About this good practice
The city of Kristiansand initiated in 2013 a business idea competition. The competition should raise awareness of business ideas that contribute to sustainable development, circular economy and low/zero emissions.
The annual event covers the entire Agder region, supported by the county administration, municipalities, regional incubators, private companies and Climate KIC accelerator. The focus is on startups and early-stage businesses with international ambitions.
Candidates submit their business ideas, which can vary in their development stage, to a panel of experts that analyzes and ranks the ideas. The six most promising ideas receive an invitation to the pitch-session.
The pitch session will identify the three business ideas with the highest potential. During a high-level event, Kristiansand Sustainability Week, the winner receive their awards. In addition to the award, the winners are invited to participate in international business development events for startups.
The competition is a collaborative initiative among Kristiansand and Agder County Council, Innovation Norway, municipal innovation centres and DNB).
Besides the in-kind work, the overall budget needed is around €40 000.
Evidence of success
Finalists undergo professional mentoring and pitch training, which has proven helpful for further promoting the idea to potential investors.
They are also invited to events like SLUSH (Helsinki) and SXSW (Austin), and enables the winners to apply and qualify for international events like Oslo Innovation Week or Climate KIC accelerator.
The competition clearly contributes to increased attention towards entrepreneurship, which is the most significant success factor.
Potential for learning or transfer
The concept of a Green Business Idea Competition is transferrable to any region, regardless of the industry sector and can serve as a template for other regions. However, each region should find its focus area, and adapt the concept to the regional context.