Where did the idea for Eutopia come from?
Federico: Both Andrea and I had been working in the banking industry and had always a passion for technology and innovation. We’d met years before during our Bachelor degrees, and whilst he was the data man, I was always more of a strategy guy. In all honesty, we didn’t know that much about green technology, but embraced it because so many people were talking about it.
We then realized there was a lack of information about green technology and a gap in the market to streamline it. A big thing for us was that the information that was currently out there didn’t feel clear enough…So Eutopia was born out of the vision to increase transparency within the green innovation ecosystem and to provide decision-makers with structured information to actually accelerate a more sustainable economy. We started working on the early idea whilst we were in our full time roles, and it was only six months before lockdown that we decided to move to Lisbon and start properly building Eutopia from our living room!
Since then, we have gone from strength to strength. We currently have over 11,000 startups on our platform and we focus on mapping European startups and innovative companies devoted to developing products, services or business models addressing the climate crisis. We want to be the modern day Yellow Pages of the green tech world!
Why are you focusing on green tech exclusively?
Federico: The time is now: regulation, consumer and investments are all pushing in that direction and now more than ever information is essential in transitioning to a more sustainable economy. The thing with Eutopia is that it started as a strategic decision and has grown into a love affair with green tech. Not only does it make sense from a business perspective to focus on green, but we are also personally committed to it. Indeed, to further amplify our positive impact, we have established Eutopia as a social business, reinvesting 50% of its surplus revenue back into green technologies and initiatives.
So, how does it actually work?
Federico: We collect our data from public online sources – by means of hundreds of web crawlers – as well as from our strategic partners and a green startup community. Leveraging automation and data science, the information is cleaned and aggregated, prioritising the most relevant sources for each field. Eventually, our NLP and Deep Learning algorithms classify each venture by sector, technology, development maturity, climate impact and business traction. The good news is that it’s very scalable and we are excited to grow our community!
How do you see Eutopia growing in the future?
Federico: Our aim is to work alongside governments and the European Union to help the political push for climate action. We think the data we capture could really help the green initiative and distinguish businesses who are really having an impact. By measuring the impact of young companies too, we are able to track their growth. By working with bigger players, we hope to drive a bigger impact.
A key principle is that we want to encourage startups to be on our site, so we do not charge startups to join. Our long term growth plan is to also build a measuring tool, where we can actually work out how much resources (e.g. energy, water, CO2) you save by using X or Y company.
What green tech do you find most inspiring?
Federico: I think clean meat, or lab grown meat, is really awesome. Since Eutopia, and learning more about sustainability, I have become a vegetarian and I am just so intrigued by this shift that a lot of people are making.
Another company that is really interesting is Climeworks. They are a direct air capture solution that was recently selected as part of Microsoft’s carbon removal portfolio to help reach negative emissions by 2030 and remove the company’s historic emissions by 2050. I think technology that is able to actually take damaging CO₂ directly from the air is really exciting and I am intrigued to see how the technology grows.