This year, Singapore-based impact investor Silverstrand Capital launched the inaugural Biodiversity Accelerator+, a philanthropic initiative with the aim of scaling solutions to protect the biodiversity of Southeast Asia and beyond.
This three-month programme supported seven companies based in the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen their businesses through group and one-on-one coaching. The topics covered ranged from measuring impact to financial modelling.
The programme was conducted both in-person and online. It begun with a three-day kick-off in Singapore and culminated in an investor pitch event with over 100 investors in Jeju, South Korea, in October.
One IMPACT awards judge highlighted the need for such accelerators to "multiply the ammunition to fight climate change," stating "this accelerator works towards capacity building, which is the backbone of fighting climate change".
Two types of businesses were considered for the programme: those engaging in nature-based solutions; and those with technological innovations to improve nature conservation.
The inaugural cohort included seven organisations. Some examples of these are:
- Archireef – restores coral reefs using proprietary 3D-printed clay tiles that boost coral survivorship;
- GroundUp Conservation – works with grassroots organizations to build financially-sustainable, regenerative projects;
- NightJar – has created an AI-enabled camera solution to alert conservation rangers of illegal poaching, logging, and wildlife species; and
- Wildlife Drones – monitors animal movement at scale using drones, for a variety of applications including invasive species management.
"We have been heartened by the encouraging feedback and interest in the cohort from external parties and expect the businesses to be in much better positions to raise funds and scale their impact on biodiversity," said Kelvin Chiu, founder of Silverstrand Capital.
The programme was supported by over 35 partner organisations including the UBS Optimus Foundation, The Meloy Fund, and Wavemaker Impact.
The organisation will launch the next iteration of the Accelerator+ next year.