Big Firms to Support Low-carbon Startups
Startups developing low-carbon products and services can now benefit from free consultancy with two of the UK’s top business and legal advice firms as part of the Carbon Trust’s Incubator Programme.
Business advisers Grant Thornton and law firm Mills & Reeve have pledged to give up to 17 hours of free help to firms that qualify for the programme, which accelerates the commercialisation of promising low-carbon technology startups.
Their advice, valued at £2-300 per hour, will cover areas that include fundraising, shareholder agreements, manufacturing agreements and intellectual property (IP) licensing. Carbon Trust research suggests low-carbon technology firms typically spend up to £20,000 on IP advice and £15,000 on general legal advice alone.
â??Businesses involved in the scheme will receive a level of advice they might otherwise be unable to afford,â?
said the Carbon Trust’s head of incubators, Rachael Nutter.
â??This will help them prioritise different aspects of the business and develop a sense of the financial and legal advice they will need in the future.
â??Grant Thornton and Mills & Reeve have a track record of working in the clean technology sector, including with early-stage businesses,â? she continued. â??These new relationships will give us the best chance to ensure the rapid take-up of viable low-carbon technologies.â?
The Trust’s Incubation Programme was founded in 2004 to support early-stage businesses and startups developing carbon-saving technologies with commercial potential. Qualifying firms receive up to £60,000 of advisory support over 12-18 months from the programme’s six incubator partners, which also include Angle Technology and Imperial Innovations.
Among the 70 green businesses to have benefited from the programme so far are Solar Structures, which develops low-cost solar energy for commercial and public buildings, and Gyro Gear, which builds energy-saving transmission systems for vehicles.