Smartups bring about innovations related to activities that consume huge amounts of natural resources, as well as household budgets. But how can the exciting and growing industry of consumer cleantech be supported by organizations working with SME and startup support?
SmartUp Accelerator’s Foresight and Training session was held on October 1, 2019 in Yasnaya Polyana coworking space, St. Petersburg. Together with Demos Helsinki expert Cristopher Rowley, representatives of business incubators, technoparks, investors, support institutions and large companies discussed the future of consumer cleantech in St. Petersburg and the BSR. The training sessions were an excellent opportunity for support institutions learn about support tools, future cooperation possibilities as well as how to use foresight for understanding how the this emerging industry is evolving locally and internationally.
During the event, participants pointed out that the city will face several challenges for green companies to tackle in the coming decade. These are natural resource scarcity and population growth, increased traffic density causing environmental degradation, construction of apartment blocks as well as mounting effects of globalization and digitalization. Meanwhile, environmentally friendly solutions gaining in popularity, technologies are rapidly developing and consumer habits are changing. The shift in preferences and demand for environmentally friendly solutions support the emergence of new companies, smartups, that offer rational and eco-friendly solutions for the end-user.
Past experience from the region of St. Petersburg has shown that an efficient way for fledgling companies to thrive is to join their efforts in one cluster. Nikolai Pitirimov, Deputy Chairman of Executive Board of International Consortium St. Petersburg Cleantech Cluster for Urban Environment, emphasized his positive experiences of active company involvement in clusters as well as cluster participation in the city’s strategic projects. Experiences from the SmartUp Accelerator project also showcase the potential in international cooperation between organizations and how synergies can give new ideas for working with support for consumer cleantech SMEs and startups. Therefore, both cooperation opportunities with the Smartup Accelerator team and support tools developed by the SmartUp partners were shared at the event. The final accord of the event was a speech on creative approach given by St. Petersburg Foundation of SME development Executive Director and SmartUp partner Maxim Balanev.
The event in St.Petersburg was the first of seven trainings that will be held around the SmartUp partner countries during fall and winter of 2019. Do you also work with startup or SME support? We hope to see you at the Foresight and Training sessions in your country!