i4n Marketplace kick-off by Andé Hoffmann and Barbara Dubach

On 5th April 2023, the Innovate 4 Nature (i4n) marketplace took place at the beautiful Roche Forum in Buonas. The aim of the event was to bring together startups, SMEs, companies and investors and to promote collaboration between them. André Hoffmann and Barbara Dubach opened the event by stating that our economy requires a step-by-step system change towards a sustainable prosperity. They emphasized the importance and necessity to start measuring the value of nature as a basis for a successful management. Only then can the market can start to invest in and promote nature.

Watch highlights

Diverse Nature-based Solutions (NbS) pitches

The four focus areas of the pitches in the NbS Startups were sustainable management of ecosystems, nature as infrastructure, productive and regenerative agriculture, and nature-positive energy systems and circular solutions. The audience saw a diverse set of startups, including:

  • Catalyse Energy – adoting a biogas-based Circular Economy that results in a net gain to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity
  • Fabas – giving producers a native protein
  • Force for Nature – providing training, resources and recognition to wildlife Rangers to increase management effectiveness
  • Inverto – accelerating Scalable Mangrove Restoration and intending to quantify their impact on biodiversity
  • Investconservation – making tropical forests more investable, leveraging smart technology and blockchain tokens
  • Life sanctuaries / Vallée éternelle – reintroducing and organising species preservation projects with wild keepers
  • MyCPAC – using waste from mushroom production and transforming it into compostable and affordable packaging
  • Primal Soles – creating 100% recycable shoe soles, sourced from Mediterranean cork
  • Real Naturation –  participating in profitably renaturation Earth’s degraded land for the benefit of humanity
  • Scrimber – creating a new building material that captures and stores CO2 long-term in buildings
  • Solapave – creating safe and clean solar power, serviced through microgrid networks to deliver power on demand
  • Stream Ocean – building an AI-powered end-to-end solution for real-time marine monitoring
  • Vatorex – helping to solve the problem of the bee parasitic Varroa mite, through field studies and monitoring services
  • Vlinder – facilitating a marketplace for carbon offsets and impact investing that empowers people to act on climate

Panel discussion with investors

Between pitches, a panel discussion was held on the topic of how to view nature as an asset to invest in. The main message was that incentives need to be created by changing the view from “nature as risk” to “nature as an asset with opportunities”. Currently, most investors are still too risk averse, not knowing which sustainable solutions to invest in.

A radical and substantial change is needed

In the afternoon, Thomas Vellacott of WWF pointed out the unique situation we are in and that we therefore need a rapid transition to net zero. This requires collaboration on an unpredictable scale, radical change and no longer “business as usual.” It is important to offer sustainable solutions to investors, but also to foster new startups with breakthrough solutions. Collaboration is the key to bringing about this change.

How to change our view on nature

Joshua Kaufmann gave an inspiring closing speech in which he reminded us that humans are part of nature. We should refocus on triumphing as nature and seeing the world as a whole. This is the basis for creating a nature-friendly economy.

For more information visit: i4n.ch