By: Seeds Renewables
Seeds Renewables, a EIT InnoEnergy Masters student founded startup based out of Barcelona, Spain was announced on Earth Day as 1/10 winners from 590 applicants to receive a $125k non-dilutive grant through the Venture 4 ClimateTech (V4C) program run by the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and administered by NextCorps & SecondMuse. The grant is $25k in cash with the other $100k coming as 1:1 investor matching. This program also comes with mentoring, help scouting CXO candidates, networking and a demo day in November 2021. This EU & US collaboration signals an acceleration of international venture & government funds into pursuing climate innovation as well as the entrance of young, climate focused entrepreneurs and innovators disrupting the legacy financial services industry.
The Seeds Story
Our idea was born after two of our co-founders, Alba Forns, and Will Wiseman joined the global climate strike organized by Fridays For Future in Barcelona in September 2019. As they were marching through the streets, Will climbed up on a bench to look out over the crowd.
In that moment he was overcome with hope but surprisingly, also with a deep aching sadness. Hope because he could see a real collective desire for change. Hope in the faces of the old and young; hope that maybe their calls for a more sustainable future would be heard and acted upon. At the same time, he felt this deep sadness because he knew that by the next day everyone would have returned to their everyday lives, cars would replace the activists in Passeig de Gràcia and our emissions levels would still be the same.
Will realized that what we need is a way to use our collective energy to make a concrete difference. He thought "How can everyone contribute to a better future?" and after some time he realized that everyone across the whole spectrum has: a little spare change. When combined, these little investments from our large movement could add up to a lot of money! Thus, the idea for Seeds was born.
Brief Description of our Technology
As humans, we love to feel in control. We strive to progress. Data is a powerful tool to help us feel empowered to take action: we count our steps, we track our sleep, we compare calorie counts. But the environment and the looming climate crisis is an area where we don’t feel informed or empowered. Seeds is the first environmental FinTech to track the carbon offset equivalencies of investments, enabling our investors to reduce their personal carbon footprint and even go climate positive, all while earning money.
Seeds is an environmental Financial Technology (FinTech) mobile application that sits uniquely at the crossroads of Cleantech and the digitization of financial services by using crowdfunding to finance renewable energy projects. Seeds’ mission is to create the financial network for climate action which can harness the collective financial power of the environmental movement by lowering the financial barrier for investment to just spare change, by giving investors full control of which projects their investments build and by providing a competitive return on investment.
Seeds uses a round up technology that identifies your everyday credit card transactions, rounds the purchase up to the nearest € then automatically invests that spare change into the renewable energy project of your choice. Investors receive a standardized, fixed rate, debt share in the project. Repayments plus interest are distributed back to the investors over the lifetime of the loan.
From the beginning Seeds is designed by the people, for the people. By creating an investment marketplace focused on the growing volume of the environmental movement we are leveraging the nature of the environmental movement and deploying an unaddressed tool to fight the climate crisis – the opportunity to INCENTIVIZE collective action. The options you currently have to reduce your personal carbon footprint all require a varying degree of sacrifice such as eliminating meat from your diet or making a large investment to buy an electric vehicle or energy efficient appliances. For many people these options are either too hard or too expensive. What Seeds is doing creates a new option; one which rewards you for the more environmental action you take. By bringing the minimum investment down to just a few cents, we are bringing impact investing within reach of everyone while creating a savings account that will save the world.
Seeds is opening an untapped source of finance for the renewable energy industry by focusing on including every financial level of impact investor. By making Seeds a game which is fun and engaging, we are incorporating educational aspects which helps our community learn about the climate crisis while also taking direct action. At the same time, Seeds can expand the environmental movement by bringing in a demographic of people who are naturally more attracted to the financial side and less to the ecological side. This can be an opportunity to help non-traditional environmentalists adopt a more pro-sustainability conscious mindset and encourage critical thinking.
Seeds directly supports the environmental community, energy communities seeking to create a localized energy supply and the renewable energy cooperative network. Additionally, Seeds gives local communities the opportunity to invest in projects which are constructed nearby through the crowdfunding campaigns.
To emphasize the scalability of the business; during the 2019 FridaysForFuture climate protests over 7.6 million people took to the streets to demand climate action. If 1 million of those activists used Seeds, we would generate +210,000,000€ per year from the spare change round ups alone. Hamburg, Germany alone hosted 500,000 protesters: just one city. If all of the 7.6 million protesters joined our platform, that would generate an additional +1.5Bn€ directly into climate action. That +1.5Bn€ would reduce European emissions by almost 18.7 Mega-tonnes of CO2e which is the equivalent of 18.7 million passengers taking cross-Atlantic flights from New York to London.
Year 1: 35.974 tonnes CO2e, Year 2: 184.302 tonnes CO2e, Year 3: 431.565 tonnes CO2e, Year 4: 736.042 CO2e, Year 5: 1.194.664 tonnes CO2e.
First 5 Year Average: 516.509 tonnes CO2e
Seeds directly addresses 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
#7 Affordable and Clean Energy,
#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth,
#9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,
#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
#13 Climate Action.
- Top 50 Finance & Prosperity, Blue Tulip Awards, 2021 by Accenture - currently competing
- Top 50 Climate & Energy, Blue Tulip Awards, 2021 by Accenture - currently competing
- Finalist - Battle of Green Talent, InnoEnergy, 2021
- Red Bull Basement Contest
- Global 1st place - Climate Action
- Global 1st place – Energy
- Top 3 National Finalist - Sweden
- Top 15 Ideas in Spain – Energía de Portugal Renewables University Challenge, 2020
- ESADE eWorks accelerator, 2020
- Entrepreneurial Idea Contest Finalist, EPAE Environmental Protection and Energy Conference, 2019