PROGRAMME

About THE PROGRAMME

Programme

Context and Goals

A paradigm shift is urgently needed to reverse the negative trends in global environmental and social issues (such as loss of biodiversity, scarcity of natural resources, climatic changes, increased pollutants and wastes, economic and social disparities, etc.).

Sustainability initiatives will not be sufficient to save our civilization and the Earth as we know it today. A rapid transition towards a regenerative economy is required.

To this end, Tech4Regeneration fosters collaborations between different stakeholders to help disruptive startups deploy and scale-up their technologies through regenerative business models and strategies. Founded and managed by the EPFL Innovation Park, the accelerator programme aims to reach a critical mass of gifted and skilled leaders, partner institutions, and corporations, to accelerate the mass adoption of regenerative solutions. This is taking place within an ambitious project to build a “Regeneration Hub” physically hosted at EPFL Ecotope and connecting a large international community of like-minded pioneers.



The French-speaking part of Switzerland is a breeding ground for innovation in this area, with the emergence of numerous startups from the EPFL and the universities, and the presence of many international organizations and corporations which act as sounding boards.

Beyond Cleantech/Greentech, the focus is on technologies for the regeneration of essential resources and systems. While clean technologies aim to reduce damage to the environment, regenerative technologies aim to restore and regenerate it.

Photo courtesy of Ecorobotix SA — Innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture.

1 Billion

CHF invested in Greentech startups in Switzerland in 2022

+230

Greentech related startups in Western Switzerland, including +80 from EPFL

>30%

New EPFL startups that are in Greentech sector
Programme

Application fields

The program brings together startups, corporates, experts and stakeholders from different fields to foster collaboration and cross-fertilization among them.

Natural Resources

Restoration, recovery and conservation of the air, water, soil, forest, etc..

Energy

Generation, transport, supply & storage, operating efficiency, etc.Generation, transport, supply & storage, operating efficiency, etc.

Infrastructures

Buildings and Construction, Smart Cities, etc.

Transportation

Decarbonized mobility and freight.

Food & Agriculture

Agriculture, conditioning, transformation, nutrition, etc.

Consumer Products

Sustainable consumer goods based on eco-design, lifecycle assessment, circular economy, and responsible consumption.

Enabling Technologies

Green materials and chemicals, sustainable IT, etc.
PROGRAMME

TEAM & Mentors

#
trainer
#
Mentor
#
Program coach
#
Program manager
Academia-Company Partnership
Bizdev
Business-model
Certification
Circular Economy
Finance
Fundraising
Governance
HR
Human centered design / Design thinking
IP
IT
Impact investing
Impact/Carbon Accounting
Industrialization
Internationalization
Leadership
Legal
M&A
Manufacturing
Marcom
Operations
Partnerships
Pricing
Project Management
Public Funding - Innosuisse
R&D
Sales
Strategy
Sustainability
Transformation, Growth, Transition from start-up to scale-up

Botaya Laurent

Head of innovation strategy and Venture Building, Romande Energie SA (RE Ventures)

Botaya Laurent

Head of innovation strategy and Venture Building, Romande Energie SA (RE Ventures)

Experience:

Passionate about the forces that are driving change in our society, such as the transition to lower-carbon economy and innovations, I have a dual academic background (engineering/business school) and 16 years of work experience. A few achievements:

  • helped a new intrant in the energy sector develop its renewable energy activities on the French market
  • defined the growth strategy for a major transportation company in the Americas and assessed new opportunities
  • helped launch a tech start up (BtoC, text to speech technology)
  • managed business development for a Canadian SME that specializes in advanced healthcare technologies
  • worked as a strategy consultant for various large European companies (banks, insurance, telecom…)
  • performed due diligences on startups in the energy sector for investment banks
  • and finally created my own consulting services (strategy, impact investing and energy transition)
Industries:
Natural Resources
Energy
Infrastructures
Transportation
Fields of expertise:

Dr. Cara Tobin

Innovation Coach | Founder, C Greene Solutions

Dr. Cara Tobin

Innovation Coach | Founder, C Greene Solutions

Experience:

Cara founded a successful blended climate finance platform in 2015.

