Seed funding can buy startups time, says Michael “Luni” Libes, Seattle-based impact investor and Fledge CEO. But an accelerator is much more than money. World class mentors and trainers from various fields such as business management, leadership, corporate culture and fundraising can help startups to grow without going through all the trial and error.

Sharing is a big part of an accelerator. When startups trust each other, they can give constructive criticism. In some cases, with matching and complementary interests, some startups may even develop professional partnerships. Networking is not only about receiving something through mentorships and fundraising, but also about building something together with new peers. Together with other startups in the cohort, participating startups have the opportunity to learn, share and grow rather than remain alone and compete with others.

Why choose the Nature-Accelerator?

The Nature-Accelerator Programme is unique because it is one of the only accelerator programmes in the world that puts empirical university knowledge and experienced entrepreneurship together to improve the use of natural resources. Furthermore, we have an “ace in the hole”: an international team specialized in agriculture, forestry and natural resource sectors positioned to guide and push you through each step of the programme.

“Regard for nature is inherently valuable not only for us as individuals, but also in the markets” as Carmen Iturriaga from NEPCon says. But navigating how to approach the market and investors is difficult because many investors may still be in a short-term profit-seeking mindset while others may have a more philanthropic vision with a generous outlook. This is why having personalized sector-specific mentorship from around the world supports our startups from rise to revenues helping them make sense out of all the information, tools and best practices  and putting them on the map.

Joining our programme means growth, not only for you and your business-related know-how in our sectors of expertise, but with groups of like-minded people that are also working hard to create a more sustainable future for both society and the environment.

Having said that, we leave the last word to our startups…

During the eight weeks at Agripolis, I learned how to build and test my value proposition, how to get customers on board, how to build a product that resonates with customer demand in the African market, among many other things“, says Brigitha Faustin of OBRI Tanzania. “I highly recommend the Nature-Accelerator especially to nature-based startups. It has been a very, very important opportunity for me and my company and I look forward to learning from the ECOSTAR Nature-Accelerator mentors, a relationship which will last for a lifetime“.

“Being part of the Nature accelerator, I knew I was going to benefit not only about just the mentorship, but mentorship from people who understands nature”, says Joseph Kadendula from Central Park Bees. “I have been to an accelerator before and I know the challenges of being mentored by someone who doesn’t understand your business“.

Business always encompasses three things. Environmental aspect in one corner, social aspect in another corner and the economic aspect in the other corner. In the center of the three is sustainability. The Nature-Accelerator focuses in this core where you make profit but maintain the status quo of the environmental and social aspects. It is very unique and I am very happy to be a part of this accelerator program“, shares Geoffrey Okoth Yoga from Green Charcoal Uganda.

Rodrigo from Sintala Design describes that “joining the Nature-Accelerator gives them access to a good diversity mentors and the inciteful and constructive opinions that comes with that, and other professionals from many different kind of worlds

Razvan Bera and Samih Ahmed of iNergy Agtech think that people should join the accelerator to work out of their comfort zone and create great impact while driving profit. “It gives you access to a network of experienced partners from the US and Europe. The Nature-Accelerator helps you get closer to your objectives, it’s unique. If you compare it to others it has a competitive advantage as it’s not only focussed on money and profits but also on planetary health.”





Developed by ECOSTAR and powered by Fledge, the Nature-Accelerator is an intensive eight week acceleration programme for nature-based startups. As part of ECOSTAR initiative, Etifor Srl and the University of Padova, promote and manage the acceleration programme.