Resolve Partners
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Resolve Partners

Accelerate Green: Let the Change Begin

As we bring our Accelerate Green seminar series to a close, our final one features three fantastic guests. First up is David Lynch, co-founder of Klir, who provide water system management software for water utilities. Then we have Stephen Grant, founder of Grant Engineering, a leader in the energy and heat field and Tom Donnellan, CEO of Bord na Móna, who’ve taken their company from brown to green. Reflecting on the challenges they have faced, opportunities they see on the horizon and advice for successful applicants, it’s a fireside feast in our final conversation before our deadline. Register your interest now at https://accelerategreen.ie/

The Space to Be

Co-hosted by David Scanlon and Alan Costello of Resolve Partners, the seminar opened with encouraging words from Tom about their aspirations for successful programme applicants. “What’s most important for us is that these companies succeed and that they grow and that they grab this opportunity that we see on a large scale…I’m more than convinced than when we looked back on this in two or three years time that a number of the companies that come out of this programme will be successful in their own right.”

Biggest Challenges

Despite being highly successful companies based on vital resources, challenges will always exist in business. For Stephen, he says, “there is an upside and downside, the downside is there will be a reduction in oil-fired boilers sales over the next few years, but there is also an opportunity for biofuels like HVO.”

For David, he says the largest obstacle is more than that,” The biggest problem is the magnitude of climate change, not just companies, for all of us…I look at that as an incredible opportunity…We’re talking to the biggest and best VCs in the world and one commented to me during our process…that their thesis in VC is that every company is going to be a climate company.” David says we’re going to see more money in this sector, which will foster innovation and it will be a case of “innovate or die”. Add in public will for change, and this is one area where “all the forces are converging”.

Governments and Consumers

What about those outside the business that are key players in it all? David believes we will see a move towards more climate-forward governments and policy, but we need new mechanisms that haven’t previously been in place on the procurement side of things. “Making it more open, making government bodies and semi-state bodies and those processes in terms of how they buy, and giving the tools to organisations to be able to rank and select products that are more climate forward, I think it would be a huge opening for the rest of the economy.”

Stephen says the biggest challenge for consumers is “the cost of bringing their home up to new standards.” However, he advises that small steps are the way to go and will make all the difference over time. It doesn’t all have to be achieved at once.

Pathways to Growth

How do you grow your business in the right direction? Both speakers agree on the importance of listening to your customers. However, Stephen added that “you don’t have to take everything on board.” He also speaks to the importance of dedication to your business, staying ahead of the game, and the crucial role of working with the right people. “You’ve got to surround yourself with the proper people. You can’t do everything yourself.”

David says accelerators are also a significant factor in a company’s growth. “(They) play a critical role for the gestation of a company at the star….you really need to focus…accelerators can be really good at that.”

The Role of Partnerships

What about other people? When it comes to the involvement of others in your business and developing partnerships, Stephen advises, “never burn any bridges…and it’s important to listen to everybody.”

David suggests documenting everything regarding agreements and these types of processes. He also encourages a clinical approach with selecting your partnerships,” They are very delicate and should be surgical at the beginning…pick the ones that are going to get you to the next step, not to get you all the way.” He says there is no silver bullet, and “if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.”

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David Scanlon

David Scanlon

1.6K Followers

Earthling. Director at Resolve Partners . Ex- @entirl , ex- @StartupGrindDUB , ex- @ndrc_hq . Fan of community, serendipity, Oxford commas, & the open sea.