EcoConnect: Who Are They, What Do They Do?
T his article gives an introduction to EcoConnect, a green industry network of commercial businesses that meet regularly to discuss current issues and legislation that affect the industry and the future. If you're considering a commercial future in CleanTech this is a place to meet the industry insiders and legislators/implementors of government policy and much more.

We began our journey of discovery into learning more about the CleanTech, or low carbon, sector and our first point of call was EcoConnect. Because they are a nationwide organisation they have a very wide remit to support individuals and companies working in CleanTech and a vast amount of knowledge, understanding and networks, which has been a great way to meet, learn and network with CleanTech companies and highly knowledgeable individuals.

The first event we attended, part of ecoConnect’s monthly Green in the City programme of Cleantech debates in London, was a great opener, “The Drive For Community Energy: Will ESCOs (Energy Service Companies) Transform the Energy Landscape?” The overriding point that we gleaned from the evening was how to turn the big six energy suppliers in to 60,000 energy suppliers, where communities come together in a cooperative model and supply themselves. There was far more to the debate and we certainly learned a lot but our intention is not to repeat it, but focus on how to answer that question by providing, links to resources and networks that will help to convert six into 60,000.

If there is one thing we learned from our opening evening above all else is that there are lots of opinions on strategies. We are sticking to one. How to get SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs into Cleantech!? It’s very easy to get side tracked; it can be quite daunting if you consider the bigger picture and the threats of climate change, the issues of energy security, building a sustainable and secure future. To quote Lao Tzu; “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” This is ours.

Getting back to ecoConnect. They are a valuable source of information, help and guidance, they offer short courses and seminars from writing a green business plan to providing networking opportunities to meet other clean tech providers.

Some of the upcoming events are as follows:

Pitching for Green Investment: How to Make Investors Listen (workshop, London)

Greenbackers Investment Pitch – live pitches in London and Scotland plus an online platform

For a list of other events coming up please check out the link provided:

http://www.ecoconnect.org.uk/ecoconnect-events

The second Green in the City event we attended was on 29 May 2014 titled; UK Onshore Wind: About to be blown off the renewables map? This was a really interesting debate, which followed the same panel, audience Q&A and networking format. What we learnt again from the expert panel was that there are many opinions, options, strategies, and evolving policies. There are arguments and counter arguments for and against. Again what we found was a wealth of knowledge. What we want to know is how to implement it to make money? This journey has only just begun and collaborating with ecoConnect cannot but help in our journey.

For more information on ecoConnect and what they have to offer, check out their website;

W: http://www.ecoconnect.org.uk

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