Greencubator is an NGO committed to building ecosystem for sustainable entrepreneurship, low-carbon innovations and green economy development in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. We see our mission in connecting people with sustainable future.
Our heroes are those who look beyond status quo in energy; those, who seek for new solutions and models; those who are developing things which were considered impossible; those who dare to look beyond obvious. We honestly believe that energy sphere is the next frontier for human civilization, a new opportunity for economic freedom as well as an opportunity for the planet. It is an opportunity which uncovers new horizons while removing the threats posed by the current model of the energy industry.
Serving energy & climate innovators
And to do that we support those who are bringing this energy future closer – the engineers, the geeks, the scientists. Numerous activities and projects implemented by Greencubator are directed at inspiring and supporting those who work relentlessly on designing the next big thing in energy. And to do that we support those who are bringing this energy future closer – the engineers, the geeks, the scientists. Numerous activities and projects implemented by Greencubator are directed at inspiring and supporting those who work relentlessly on designing the next big thing in energy.
Advancing green entrepreneurship
Creative entrepreneurs with environmentally friendly business models are critical for sustainable development and future-compatible energy production. Greenucbator team supports them in their endeavors in various ways. In 2010 we started with helping business media to understand the opportunity behind the green business models. Then we continued with celebrating green business models and empowering startups. A whole series of projects and activities such as SmartEnergy Forum, TeslaCamp, Hack4Energy hackathon and numerous others provided initial charge if inspiration for numerous teams who started working on their own products and services. Some of them designed viable products and business models and now act as a role models for thousands of aspiring Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
Many of those activities are aimed at forming the network of entrepreneurs, startups, established corporate businesses. Some of these subtle and often invisible links result in new renewable energy projects, new capital raised for promising energy startup or an entrepreneur participating in important international trade fairs. Sometime opportunity is just a handshake away and Greencubator works to provide entrepreneurs with a chance to make this handshake. We have always dreamed about being able to support entrepreneurs beyond mentoring, celebrating or providing prizes for hackathon winners. Since 2016 our team along with EBRD and EU Neighborhood facility has launched Climate Innovation Vouchers Scheme in Ukraine. This financial instrument allows providing the financing for innovative businesses developing new technologies which reduce CO2 emissions. It is the first instrument launched by EBRD in Europe and Greencubator is proud to support Ukrainian entrepreneur with this tool. Entrepreneurs constantly seek for new solutions and we are happy to come up with new innovative ways of serving them.
Unlocking energy freedom
Forward-looking entrepreneurs and talented engineers are making huge strides towards making energy environmentally friendly. But they often hit the wall of policies designed over half a century ago, centered on the idea that there is a one-fit-it-all solution for everyone. Replacing outdated and discriminatory policies which result in strengthening the entrenched monopolies (and discriminating the new players) with new ones which allow for truly competitive markets and energy freedom is an important part of Greencuibator’s job. Our team understands that this is not a job for engineers or entrepreneurs but it is important for their success. These are exactly the reason why we communicate and influence the stakeholders of policy-making process. Our team contributed to many discourses which provided numerous stakeholders with understanding that energy freedom is critical for sustainable development. We also invest considerable time and attention into making incremental changes in legislation as well as regulations in order to allow for more energy freedom.
We think global and act local since our team believes in power of local communities and self-organized groups. And to act local our team energizes these communities and supports them in various sustainable energy projects. One of the important aspect of our job is to promote energy democracy – ability of smaller players (including local communities and self-organized groups) to participate in energy markets without artificial restrictions. That is why we promote energy cooperatives and support local communities in establishing them. An important part of Greencubator’s job is showcasing the best international examples of energy cooperatives and showing communities how similar models can be implemented in Ukraine. Resilient and energy-smart-communities is of one of the most important focal points for Greencubator as current monopolized and over-regulates.
Greencubator started back in 2009 with a bold vision by its co-founders to support entrepreneurs and companies moving forward markets of renewable energy and energy-efficiency in Ukraine. To a large extent this project became a result of some personal experiences – dealing with monopolistic utilities and trying to make own home more energy-efficient. The initial project was far from success – a few people even noticed it. This became the strongest stimulus to start experimenting with new activity formats, new approaches, unusual audiences. And university students and academia became the first one. Our team started working with student and educators. We just understood that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and decision-makers. So, we started a series of university-oriented events, most notably – a series of conferences called “Energy-efficient universities”. Greencubator is always experimenting with formats, so we wanted to overcome the gravity of the formal events and stimulate more open discussion while providing people with an opportunity to experience the renewable energy by themselves. This is how we started EnergyCamp – an open-air renewables-powered event dedicated to the future of energy industry. Inspiring talks and intense discussions dedicated to the topics of renewable energy created a whole community, but our team was willing to develop the format. This is how after over 15 EnergyCamps carried out in different regions of Ukraine TeslaCamp arrived. This annual event combined previous activities with hackathon – competition of innovative startup ideas and their implementation.
Hackathons and competitions became an integral part of many Greencubator projects since 2012. Our team have carried out SmartEnergy Forum and multiple hackathons. Hack4Energy Hackathon carried out in 2015 gathered energy hackers teams from 15 Ukrainian cities to work collaboratively on solving Ukraine’s energy challenges. Another series of hackathons – SunnyDay gathered energy hackers in 2014 and 2016 to work on open-source renewable energy solutions. In 2014 Greencubator started promoting energy democracy – an important part of our vision of the future compatible energy markets. The ones which allow for many players – small and big to co-exist as a part of inclusive and competitive energy eco-system. Our team started promoting energy cooperatives and more inclusive energy market. Since then hundreds of people participated in trainings dedicated to energy cooperatives and our team published numerous materials sharing best international experience in Ukraine. Understanding the need to represent future-compatible energy business models and community energy initiatives at a policy development level, Greenucbator became a founding member of energy group of the RPR coalition in 2014. Since then we contributed to discussing and formulating of multiple draft laws, governmental strategies and regulatory documents. Contributing to sustainable energy policies remains one of the organization’s priorities. Bringing Ukrainian energy innovators, entrepreneurs and startups to international markets is an important part of our work. In order to enable them to present themselves on global markets Greencubator team since 2015 carries out multiple projects to educate, teach and otherwise empower them, prepare to work at international markets. We brought selected Ukrainian entrepreneurs and startups to international trade fairs, competition and hackathons. To provide them with even more opportunities since 2016 Greencubator organized Climate Launchpad idea competition in Ukraine and brought climate friendly startups to European finals of the competition. In 2017 one of Ukrainian finalists of Climate Launchpad were selected for participation in Climate Launchpad startup accelerator.
Since 2016 Greencubator started working as a Project Manager for Innovation Voucher Scheme financed by EBRD and EU Neighborhood facility. With a total pool of financing of EUR 1 000 000 Ukraine became the first European country where Innovation Vouchers were launched.
Grant Program Manager
We were happy to work together with
Head of Entrepreneurship Programs
Head of Communications