Sustainable Accelerator 6
Sustainable Accelerator offers a diversified portfolio of exciting SEIS & EIS sustainability startups.
|London, United Kingdom
|Energy Mixed Digital/Non-Digital B2B
- Sixth Sustainable Accelerator Cohort
- Invested in 36 sustainability businesses
- Supporting companies with a bespoke accelerator programme
- Track record of developing and investing in high growth start-up
Welcome to Sustainable Accelerator
At Sustainable Ventures we believe in a world where climate change and resource scarcity are addressed by commercial innovation and we are on a mission to help develop 1,000 climate tech start-ups by 2025.
Sustainable Accelerator, led by the Sustainable Ventures management team, supports and invests in some of the UK’s most innovative SEIS & EIS start-ups tackling climate change. Sustainable Accelerator has invested in 36 start-ups to date, backing high potential technologies across sectors including advanced materials, renewable asset management and sustainable fashion. Our latest raise, Sustainable Accelerator 6 (SA6), will provide capital to continue this effort, investing into and supporting high quality climate tech entrepreneurs.
Sustainable Ventures has been launching and supporting climate tech start-ups since 2011. We have supported over 400 companies and built one of Europe’s largest sustainability clusters, based around our 40,000 sq.ft. workspace in Waterloo. We are successful entrepreneurs with a track-record of developing and investing in high growth start-ups. Drawing on our business support capability, industry networks, sector expertise and seed capital we accelerate start-ups from prototype to exit.
This deep expertise in the climate tech sector gives Sustainable Accelerator unrivaled access to early stage companies. We have reviewed over 1,200 investment opportunities and made 36 investments across five portfolios of high-growth, early-stage companies, achieving our first exit in 2022. Over the last five years Sustainable Accelerator has also made it possible for well over 2,000 investors to contribute to solving the planet's gravest challenges. Our model is to ally capital investment into start-ups with hands-on tailored acceleration support and access to our ecosystem, to help entrepreneurs grow faster. By supporting our investee companies through this model, we aim to reduce the failure rate and increase returns.
Sustainable Accelerator 6 (SA6) aims to invest £100k - £200k into around 6-10 high potential climate tech start-ups, though we will increase the number of investments if we overfund. These businesses will benefit from Sustainable Accelerator’s one-year support programme of expert mentorship, network introductions, fundraising support, and growth services.
Across our previous five Sustainable Accelerator programs, we have invested in 36 climate tech start-ups, achieving our first exit in 2022 when Zeigo was acquired by Schneider Electric. We currently have a portfolio of 34 active companies - all either SEIS or EIS tax relief eligible. We aim to maximise SEIS relief in each investment we make and expect our SA6 investors to be able to capitalise on the proposed enhancements to the SEIS allowances. The companies across our previous five funds have now raised >£70m in follow-on funding, including investments and grants. In particular, our portfolio company Rovco has secured over £20m in investment and achieved a 41x valuation uplift*.
Since 2011, Sustainable Ventures has developed a successful portfolio of climate tech start-ups, championing innovative solutions and attracting significant later stage funding. We also have experience funding companies alongside the crowd, having helped achieve the UK’s first crowdfunded exit, when E-Car Club (a company founded and built by SV) was bought by car rental giant Europcar within 4 years of inception.
*As calculated from company pre-money valuation prior to our first investment to post-money valuation after the most recent round.
Our Sustainable Accelerator portfolio:
In the last five years we have sourced over 1,200 potential investments, affirming both the quality and quantity of the UK’s growing ecosystem aiming to mitigate climate change.
(Please note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.)
How does Sustainable Accelerator source start-ups?
Sustainable Accelerator benefits from the established start-up support programmes managed by Sustainable Ventures, which provide regular dealflow and strong brand recognition, driving direct approaches from entrepreneurs looking for funding. We have also developed strong relationships with many of the industry’s most innovative incubators, universities, research funding bodies and venture capitalists through years of working side by side. In addition, we host regular pitch days and continually search the market for promising new innovations.
We undertake detailed due diligence on the most attractive opportunities, utilising our network of partners to help us assess the relative merits and commercial strengths of each prospect.
What does Sustainable Accelerator look for?
We look for early stage, SEIS and EIS eligible, UK climate tech start-ups to join our accelerator programme.
