Crowdfunding, as the darling of startups and new product launches across a wide range of industries, has been incredibly powerful for raising awareness and demand for all sorts of creative projects. Getting financial support for innovations in clean energy, however, might not be a great fit for many of the general crowdfunding platforms, where backers expect to be able to receive a tangible product if it succeeds. But there’s a new player on the field, and this latest platform is focusing on one of the fast-growing sectors of renewable energy: ocean energy.
Clean Reach, which just launched today, aims to address one of the big challenges for renewable energy entrepreneurs and projects, which is lack of access to early-stage funding. It’s difficult enough for startups that cater to mainstream and consumer needs to get enough funding to bring those products to market, and for energy startups, it’s even tougher, so this new platform could be just the leverage needed by ocean energy innovators to get their ideas funded.
“Ocean energy visionaries across the globe have pioneering ideas that, if given the opportunity to reach fruition, can be the difference makers in providing clean, renewable energy to the world population.Creating commercially viable ocean energy technology is paramount, but investors aren’t giving renewable energy the attention it deserves. We must work harder now to prepare for the future.” – Clean Reach Co-Founder and CEO Stephanie Thornton
Clean Reach resembles other crowdfunding sites in that it enables people to support and financially back projects they believe in, and to receive some sort of perk or award in return for their pledge, but unlike campaigns on most other platforms, supporting clean energy innovations can have a significant positive impact on global issues such as climate change and pollution.
For ocean energy inventors and entrepreneurs, Clean Reach provides a high profile and low risk method of raising funds for their projects, which can help to defray or fully fund the cost of proof-of-concept prototypes or field-testing of devices or systems.
“Funding gaps through all phases of the technology development process are causing innovative and effective ideas to perish. Clean Reach is a resource for developers and communities in need of funding, and for passionate supporters hoping to connect with forward-thinking ideas.” – Terry Thornton, Clean Reach Co-Founder and CTO
Another aspect of Clean Reach is the potential for supporters and project teams to engage and interact with each other, with the common goal of advancing and accelerating the development of ocean energy technology. Supporters can interact with team members through each project’s campaign page, keep up with developments on the Ocean Energy Blog, and a soon-to-be-launched Community Forum will provide a central hub for communicating with other ocean energy advocates.
Clean Reach currently has five projects seeking funding, ranging from the development of new types of turbines to those supporting educational and research initiatives, and is open to new campaigns that advance the technology of ocean energy.