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Our RGU accelerator experience

Our award winning story

Foreword: first of all, let me make it clear I’m not an award winning writer … but please read on to hear our success as conservationists

Matthew Cameron 20/05/2022

Back in January, unaware of how much positive change would result, we applied to the Robert Gordon University regional startup accelerator. Our aim: develop a new major service for carbon sequestration. Two months prior the team read a report “Carbon storage and sequestration by habitat: a review of the evidence” by Natural England. The potential of meadow creation to provide important carbon capture services was clear. Meadow creation just so happened to be our area of expertise! This empowered The Habitat People to aspire to major regional contributions to tackling climate change. 

After the glee of being accepted on the accelerator programme, we found many of our evenings spent on Zoom classrooms. These were dedicated to teasing out our customer proposition, debating and deciding costing and occasionally delivering the dreaded 1 minute pitches. At the other end of the call were a cohort of enthusiastic startups and an electric team of teachers from RGU, including the superhuman Ed. Who was so energetic and enthusiastic about our business and our ideas that we could only become even more dedicated to establishing the Carbon Shop, our major new service. There isn’t an obstacle Ed can’t turn into a positive challenge, including the long power cuts leaving our office devoid of power. As soon as Ed heard this, our team was whisked into the swish and focussed environment of the ONE TechHub and welcomed warmly by the lovely personnel there. 

We understood to be successful in our new endeavour meant complimenting our existing business experience with great mentors, to inform and advise our trajectory to market, surmount obstacles, such as starting costs and forming new networks with stakeholders. Our mentor was Terri Vogt, an experienced and dynamic 

business woman. Terri immediately understood and supported our idea. Her advice refining our other services and carbon shop proposition was beyond effective. Together we set new targets and improved our understanding of our offering to prospective clients. Our ambitious nature as a team had led to a desire to do everything and be everywhere in the Aberdeenshire environment. Terri wisely helped us realise we could achieve this, but it is essential to grow at the right speed, which wasn’t necessarily as fast as possible, and in the right directions. Three directions to be precise, to develop: the carbon shop, our corporate sites and wildlife gardening services. But importantly relying on our strongest asset: experience and understanding of habitat creation.

The cohort was composed of many brilliant businesses, including a like minded and ambitious business: Two Raccoons. This surplus fruit wine brewing duo offered no end of enthusiasm for our carbon shop. Big believers in local and accountable operations, and already striving to minimise their environmental footprint in every possible way. We are delighted to say we will be responsible for offsetting their footprint!

Both us and the racoons made it to the final, an exciting pitching event. There was no denying we were nervous, revealing our new service to the public and seriously impressed by our fellow finalists. So, we were elated to discover we won the Climate Impact Award. Ever since, we have been hard at work to develop our first offsetting site near Peterhead. We project sequestration of 1200 tonnes of carbon in the first year alone. The equivalent of nearly 100 UK citizens’ emissions for a year. And, this is only the beginning. We are working hard to onboard many new sites to make the greatest possible contribution to tackling climate change.

Find out more about us!

Whether you are passionate about wildflowers, want to have an impact on climate change, or just enjoy nature, visit our website and get in touch to learn more about us and the services we offer!

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