to reduce restaurants’ food waste.
There are also several brilliant initiatives like Climate KIC, Sustainable 100,Ecosummit TV that present plenty of innovative solutions. They are however mainly talking to innovators, investors and corporations, rather than the general public.
This multiplicity of sources and channels lead inevitably to fragmentation, complexity and an extra investment of time and energy for those who are looking to find the right solutions for their needs.
So we decided to invest in IYWTo to fill this gap and create a dedicated marketplace where the people who care meet green innovation.
3. The solution: IYWTo, a search engine of data collected and analysed collaboratively
What is IYWTo? First of all it’s a community of people who are acting on climate change and are passionate about digital.
Secondly, IYWTo is the largest single database of digital projects for climate action. Over the past 3 months, the community has identified over 2,300 projects that enable a more efficient use of resources, reduction of waste, recycling and reusing; projects that help the transition to renewable energy and low-carbon transport; projects that empower joint action to adapt and respond to climate change.
IYWTo is also a semantic engine to make this database searchable in an intuitive, familiar way, so that people can easily find projects that best fulfil their goals.
IYWTo is also a guide that suggests new actions that one can take to reduce one’s environmental footprint and at the same time be more efficient, live more healthily, be proactive in responding to climate change and even challenge the status quo.
What makes all of this possible is a collaborative open platform that offers tools to submit solutions, which people discover on the web, to the directory.
Start-ups and users can create project pages in a simple four-step process, post reviews and comments on each project. And we will soon make our APIs public so that other people’s apps will be able to connect with ours and offer new and richer experiences.
4. The next iteration: IYWTo becomes a local search engine
This rich data has been both an asset (people love the diversity and range of projects) and a liability (there are too many projects to search through and cannot be used where one lives).
We are now developing the next version of IYWTo that will deliver much more value to users: a geo-localised search engine whereby people can search the best digital projects that are available where they live. As we speak we are working on Greater London and Metropolitan Milan, and once the platform and processes are proven, we will localise the search to Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Paris, to start with.
The search engine will geolocalise the visitor and return only the actions and the projects available locally, e.g. in Amsterdam. The guide will give visibility to the types of climate actions that are supported in Amserdam with digital projects, e.g. take part in an electronics repair workshop. Recommendations will point out a selection of the newest and best cleanweb projects for climate action in Amsterdam.
5. The pitch to start-ups, corporations and investors
We are here at Eco16 to ask for your support to take this initiative forward:
To start-ups, we offer a dedicated marketplace where to gain visibility and build engagement with people who are actively looking for green solutions. In exchange, we ask start-ups to add your url, name, short description and availability to the directory, if they are not there already. We ask to create your own project page; and to recognize financially the leads that come to your properties via IYWTo, so that we can continue to grow the community
To corporations, we offer to associate your brand with a dynamic, engaged community. In exchange, we invite you to be sponsor of the project in the markets that are most relevant to you. This will help us expand to new geographies and give visibility to new projects.
To Investors, we offer a powerful tool for competitive intelligence and market insights. In exchange, we invite you to make a financial contribution so that we can operate and develop the platform more swiftly and effectively.
If you are interested, we can talk of the practical ways you can support us over coffee. Thank you for listening!
The deck is available here