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Fellows for the Earth
In old English, a fellow is “one who lays down money in a joint enterprise”. Fellows is who we are and our enterprise is the earth. Our goal is to make sure the world stays a place where every being can live in abundance. To protect today, so we can play tomorrow.
In the past centuries we as mankind focused on continuous linear growth – losing sight of the fact that the planet’s resources are not infinite. As a result, we now use more of the earth’s resources than it has to share. We pollute, waste and thereby mess up a beautifully balanced system. But humankind cannot thrive if the planet does not survive. We as Fellows for the Earth choose to challenge ourselves to think and act in a new way.
We aim for circular growth: to build, grow, live, decay and build again. Mother earth has all the knowledge and ingenuity to do so. We pledge ourselves to tap into that wisdom. We are natural innovators – meaning that innovation is a second nature to us and we are inspired by nature in our solutions. We spark and foster natural innovation by building companies that are the vessels of change.
What we do
There are plenty of good ideas to improve our quality of life, and there are many ways to live in a more sustainable way. What is missing, is a force to bring both together and develop them into viable business models. We as Fellows for the Earth aim to do just that.
We do not develop from scratch – we leave that to universities and scientific institutes. We are interested from TRL 3 onwards*. During a period of maximum 6 months, we test and pivot to learn if we can make a business of the technology.
We focus on sustainable technologies which are inspired by how nature works. We take existing mechanisms from nature and apply them in a new context. For example artificial photosynthesis, the use of fungi instead of pesticides or products based on bio-based plastics.
Our fellows have united their powers in three areas:
Circular business models crew
Circular business models crewThis crew has a broad perspective on ideas to build businesses. A central theme is using CO2 as a feedstock. Other ideas include solutions such as using fungi to break down plastics or building companies that focus on fully sustainable construction.
Clean energy clan
Clean energy clanOur clean energy clan has a zest for innovative hydrogen solutions and making artificial photosynthesis really work. Next to that the clan also has some thoughts on clever storage of sustainable energy.
Food, forestry & agro tribe
Food, forestry & agro tribeLearning from ancient practices, they develop solutions that feed a growing population in a sustainable way. They work on concepts such as reforestation or innovative ways for composting.
Fellows is who we are and our enterprise is the earth.
We’re looking for...
Technology partners & scientists
You might have been walking around with your genius invention to save the planet for a while, but building a business around it is just not your cup of tea.
You cannot find the right angle for your business proposition or you just do not feel like going into the world and sell your idea. Then we might be just looking for you! Whether you just left your lab with your working prototype or you already got your start-up going, we like to get in touch with you when when your technology is at TRL 3 or higher and fits into the 3 areas we are working in.
What we have to offer:
- In case you are on the verge of starting a company, we are happy to step in and fund & build the company together as co-founders.
- If you are a start-up that is already alive and kicking, but you need to get the company investor ready for your first (or next) round of investments, then we can help too. Not as a consultant on the side, but as a partner in crime who will be part of your business.
We are looking for unusual suspects to join our fellowship. We are not interested in the perfect resume: we want to hear your story. What moves you? There are three types of fellows we are looking for.
We need crusaders who know what the world needs. Idea hunters scavenge the world looking for (technical) challenges and opportunities. What trends do you see? And where will you dig up the next big thing that will help us in realising our vision? As an idea hunter, you have a broad interest in the world and are tech-savvy.
Having promising ideas is one thing. Determining which idea to pursue is something else! We need technical wizards who can test and evaluate if the technology at hand is ready for the next step, or what it needs to get there. As a technical wizard, you have a lot of experience in experimenting and know how to make a thorough technical readiness analysis. But first: tell us about your rocket launch experiments as a kid – we like to hear where your rocket ended up!
After careful testing, pivoting and experimenting with the technology, it is time to turn the idea into a business. What will the product look like? Which market do we enter first? How do we reach customers? And what are they willing to pay for our cool, world-changing technology? As a company builder, you have a zest for building companies and a nose for clever business propositions.
Transforming ideas into reality requires a joint effort of many different stakeholders.
It is a journey we cannot and would not want to make alone. At the same time, we are meticulous in deciding who we partner up with. We are a fellowship of unusual suspects. It requires an investor to be a bit extraordinary too. Do you feel our unconventional vibe and share our vision? Then we would love to meet.
Founder & keeper
After 5 years of freelance work as a change manager, I found myself earning big bucks in a financial institution. But the more money I earned, the less happy I became. Moreover, I sensed that the sole focus on financial rewards no longer satisfied me. So I quit! I went on a quest to find out what would make my heart and soul happy again. Soon I discovered that I wanted to immerse myself in the world of sustainable energy and circularity.
I started analysing the use of algae to capture and store CO2, exploring bioplastics, and looking into the possibilities to produce graphene from CO2. With high school physics and chemistry only, I understood the basics, but quickly realised that there are far more skilled people in the field. So, what am I good at? I am the Guy who brings the right people together, transforms ideas into plans and gets the business going. I am the entrepreneur. I like juggling different gigs and making impact on different levels at the same time. It all comes together in Fellows for the Earth.
The first ever Fellows for the Earth podcast!
Why did I start Fellows for the Earth?
My first startup failed! And what I learned from it.
We say YES!
The Fellows for the Earth’s homebase currently is in Leiden, NL. Since our enterprise is the earth, our focus is globally. So do not hesitate to drop us a line if you are located outside the Netherlands. You can use the form below or send us a message via firstname.lastname@example.org.