In 2018, she was invited to join Clean Energy Ventures (CEV) where she mentors start-ups  funded by CEV at seed and Series A levels.

Cara mentors approximately 40  companies annually for Mass Challenge (MC) Switzerland  as their climate solutions and sustainable manufacturing coach. She supports  MC start-ups to identify KPIs, improve pitches and financial projections and  find paid pilots and investment. This year, Cara supported start-ups to  quantify their impacts on the SDGs. In 2023, she coached 6 of the top 10  start-ups and has received the highest ratings as a coach for 2 consecutive  years. Some of the start-ups that Cara has coached/is coaching include:  LiveGrow Bio, Carbonaught, Gaia Technologies, Databaum, Revocircle and  Instaheat.

Cara is also an Energy and Environment expert for Innosuisse.  

Industries:
Natural Resources
Consumer Products
Energy
Food & Agriculture
Infrastructures
Fields of expertise:

Fabrice Leclerc

CEO, Wild keepers | Board Member

Fabrice Leclerc

CEO, Wild keepers | Board Member

Experience:

Fabrice is an innovator and entrepreneur who makes innovation a force for positive human and environmental evolution. His collaborations with renowned organisations such as Haagen Dazs, L'Oréal's Prestige, Apple, SKY, Nespresso, Google, the United Nations and
Patagonia have received international recognition. He sits on the board of directors of several start-ups and major groups, and lectures at Bocconi, EPFL and HEC universities

Industries:
Natural Resources
Energy
Infrastructures
Food & Agriculture
Consumer Products
Fields of expertise:

Laura Scorza

Senior Stakeholder Engagement Consultant, Quantis

Laura Scorza

Senior Stakeholder Engagement Consultant, Quantis

Experience:

Laura understands international environments, the challenges companies face in rethinking their role in society and recognising the power of diversity.

Her interest in sustainable development has given her a strong direction in her career. Her mission is to support companies of all sizes in their sustainable development approach and to help them communicate honestly and transparently and avoid greenwashing.

Her main areas of expertise are: corporate communication (including executive coaching), sustainability communication, employees and stakeholders engagement strategies, social impact, diversity and inclusion, and creative execution.

Industries:
Consumer Products
Enabling Technologies
Energy
Food & Agriculture
Infrastructures
Fields of expertise:
Programme

CORE Partners

The EPFL Innovation Park enjoys a strong track record of scaling up disruptive tech and bringing startups to success. It provides flexible office and lab spaces close to EPFL institutes, as well as acceleration services to 300+ high-tech companies: startups, scale-ups and innovation cells of major corporations. With the support of a wide and dynamic network of experts, business partners and investors, it runs several equity-free accelerators open to Swiss and international startups.

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL; English: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is a public research university in Lausanne, Switzerland. Established in 1969, EPFL has placed itself among the most prestigious universities in the world for the quality of its education and research in engineering and natural sciences.

Romande Energie Group is the leading supplier of electricity in Western Switzerland and a mainstay in the Swiss energy industry. It offers several sustainable solutions for the distribution and generation of electricity in addition to energy services, which include energy efficiency and electromobility.

All its generation assets are driven by renewable sources of energy. Additionally, it is working hand in hand with customers, investors and employees to provide ever-better standards of living through innovative services and a commitment to corporate social responsibility. In addition to security of supply, the Group is dedicated to offering innovative services that meet customers' expectations as its supports them in switching to more sustainable sources of energy.

Logitech helps all people pursue their passions and is committed to doing so in a way that is good for people and the planet.

We design hardware and software solutions that help businesses thrive and bring people together when working, creating, gaming and streaming.

