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Natural Innovation is on indefinite hold as Mitra focuses all his energy on Lumeter Networks, an idea incubated under NI and now spun out as an independent social enterprise. There have been conversations with a couple of people about taking over the mission of Natural Innovation, or some part of it, so please come back soon.

Why

Natural Innovation was started in 2003 to support the development of clean technologies, and has had substantial successes in the fields of materials from waste; urban agriculture and solar photovoltaics.

At the end of 2009 we realised that many great ideas that could seriously impact emissions, and poverty were being lost because of financing challenges. We felt there were other ways to raise support for an idea that complement the traditional venture capital pathway, especially when the inventors are motivated by giving something to the world rather than only by making money.

Often people come to us when they've had the idea and spent a fair amount of time, and often money, on trying to develop their in various ways. At this point they find that they are caught in gap. Supporting them is too risky for philanthropists, but offers too little profit for Venture Capital.  In addition the Social Enterprise usually needs too much money to source from family and friends, and too little to access investment funds, and without the resources to travel or engage a fund-raiser.

What

We incubate high impact innovations and shepherd them through the process of creating a Social Enterprise and getting to market. We do this by both direct mentoring and help, and through a network of partners and collaborators including engineers, industrial designers; user testers and manufacturing support; enterprise development; philanthropists investors & foundations, lenders such as micro-credit institutions, development and aid organisations.  We help innovators connect with the resources they need to ensure that their innovation is completed and then reaches the people who need it. We'll help take the risk out of the innovation - to put a prototype together for example, or to test the market, so that cheaper sources of finance, or more risk-averse strategic partners (like aid organisations) can help with distribution.

We are looking into creating a small fund, to help finance early stage innovations - however that decision hasn't been made yet.

 
Getting Involved

Our mission is all about getting people involved, we have quite a small core team, but work with individuals and organisations who share our goal of seeing technology used to alleviate poverty, reduce emissions, and improve the environment.

Our strength is the strength of our partners, and we are looking for people to collaborate with in a number of different areas including: grants; investments (high risk, PRI, and market rate debt);  volunteers (business & technical); and strategic partners especially those deploying technology in developing countries.

Read more...

 
Projects
  • Natural Innovation.org
  • Natural Innovation.org
  • Natural Innovation.org
  • Natural Innovation.org
  • Natural Innovation.org

Natural Innovation works with innovators who have great ideas that have a potential to scale to have a significant impact on poverty or the environment. The innovations we work with are focused on developing countries, and many of the innovators are based there.

We incubate these innovators to help them bring the idea to realisation. We link innovators with resources - including grants; volunteers (especially technical); finance and strategic partners.

Some of the innovators and innovations we are working on appear on this site, (some others are still in stealth)

In addition we work on projects that can change the landscape for support and funding for such innovators. For example addressing licensing issues, or developing component technologies that multiple innovators need.

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