Prince William to play matchmaker for green inventors and rich investors

The Prince of Wales will celebrate his new "match-making" service to introduce investors and inventors
The Prince of Wales will celebrate his new "match-making" service to introduce investors and inventors - Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Prince of Wales will on Monday celebrate his new “match-making” service, intended to introduce small-scale inventors ready to save the planet to the investors who can make it happen.

The Prince is set to issue an impassioned plea to would-be funders to “save our planet” through “collective action” via Launchpad, a new platform created by his Earthshot Prize.

Designed to introduce Earthshot winners and finalists to the global investment they need to scale up their planet-saving solutions, Launchpad is intended to be “game-changing” and is described by the palace as a “landmark moment”.

The Prince has been deeply involved in its creation, and in meetings and constant communication with the Earthshot team, even while he has been away from public engagements during the Princess of Wales’ recovery.

On Friday, he hailed the power of such collaboration after company Notpla, one of the Eartshot finalists, secured a deal to provide its sustainable seaweed-based packaging to 50 sports stadiums across the UK and Ireland. It will remove 75 million items of single use plastic from venues over the next three years, replacing them with fully recyclable disposable food packaging.

The Prince is said to have been particularly "delighted" to help Notpla secure its deal with a major investor
The Prince is said to have been particularly "delighted" to help Notpla secure its deal with a major investor - Kin Cheung/PA

On Monday, the Prince will make a speech at an event to promote the new Dragons’ Den-style platform Launchpad to “share the best solutions from [Earthshot’s] robust nominations process with the investor and philanthropic community.”

In a speech, he is expected to make a personal plea for investors to join his mission to help the Earthshot finalists scale up their ideas as quickly as possible.

“It is only through collective action that we will reach the ambitious 2030 targets we have set to save our planet,” he will say.

Since 2021, The Earthshot Prize has awarded £15 million of prize money. Its network, including a “global alliance” of companies and people, is said to have helped generate £50 million-worth of support for the 45 winners and finalists so far.

The Launchpad platform is now intended to further build a community of investors and philanthropists looking out for a way to do their bit to solve the problems facing the environment.

The early stages have seen 135 investors and philanthropists showing interest and “huge enthusiasm”. The 25 Earthshot solutions having funding needs exceeding £400 million.

The Prince wants to build up a community of investors and philanthropists looking for a way to do their bit to solve the problems facing the environment.
The Prince wants to build up a community of investors and philanthropists looking for a way to do their bit to solve the problems facing the environment. - KIN CHEUNG/AFP

Aides have described the project as something “very different to what other members of the family have done before.”

The Prince is said to have been particularly “delighted” to help Notpla secure its deal with Levy UK+ Ireland, part of the Compass Group, and on Friday celebrated its success with a visit to The Oval cricket ground, one of the venues involved. It is also part of his Duchy of Cornwall estate.

It is said to be an example of the Prince’s “one team” approach, which will see him connect his campaigning work to practical help via the Duchy. So far, that has included a project to build homes on the estate.

“This is what we spoke about when devising Earthshot,” the Prince told Notpla co-founder Pierre Paslier. “The solutions are out there, we just need to find them and help them grow.

“This collaboration is just the start I’m sure.”

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