11 September 2014: The champagne bottles are empty, the victory speech has been held and congratulations have been exchanged.

For the 2014 finalists, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge did not end at the award ceremony though. Besides the newfound attention and opportunities that the biggest international competition for green innovation brings to Green Challenge finalists in general, they were all given the opportunity to take part in an intense 10-day program at Rockstart to help them get their business to the next level and overcome their most important challenge.

 

This year’s Deep Dive took place from March 2 to March 11 at Rockstart’s headquarters in Amsterdam. Rockstart is known for its successful programs and initiatives to help startups across the planet, including Rockstart Accelerator (an intense 150-days program that helps startups take off and grow) and Rockstart Answers (international feedback events for startups). Last week, Green Challenge 2014 winner bio-bean, runner-up Fargreen, One Nights Tent and Bluerise flew over to Amsterdam to join the 10-day Deep Dive program at Rockstart, also known as a 'mini accelerator program'.

In keeping with the program’s title, the teams were thrown into the deep end right from the beginning. The companies engaged with the most relevant aspects of growing a startup through workshops on topics like financial strategy and leadership. An investors dinner and meetings with the Ellen McArthur Foundation gave them the opportunity to talk to potential future partners.

Most importantly though, a big part of the Deep Dive consisted of customized activities and fieldtrips for each company, to help them reach their own specific goals with the help of a group of personal mentors. While bio-bean, Fargreen and One Nights Tent focused on logistical questions and Deep Dive - Port of Amsterdambranding, Bluerise's goal was to simplify the company's story and assess different financial opportunities. As part of their personal program, bio-bean took a trip to the Port of Amsterdam to meet potential partners relevant to the coffee industry: “We learned a lot about Dutch regulations and made some very promising connections.”

Today the closing event of Green Challenge Deep Dive will take place at Rockstart. This event is all about getting inspired by these promising entrepreneurs and help solve their remaining burning questions. Now that these finalists are ready to scale up their current businesses, it is time to kick off the 2015 competition, giving a new group of innovators a platform for their visions.

 


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