We look for opportunities across a range of verticals and underlying technologies where we believe disruption is inevitable. We aim to ensure a balanced portfolio of investments is achieved with no significant concentration in any one vertical.
When evaluating opportunities, we predominantly reference the following criteria:
For our programme, we expect high quality teams, early traction, and a disruptive technology or business model. We want companies capable of gaining momentum from equity investment, and coachable founders willing to leverage our programme to the fullest.
How our Acceleration Programme strengthens start-ups
An accelerator is a hands-on model for funding early stage companies; by providing start-ups with a package of investment and support, good accelerators provide unanticipated advantages to their portfolio companies – giving them the best chance of success.
We pair an investment of £150k - £250k (from the funds raised via this campaign) with a one year accelerator programme, making us more invested and more embedded than the classic accelerator model (which typically lasts three months and makes a very small investment of between e.g. £10-50k).
Our belief is that by spending a full year (1) embedding the experience of our team into our start-ups, (2) providing our expert services to help founders succeed, and (3) sharing our ready-made industry network, the companies we select will routinely outperform their peers. Our hypothesis has been proved by the performance of our Sustainable Accelerator companies. The portfolio as a whole has a 95% survival rate and the average valuation uplift at the next funding round following the programme is ~3x.
The one-year Sustainable Accelerator programme consists of:
• Routine 1-to-1s with successful founders and entrepreneurs.
• Dedicated business development and market research support.
• Dedicated fundraising support / preparation.
• Access to experienced industry mentors.
• Access to our readymade industry network.
Our relationship with Sustainable Ventures allows portfolio companies to gain access to their suite of proprietary growth services during their year-in-residence, including:
• Bid Writing (leveraging the significant grant funding available for the sector).
• Bookkeeping (avoiding common early stage mistakes).
• Tax Rebates (leveraging government financial support for innovation).
Our relationship with Sustainable Workspaces, allows us to house companies in our flagship site in Central London. Residence means far more than desk space – it means greater opportunities from clustering with peers and sector specialists, access to the Sustainable Ventures suite of growth services, more learning experiences, and a greater chance of success.
• Priority access to desk and workshop and event space.
• Work with like-minded sustainability start-ups creating peer to peer support including knowledge sharing and problem solving.
• Attend tailored professional and social events across the calendar year.
Sustainable Accelerator uses a fourfold strategy to maximise the potential of cohort companies.
Tax advantages and climate-specific grant initiatives allow us to offer investors some downside protection and make your investment go further.
*Please note that any tax relief is dependent on personal circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.
Who am I investing alongside?
Whilst we have set our minimum campaign target at £600k, our goal is to raise at least £1m from investors looking for curated exposure to the broader sustainability space.
Should there be sufficient demand, Sustainable Accelerator would be comfortable overfunding to increase the capital available to invest in the portfolio. We would be open to raising up to £2m as we believe there are sufficient high-growth early stage opportunities within the thriving area of climate tech to deploy that capital.
Our management team is investing a minimum of £50k into the Sustainable Accelerator. These funds will be deployed into the cohort companies alongside other funds raised via Seedrs on exactly the same terms, aligning our interests with anyone who joins us via Seedrs.
Andrew Wordsworth, Managing Partner:
• Andrew co-founded Sustainable Ventures in 2011, holds over 15 years in new venture development, and has been directly involved in securing over £250m in equity commitments into portfolio ventures.
• Prior to Sustainable Ventures, Andrew held roles at Esso, Bain & Co and as Managing Director of Carbon Trust Enterprises Limited – where he invested alongside the likes of HSBC and SSE. Andrew holds a first-class MEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, where he was awarded the University Fox Prize.
Role: IC member, mentor to portfolio companies, and provides access to the SV ecosystem.
Peter Shortt, Chief Investment Officer and Chair of Investment Committee:
• Peter is an experienced Venture Capital fund manager with a focus on environmental businesses, having spent 30 years in VC covering seed investments to IPOs, including being Chief Investment Officer of Carbon Trust Investment Partners,.where he oversaw the successful IPOs of Ceres Power and CMR.
• Prior to Sustainable Ventures, he led the Corporate Finance team at the Ministry of Defence responsible for selling a number of owned businesses – including the Defence Support Group, sold to Babcock PLC for £140m.
