By Chloe Shearman | 9th December 2021
We know that the path to a more sustainable future begins in our cities. Today, we have the opportunity to look at cities through a new lens. We need to think differently about how we and future generations will live, move, work, and play. From building design, energy efficiency and carbon neutrality to infrastructure, urban agriculture, transportation and mobility, we want to meet the pioneers paving the future of urban living.
55% of the world's population are now living in urban areas. The UN predicts this number to rise to 68% by 2050. Urban innovation is paramount. We recognise the need to rethink the impact of urban existence and to rethink it fast. So, for 2022, we're elevating our mark in this sphere, making Urban Futures both the Alpha accelerator and Earthrise sustainability summit theme.
"Urbanisation is happening, and it's happening fast. We're choosing to focus Earthrise on Urban Futures in 2022, as a key place for unlocking a more sustainable future. What happens in the city doesn't stay in the city. We have to address that." - Patrick Keogh, Programmes Director.
And the impact doesn't end there. The Alpha Accelerator is a 12-week, pre-seed programme and is open only to teams with at least one founding member from an underrepresented group. The programme attracts a cohort of diverse founders each year, with the Urban Futures track inviting the ninth cohort.
"At Huckletree, we're committed to breaking down the barriers that underrepresented groups face when entering the entrepreneurial ecosystem. From gender and race to sexuality, education, and neurodivergence, Alpha supports a diverse cohort of entrepreneurs to access everything they need to supercharge their business." - Gabriela Hersham, CEO and Co-Founder
In 2019, Alpha was named by Crunchbase is one of the top 100 accelerators in the world. The fully pro-bono programme has seen eight cohorts and 28 alumni companies raise a combined £15m+ in funding, create 200+ jobs, and go through 2 acquisitions.
The intensive programme assembles industry-leading mentors, serial entrepreneurs, and domain experts that lead the cohort through rigorous preparation for seed funding. Weekly workshops cover founder fundamentals including commercial and marketing strategy, hiring, leadership, and weekly 1-1s with an investor, plus group mentoring and dedicated support from the Huckletree team. Then, at the close of the 12-week programme, the cohort will pitch to 100+ investors at the Alpha investor expo.
"This is the only programme we would highly recommend to any early-stage team. A ton of valuable resources and contacts into an efficiently well-curated structure so that we could continue to scale our business" - Yang Liu, Founder & CEO, Just Wears
"Alpha was the best accelerator programme we could have hoped for. The content, speakers, workshops, and network connections organised and facilitated by the team at Huckletree were game-changers for us. We highly, highly (highly) recommend the Alpha programme to any startups and aspiring entrepreneurs out there" Mary Liu & Caroline Williams, Co-Founders, Junee
So, consider this an open call for underrepresented founders trailblazing a new approach for our Urban Future.
Applications open on January the 3rd. Register your interest for Alpha now.
If you're not a founder but are passionate about discovering what the future landscape of our urban reality looks like, you can meet the Alpha Urban Futures cohort, along with a wider global intelligence network of exceptional speakers at the Earthrise sustainability summit in May.
We're also seeking sponsors and partners to collaborate with on both the Alpha programme and the Earthrise Summit. Get in contact with Huckletree Director of Programming, Patrick Keogh.