Environmental innovators to pitch to ‘Green Dragons’ Den’ in Dublin


24 Nov 2009

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From positive beermats to green roofs on city buildings, Europe’s brightest green innovators are set to converge in Dublin this weekend to pitch their business ideas to a panel of enterprise and environment experts.

The ‘Green Dragons’ Den’ is one of the features of a three-day programme of activities – with the theme of ‘Business in a Low Carbon Economy’ – which is organised by the British Council as part of its Challenge Europe Project.

More than two dozen innovators

The event will see 29 young green innovators, who hail from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Denmark, Czech Republic, Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Turkey and Great Britain coming together to pitch their ideas to a prestigious panel comprising Laura Turkington, Foundation Manager, Vodafone; Joe Harford, Chairperson of the Irish High Level Action Group on the Green Economy; Carmel O’Connor, Head of Corporate Responsibility, BT and Tim Macartney, CEO, Embercombe (UK).

The panel will provide expert feedback on a number of new and innovative green enterprise projects. These include ‘Positive Beer Mats’ – a project to produce beer mats with climate friendly messages; ‘Light Brigade’ – an online campaign to reduce energy wastage from offices and shops; and ‘Urban Bloom’ – a project to make urban communities more sustainable by installing green roofs on city buildings. 

Those whose projects are considered viable by the panel will be supported over the coming year through a mentoring and advice programme in their respective country.

Innovators from Ireland

There will be four budding innovators from Ireland including: Andrea Carroll, founder of Arc Sustainability Consulting, based in Navan; Dublin student Laura Duggan, studying at Queen’s University, Belfast; Joe Borza an engineering consultant from Dublin city centre; and Wicklow man, Mark Bennett, a Green Business Officer for Dublin City.

Their project, ‘Building the Enterprises of Tomorrow’ aims to facilitate the development of low carbon enterprises on the island of Ireland through the creation of an online matching service between potential investors and entrepreneurs.

Over the course of Friday afternoon, the young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet experts from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, gain further knowledge of climate change and share ideas in how business can play a part in reducing greenhouse gasses. 

What’s on tap

On Saturday, the group will travel on in a ‘learning bus’ to Cloughjordan Eco Village in Tipperary, where they will examine how business can be sustained in a low carbon community.

“The impact of climate change will be most felt by those of future generations. That’s why the British Council is investing in supporting young people to become advocates and champions for climate in the fields of law, business and social behaviour,” said Matt Burney, Director of the British Council in Ireland.

“This weekend’s event in Dublin and Cloughjordan is timely, as it is part of exploring and testing business products and models which will be central to building Ireland’s smart economy,” he added.

The British Council’s Challenge Europe is a climate change project, which aims to support young climate change advocates in becoming leaders for the future across a range of fields, including enterprise, law and human behaviour.

The Green Dragons’ Den takes place at 12pm on Friday, 27 November, in the Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2.  

Article courtesy of businessandleadership.com

Photo: The British Council’s Challenge Europe is a climate change project.