It is no lie that start-up businesses and entrepreneurs are often pretty strapped for cash.  Developing hardware products doesn’t get any simpler, it doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t come cheap. We are always on the lookout for new funding opportunities and when one appears that seems to fit your ethos perfectly, you naturally can get quite excited.

The Environment Now is a brand new grant program, offering £10,000 to help young people use digital and technological means to tackle environmental problems. Reading through the criteria for these grants, you always expect something to crop up, rendering you ineligible, but alas, we seemed to fit the bill!

The application process was clear and helpful, involving an initial short application, followed by a longer written application to select those applicants suitable to pitch for funding. For those who made it to the next round, a Pre-Pitch Training day was organised at the O2 Think Big Hub in London to confirm the criteria for selection and to give specific training on how to pitch - a very useful day all round!

On pitch day, Charlie went to London, not alone, but accompanied by one of our trusty technology showpieces to sell our vision of a radically different food system to the panel in a 10 minute pitch. We weren't left in the dark for very long whilst awaiting our fate, only the next day, we found out that we received the funding we applied for! We couldn't quite be-leaf it... So what are we going to do with this exciting new opportunity?!

This funding will lettuce take our prototypes to the next stage, enabling them to then be distributed to our lucky group of Beta Test users later this year and taking us into local schools around Bristol to spread our message about the Future of Food. It provides us with the security to push forward and acts as a stepping stone to access our next round of funding. Furthermore, it gives us that little boost of confidence that we aren’t alone in our vision!

As a start-up, it is important to celebrate these achievements and victories; when you are sacrificing your own wage and working overthyme for the business, it really is great to see positive results! With that in mind we're already hard at work, looking for our next cause for celebration!

If you would like to apply for funding, applications for The Environment Now are open until July 14th. Their next shortlisting deadline will be March 31st. Go to The Environment Now website to read their criteria and apply. Please get in touch with The Environment Now team if you have any questions regarding the funding.

The Environment Now programme is funded by O2 and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and is part of the Our Bright Future programme. It is managed by the National Youth Agency.