$655,000+ Is What Your Green Idea Might Be Worth

The Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is back, once again offering a half-million Euros— over $655,000 at today’s exchange rate—to the sustainability-minded person with “one clever, creative idea that can make a difference.”

This is the sixth go-round for the big money competition, whose jurors last year were wowed by an Australia-based entrepreneur and his water- and energy-saving shower idea. That entrepreneur’s company now has a slick website and is seeking distributors—which highlights a key aspect of the Green Challenge: Its backers aren’t looking merely to shed a little light on interesting concepts; instead, they “seek to make sure groundbreaking sustainable solutions actually get developed and reach the market.”

Dutch Postcode Lottery, Green Challenge

image via Dutch Postcode Lottery

Wannabe green tech product developers have until the end of July to submit their detailed business plan at www.greenchallenge.info. From there, a preliminary jury will tap five to eight finalists, organizers said, who will present their plans in September in Amsterdam at the PICNIC ’12 conference.

But wait, it’s not over yet.

Three finalists—which would, it seems, make the earlier “finalists” semifinalists—will head to New York for the announcement of the winner at a September 23 dinner put on by the Postcode Lottery and the Clinton Global Initiative as part Bill Clinton’s annual gathering of Very Important People to discuss how to tackle global problems like climate change.

“Because of climate change, we face the challenge of embracing a new green lifestyle,” Marieke van Schaik, managing director of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, said in a statement. “The winning product or service will reduce CO2 emissions and score highly on design, user-friendliness and overall quality. And the plan has to be realizable within two years.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.