Eco-friendly surfboards, coffee converted into biodiesel and a social enterprise for periods are among finalists selected for a chance to access up to $45,000 in match funding.
Six businesses have beaten dozens of entrants to be named as finalists for the fourth annual Wellington Low Carbon Challenge.
Organic Dynamic, who make surfboards from recycled polystyrene and New Zealand timber are one group, while Biodiesel Locally is another. The group creates biodiesel locally from coffee grounds.
Wa Collective is a social enterprise providing a solution to period waste, period poverty and the period taboo.
Poly Palace is dedicated to making polystyrene as sustainable as possible, while the Zero Waste Grocery Store and Gurgl are working on a solution to create jobs from reselling children's clothing.
The challenge, founded in partnership with Wellington City Council, is for existing businesses, startups, or new ideas which reduce the city's carbon emissions with environmentally friendly enterprise solutions or alternatives.
Finalists receive business mentorship and advice, as well as the chance to access $45,000 in match funding to double what they earn from crowdfunding during the challenge through partner PledgeMe.
A record 35 entrants from across the Wellington region made tough judging for the panel, programme organiser Anthony Cabraal from Enspiral said.
Entrants with a clear tangible value for a potential market and an ability to make some real impact on waste, transport, or energy were the ones who stood out.
"We were overwhelmed with the number of entrants, but it was those with innovative ideas and from diverse sectors that judges were attracted to.
"This year's finalists showcase the opportunity for low carbon alternatives or solutions to doing business in Wellington, and we can't wait to see their ideas grow."
The judging panel consisted of sponsors, previous winners and eco-business gurus.
Councillor David Lee said the Low Carbon Challenge fosters a healthy innovative spirit in the capital.
"There is no question that taking risk, taking on big challenges and asking big questions with bold vision and action are all on the rise in our nation's capital so we think Wellington really is fertile ground for supporting exciting new ideas that can have real impact on our city and the world."
Now the finalists have been selected, they will attend a series of business workshops and mentoring.
They will launch crowdfunding for their initiatives on PledgeMe at the challenge finale event on October 31, and funds will be matched by the Wellington Low Carbon Partnership Fund.
Previous challenge alumni include Mevo, Misprint and Switched on Bikes who have gone on to expand and grow successful businesses in Wellington by commercialising electric car sharing, electric bike hire, and zero waste notebooks.