Brands of Logitech include Logitech, Logitech G, Streamlabs and Ultimate Ears.

PROGRAMME

Common Questions

Why is Regeneration so important?

In September 2023, an international team of scientists quantified, for the first time, all nine processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth system.

These nine planetary boundaries were first proposed by former centre director Johan Rockström and a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists in 2009.

Since then, their framework has been revised several times.

Now the latest update not only quantified all boundaries, it also concludes that six of the nine boundaries have been transgressed.

stockholmresilience planetary boundaries

Credit: Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre, based on analysis in Richardson et al 2023

What is Regenerative Tech ?

Regenerative solutions refer to a set of practices, processes, systems and technologies that aim to restore and revitalize natural systems and resources, rather than simply exploiting or transforming them.

The goal of regenerative solutions is to create positive impacts on the environment, communities, and human well-being, e.g. by regenerating and restoring ecological systems, soil fertility, clean water, and other vital resources.

Regenerative technology often involves using natural systems as a model for technological solutions and emphasizes the importance of creating closed-loop systems where waste is minimized or recycled, and resources are conserved and regenerated. It is a holistic approach to technology development that recognizes the interconnectedness of all living systems and seeks to create positive, sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our planet and its inhabitants.

What solutions or services are you looking for?

We are looking for any technical solution or service capable of generating a net positive impact in at least one of the 7 categories of the programme (Natural Resources, Food & Agriculture, Energy, Infrastructures, Transportation, Circular Economy and Enabling Technologies such as Green IT, materials and chemicals, etc.)

The programme aims at accelerating the deployment of regenerative solutions to fill societal needs while reversing the breaches of our planetary boundaries.

kate raworth doughnut

Image: Kate Raworth and Christian Guthier/The Lancet Planetary Health

More information: The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries (2017)

How do you assess Regenerative solutions?

It takes a holistic approach to create truly regenerative businesses. Creating a positive impact with a specific technology is not sufficient if it is counterbalanced by the production of highly negative social or environmental externalities.

But addressing the impact of all the activities of your company in a comprehensive approach is precisely the aim of the program. All you need to have at the beginning is a regenerative tech and a strong vision for your venture, as well as unwavering determination, boldness and pugnacity, combined with the open, empathic and collaborative attitude required to develop a new – and vital - regenerative economy.

What is Regenerative Entrepreneurship?

Regenerative Entrepreneurship consists in developing solutions and businesses that contribute to the transition to a regenerative economy.

" The ‘take-make-waste’ mode of organizing is not sustainable, it’s time for a new work culture that prioritizes human resourcefulness and resilience.

— ref. How entrepreneurs are preparing the ground for a regenerative economy — by Julia Binder, Professor of Sustainable innovation and Business Transformation at IMD

" A regenerative economy means moving away from extractive business models and unlocking the potential for positive contributions for nature and society.

— ref. Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment — Regenerative Economy

" Regenerative Entrepreneurs and Positive Impact Companies (PICs) have emerged in recent years with a new way of doing business. They adopt a 360°approach and have a social and environmental purpose at the core of their businesses. They go beyond current notions of sustainability, shifting our economy away from its roots of extraction and exploitation towards caretaking and Regeneration.

—  ref. The Positive Impact— From Sustainability to Regeneration    

  

" Regeneration is the process that delivers sustainable living systems as the outcome of that process.

—  ref. The Capital Institute — 8 Principles of a Regenerative Economy

" Regeneration is the process of rebuilding or renewal of the common good — taking an asset, resource, ecosystem, individual, family, organization, community, or place, from crisis and collapse to recovery and regeneration.

—  ref. The Marketing Journal — “Regeneration or Extinction?” a discussion with Philip Kotler, Christian Sarkar, and Enrico Foglia

For more information:

•      Doughnut Economics Action Lab

•      The Regenerative Enterprise

•      The Regenerative Marketing Institute