Washington, DC & New York, NY (April 12, 2022) — Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) announced today that 16 startups were selected to participate in a new environmental accelerator called “ASAP”, or the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project, focused on innovative climate adaptation ventures in Asia and Africa. The 16 startups were selected from more than 300 applicants and have developed technologies in water, agriculture, risk analytics, supply chain, infrastructure, and insurance that can support adaptation and resilience to climate change.
ASAP seeks to build a global ecosystem for small- to medium-sized companies in emerging markets that have technologies, products, and services that can be used to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. During the ASAP accelerator program, the 16 companies will work with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks and tools they need to attract investment, grow their businesses, and increase their climate adaptation impacts. More information can be found here.
"We’re excited to announce this cohort of companies, all of whom are providing their customers with an array of climate adaptation solutions across Africa and Asia,” said Brian Parham, ASAP Program Director at Lightsmith. “Through the ASAP Accelerator, we aim to give these entrepreneurs the tools to scale their impact and connect to a global network working to develop solutions that address the impacts of climate change."
ASAP is a grant-funded initiative led by The Lightsmith Group, in partnership with Village Capital, and with the support of the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund. Additional support is provided by Conservation International and the Inter-American Development Bank.
"We are delighted to see these startups get support through the ASAP Accelerator, and look forward to continued connections between climate resilience innovators in developing countries and financing for them. There is tremendous promise in identifying and funding local ventures whose successes can be scaled to meet climate adaptation needs around the world,” said Gustavo Fonseca, Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility.
The 16 startups in the cohort were selected out of more than 300 applicants, representing 10 countries across Asia and Africa. The cohort is composed of:
About the Partners
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,400 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates.
About The Lightsmith Group
The Lightsmith Group is an investment firm pursuing superior returns by investing in companies that address critical societal needs. Lightsmith invests in growth-stage companies providing technology-enabled business services and solutions in the areas of energy, water, food and agriculture, and climate resilience. For more information on The Lightsmith Group, please see: www.lightsmithgp.com. Lightsmith manages the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative supported by the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank. For more information about ASAP, please see: www.climateasap.org.
About Conservation International
Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility was established 30 years ago to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.7 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $119 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners. For more information please see: www.thegef.org
The GEF-managed Special Climate Change Fund has two decades of experience helping vulnerable countries adapt to a changing climate, focusing on bankable, innovative solutions that can be scaled. Since 2001, the SCCF has invested more than $360 million in adaptation measures that have benefited more than 7 million people and increased private sector engagement in climate resilience products and services. Through the SCCF, donor governments have supported the training of more than 200,000 people, expanded access to climate information services, and provided flexible solutions to enable developing countries including small island states to adapt to a fast-changing climate.