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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

4 About us 883x431

CISL’s Canopy supports entrepreneurs creating innovative sustainability solutions, as well as SMEs wanting to integrate sustainability into the core of their business operations. From our well established accelerator programmes, to our new workspace in Central Cambridge, Canopy provides the space, support and networks for sustainability innovation to thrive and grow.



CISL’s accelerator programmes are designed to support leading sustainability innovators, with new organisations and transformative business models that will decarbonise our economy, restore nature and create inclusive societies. Drawing on CISL’s expertise and international network in sustainability, each accelerator programme is custom designed around one or more of our ten sustainability themes, where innovation has an important role to play.

business innovation diagram

Our accelerators are available free of charge to businesses based in England, with priority given to those within the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough area. For details of forthcoming and previous accelerator programmes and events, head here.


Canopy incubator

A new Cambridge home for entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and small businesses pioneering sustainability innovation. Our Canopy workspace, based in central Cambridge at the ultra sustainable Entopia building, will open in 2022. Find out more. 

Both the Canopy incubator and accelerators are part funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund. 


Contact us

Take a look at our upcoming programmes and events.


Meet the team

James Cole, Chief Innovation Officer

James ColeJames has spent over 15 years working at the intersection of business, sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. As part of CISL’s senior leadership team he works across business policy and finance initiatives building the capacity of leaders, and leading institutions, to drive systemic change for global sustainability. In 2022 he launched The Canopy - CISL’s incubator, accelerator and workspace in central Cambridge, to activate an international community of impact-led startups, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators.  






Jo Gabryel
Canopy Operations Manager
Viola Jardon
Accelerator Programmes Director
Sam Laakkonen
Portfolio Director – Canopy and Accelerator, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Zoë Loughlin
Canopy Programme Manager
Izzy McKeever
Senior Marketing and Canopy Coordinator
Yasmin Revell
Senior Project Coordinator
Claire Wang
Senior Project Manager
Jie Zhou
Senior Programme Manager