Role: Chair of Investment Committee and mentor to portfolio companies.
Chris Morris, Co-Founder and Senior Partner:
• Chris is a co-founder and Venture Development Director of Sustainable Ventures, and was co-founder and Managing Director of E-Car Club – which exited to car rental giant Europcar in 2015.
• In 2012 Chris co-founded E-Car Club Ltd and quickly cemented it as a significant player in the sustainable transport space, raising over £1.5m in investment and grants whilst forging national partnerships with household names including British Gas, Nissan and Renault. In July 2015 the business was acquired by Europcar, delivering the world’s first crowdfunding exit.
Role: IC member and mentor to portfolio companies.
Stuart Ferguson, Investment Partner:
• Stuart has 23 years of investment, portfolio management and corporate finance experience, across the investment lifecycle. He has raised and deployed £60m of funds into early stage businesses
• Role: Stuart leads all investment activities at Sustainable Accelerator.
Jed Comyn, Portfolio Manager:
• Jed has over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience in venture-backed businesses and has led Operations, Product & Technology teams at Depop, Elder & Florence.
•Role: Jed co-leads on the SA programme.
Henry Hamilton, Senior Investment Associate:
• Henry has over 7 years investing experience across public and private markets, with over 2 years in early-stage VC. Henry also has operating experience from having worked in the CEO team of a UK energy-supplier.
• Role: Henry sources, due diligences and manages transactions into climate tech start-ups.
Shruti Iyengar, Senior Investment Associate:
• Shruti has over 6 years experience in impact investing, measurement, and social innovation consulting. Prior to joining Sustainable Accelerator, Shruti has supported and mentored 30+ start ups and delivered accelerator / incubator programmes across Asia.
• Role: Shruti manages SA’s portfolio companies, leads the SA programme, and impact measurement practice.
What are the fees?
Sustainable Accelerator does not charge investors any management fees however, investors will be charged the Seedrs standard 1% transaction fee upon investment (up to a max. £250). The capital (net of 1% transaction fee) will be eligible for EIS or SEIS tax relief (dependent on the personal circumstances of the investors and is subject to change).
Sustainable Accelerator is incentivised by a carry fee on any profits made by an investor on a per investment basis. Sustainable Accelerator will charge a carry fee equal to 12.5% of profits investors make on each investment into an investee company. Seedrs will also charge its standard 7.5% carry fee.
Each investee company will be charged a fee upon investment:
• 6.5% of total funds raised
• a payment processing fee
• £2,500 completion fee
If the above is less than £6,000 in total, then the company will be charged £6,000 as a flat fee instead.
This fee will be shared between Sustainable Accelerator and Seedrs. These fees are equivalent to Seedrs’ standard crowdfunding financing fees.
To deliver the year-long acceleration programme, Sustainable Accelerator charges investee companies £2k per month.
Investor capital will be held in escrow by Seedrs until SEIS or EIS eligible start-ups are identified by Sustainable Accelerator and accepted into the programme.
Once a company has been selected for the Sustainable Accelerator programme, Seedrs as nominee, will perform legal due diligence and then invest your funds directly into the chosen business in exchange for equity. Seedrs holds these shares as your nominee (in the same way it does for start-ups that raise money on its platform).
The valuation that investments are made at will be the same for all investors in the Sustainable Accelerator, including the management team who will be responsible for negotiating the valuation terms.
We are proud of our ever-growing investor group. We have over 2,000 investors across our five previous Sustainable Accelerator rounds. Our investors bring huge benefits to our portfolio companies through feedback, mentorship, and customer introductions.
Below is our proven framework for engaging with start-ups from an investor point of view, and how you will be able to get involved with Sustainable Accelerator 6 events, investment strategy and portfolio companies.
We keep all our investors up to date with news and performance of Sustainable Accelerator companies through:
• Quarterly portfolio updates
• Interim updates on headline news from the portfolio
For larger investors we offer a tiered range of additional benefits including:
• Invitations to private investor events and networking opportunities
• Priority preview/first refusal on next round funding opportunities (EIS)
• Mentorship opportunities
• Quarterly reviews with our investment team and cohort
Note: investor benefits will vary depending on size of investment. Please contact us to discuss specific investor benefits.
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