We have also heard from many amazing companies, “I am not sure if my company qualifies.” We would like to provide some guidance. The overall premise is, if you are NOT sure if your company would qualify or not, we would encourage you to apply. Please see a few FAQs below that may further clarify:
Q: My project is not structured as a company. Actually, it is a part of a non-profit initiative. Does it qualify?
A: The important thing to consider is: Does the “project” rely on market forces; are customers or clients purchasing your products or services? Many successful companies or financially self-sustainable operations have sprung out of community-led or non-profit organizations.
Q: What are the criteria on which a company will be judged?
A: There are five main criteria that the judging committee is taking into account: profitability, scalability, replicability, environmental impact and social impact of the company. In addition to these five criteria, the committee will also consider a company’s uniqueness, quality of the team, and current traction of the company.
Q: For what stage company is the Land Accelerator created? Am I too late stage?
A: The Land Accelerator was created to help scale companies who restore land. Therefore, we are seeking companies who are past the idea stage, yet still see something to be gained from the activities and networking that our program will bring together. For instance the Land Accelerator team has visited companies who have their goods in over 400 retail locations around India, but are seeking to be in every relevant store worldwide; with companies that have planted over 1 million trees in the past year, but have plans and capacity to successfully triple that number; and with companies who have great service models that are profitable, but are now at the point of needing to replicate their business in new geographies to increase impact. We aim to bring powerful entrepreneurs together, with great mentors and strategists for a one of a kind retreat-like atmosphere where you’ll be guided in partnership with experts to think big and translate the dreams into actions.
Q: Am I too small or too early stage to be considered?
A: Even as The Land Accelerator is seeing many larger companies, new and small companies can also be a great fit. Especially if there is some uniqueness to the offering. Again, the accelerator is designed for companies that are at least in the testing phase of taking their product to market. Do not be shy to apply, as applying is free, and it will allow our team to get to know of your company.
Q: How can I tell if my company restores land in such a way that would make it eligible for the Land Accelerator?
A: The Land Accelerator is considering applications from a very broad array of companies that are supporting land restoration in various ways. We have included a partial list of sectors below, but this does not include all possibilities. If you are not sure, then we would encourage you to apply. However, we have already seen many businesses apply who are in categories of their own. One thing is true: there are innumerable ways that entrepreneurs are improving land. The partial list of some business models that are recognized as restoring land:
- IOT smart agriculture soil monitoring
- Smart irrigation
- Water conservation
- Agro-forestry, silvopasture
- Organic land amendments
- Non-timber forest products
- Sustainably-produced forest products
- Tree planting – plantations
- Tree planting – native species or interspersing commercial trees and native trees
- Fruit trees, productive trees, interplanting with other crops or native tree species
- Specific plantings that restore land or fight desertification (i.e. bamboo brings moisture to soil and builds humus; cashew plantations protect against soil erosion, contribute to increasing soil fertility, and create a cooler microclimate.)
- Urban forestry
- Bee keeping
- Livelihoods through forest conservation or products
- Conservation agriculture techniques and consulting
We are looking to receiving your applications. And, as always, if you have other questions, please feel free to send a quick email to me at amanda.gant (at) wri.org