Startups are now invited to apply for the second cohort of Impact Kommons’ startup business integration program.
When the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were announced in 2012, they gave the world a much-needed common framework to initiate a collaborative effort toward environmental, political, and economic harmony.
Today, these universal goals continue to become increasingly relevant, as climate change, disparate wealth distribution, economic uncertainties, and a global pandemic have repeatedly warned us.
Companies are taking note of the mounting need for a global transition to a sustainable and ethical modus operandi. Shareholder capitalism is losing its sheen, as the onus is put on businesses to take substantive action.
Businesses like Hong Kong-based property conglomerate New World Development (NWD) recognize the role that technology and innovation play in realizing the SDGs.
Its New World Sustainability Vision 2030, for instance, highlights four strategic focus areas–Green, Wellness, Smart, and Caring–to help the company create customer experiences through green technologies, wellness initiatives, smart innovation and social responsibility.
NWD also runs Impact Kommons through its corporate innovation arm Eureka Nova. Impact Kommons is a startup accelerator mandated with integrating sustainable and smart startup solutions with NWD businesses through an exchange of knowledge, resources, and technologies.
Impact Kommons’ business integration program for startups
A sustainability innovation acceleration platform powered by Eureka Nova, one of Hong Kong’s longest-standing corporate innovation programs, Impact Kommons uses the SDGs as a guiding framework.
Unlike traditional acceleration programs, the program is focused on enabling startups to deploy their sustainability and social impact solutions through platforms within the NWD network.
The program aims to integrate solutions from like-minded startup companies with NWD businesses, supporting these startups along the way through NWD’s network and business experience.
As such, Impact Kommons serves as a project manager for the startups’ integrations into NWD’s business units, by working closely with both the corporate and the startup teams to manage expectations, minimize miscommunications, and address primary pain points to the benefit of both parties.
Due to the business problem-solving focus of the program, Impact Kommons is looking for relatively more mature startups – those that are ready to integrate, pilot and commercialize their technologies, and share intellectual property with NWD’s business units.
“As the first UN SDG impact accelerator through business integration, we provide the opportunity for startups to roll out technologies that make an impact on sustainability. All of our integration projects have well-defined objectives, metrics to achieve, timeline and resource allocation to ensure a higher level of success,” said Ben Wong, Head of Open Innovation at Eureka Nova.
Impact Kommons recently concluded its first-ever startup business integration program with a hybrid demo day in July this year, featuring five sustainable business solutions startups.
On the heels of the success of its first iteration, Impact Kommons is now seeking out startups to join the second cohort of its two-month startup business integration program. The second installment of the program is slated to take off in early December 2020, and will culminate in a demo day in February 2021.
Sustainability and integration with NWD
As a leading innovation platform, Eureka Nova aims to bolster innovation and disruption in Hong Kong, and create opportunities for startups to grow under the wings of NWD and its partners.
As such, the Impact Kommons program integrates participating startups into NWD’s business units and partner networks, working to develop solutions for pre-identified business use-cases.
These use-cases reference the SDGs across seven problem statements, spanning intelligent operations for elderly homes, carbon footprint management in construction, construction waste management technologies, recycling of wooden pallets, recycling of food containers and packaging, energy consumption at offices, and treatment of construction waste water.
While the program continues to search for early-stage ventures tackling these specific problem statements, program managers have emphasized that NWD is also focused on business sustainability and integrations as a whole. Simply put, this means that startups in any avenue of sustainability and social impact are encouraged to apply.
The Impact Kommons program is designed especially for startups with a sustainability impact value, bankable technology and related intellectual property, hard revenues, and scope for expanding in Hong Kong and China.
In return, Impact Kommons provides these promising startups with a no-strings cash grant provided by its social impact partner DBS Bank free of any equity stake, events and publicity prospects, and coveted access to NWD’s resources and industry networks, in addition to the opportunity to deliver sustainable impact that is aligned with the SDGs.
Impact Kommons’ seamless and streamlined application process is perfect for time-crunched founders, allowing startups to submit themselves for consideration without the need for documentation. Program managers strongly recommend applying early – giving Impact Kommons more time to review application material, or even sometimes check in with follow-up questions, can often result in a higher probability of acceptance.
The vision that Impact Kommons is pursuing is to use technology and innovation to address the most pressing sustainability-focused pain points within NWD’s business units, catalyzing the company’s sustainability efforts.
At the same time, Impact Kommons also creates room for startups to leverage NWD’s region-wide reach and networks, creating access to potential investors and business-building opportunities.
In this way, the program opens a window for transformation, not only for NWD, its partners, or participating startups, but also for the ecosystem that these organizations operate within. And by doing so, Impact Kommons co-creates compelling benchmarks for sustainable corporate innovation, setting the stage for transformation that multiplies.
Impact Kommons is currently accepting applications for its startup business integration until October 19, 2020.
This article was written in partnership with Eureka Nova.