ECCI welcomes new recruits to ClimateLaunchpad Boot Camp

20 June 2017

A dozen fledgling Scotland-based companies will be put through their paces this week at the ClimateLaunchpad Boot Camp at ECCI.

ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest cleantech business ideas competition, is being run by ECCI in Scotland as part of our partnership with Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate entrepreneurship programme.

The aspiring entrepreneurs, ranging from a social enterprise that makes shoes out of recycled leather furniture to an online platform that connects investors to start-ups in India, will get dedicated support to shape their idea into a business plan and bypass pitfalls along the way. They’ll also learn how to get their idea funded and launched.

After taking part in the Boot Camp, participants will get the chance to pitch this idea during the UK Final later this year. The top three winners of each national competition will go on to compete in the worldwide Grand Final in Cyprus in October 2017, for the chance to win up to 10,000 euros and a place on the Climate-KIC Accelerator.

Ed Craig, Head of Innovation at ECCI, said: “It’s exciting to see the Scottish entrepreneurs selected to join ClimateLaunchpad 2017 kick start their journey in the world’s biggest green ideas competition.

“ECCI brings people together to make low carbon innovation happen – so we’ll be giving our home-grown talent dedicated support to fast track their idea into a solid business plan.  

“Ideas and innovators like these are key to Scotland’s thriving low carbon industry, and ECCI and the ClimateLaunchpad team will give them everything we’ve got to help them reach the world finals later this year.”

The 12 hopeful recruits for ClimateLaunchpad 2017 in Scotland are:

7Energy

7Energy is developing an affordable pay-as-you-go service for distributing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to customers that use firewood and charcoal for cooking, particularly in developing countries. The service aims to reduce indoor air pollution, cut carbon emissions and improve lives. Oil and gas innovation student Jason Iyeke came up with the idea after noticing during travels in Ghana, Tanzania and Cuba that families in these countries were using biomass such as wood to cook. Using an affordable business model and data gathered from smart meter technology, customers will have access to clean cooking fuel from LPG cylinders delivered to their location automatically when supply runs low.

Alternative Cashmere

Alternative Cashmere aims to combat waste in the textile industry by making better use of the by-products created during cashmere production. 80 per cent of the fleece removed from cashmere goats contains coarse ‘guard hair’, generally used in low grade products. Elgin-based owner Joan Johnston – who has more than 25 years’ experience in the luxury textiles business working with cashmere, fine wool and silk – aims to investigate how guard hair could be used to create new products.

Counterpoint Earth

Counterpoint Earth is an online platform that allows Asian and Scottish sustainability innovators to share experience, knowledge and resources. Founder Ewan Tennant, who has just submitted his biotechnology research thesis at the University of Edinburgh, aims to establish Scotland-Asian trade routes, helping start-ups and innovators in previously under-represented regions in East, South and Southeastern Asia to flourish. Areas such as the Hyderabad start-up hub in Bangalore – likened to the second Silicon Valley – will benefit from access to high-level European investors, SMEs, NGOs and government arms looking to explore foreign markets.

Eco Shoes

Eco Shoes is a social enterprise that aims to make homemade footwear products out of locally sourced recycled materials and help people with disabilities and brain injuries gain new skills and employment. Working alongside the local community and up-cycling organisations, Eco Shoes will help divert unwanted leather furniture and clothes from landfill and reduce carbon emissions. Founder Anthony Thomas has 7 years’ experience working with people with learning disabilities and brain injuries and has been making handmade footwear as a hobby for more than 10 years.

Furrlingo

Furrlingo is a customisable electronic soft toy – made from safe and sustainably sourced materials – designed for children and their parents to playfully learn foreign languages together as part of their daily routine. The clever teddy activates a pre-recorded voice when it comes into contact with specially-designed books and tags, which can be placed around the house as labels. Made from 50 per cent bamboo and 50 per cent hemp, the toy is designed to have a long lifespan. Founder Sophie Bulchart, a recent graduate of Product Design at the University of Edinburgh, started working on Furrlingo for her final year degree show project and hopes to tackle the throwaway culture around children's toys.

FutureXInnovation Ltd

FutureXInnovation, headed up by director Zoi Kantounatou, has developed an online platform to foster innovative solutions to climate change by bringing together “the world's greatest innovators and the world's greatest needs”. The technology has already had a positive impact in India, bringing cleantech solutions to the country as part of the Ganges Clean Up Project, which affects over 600 million people.

Industrial Nature

Industrial Nature is manufacturing innovative, crop-based insulating construction blocks that replace both insulation and concrete blocks in one product. The company uses leftover, low-value crop byproducts, combining traditional materials with leading science to create new super-materials. The resulting product is comparable in price to existing alternatives but has a negative carbon impact, which means it will sequester more carbon over its lifetime than was used to make it. Co-founder Scott Simpson has a background in community development, which motivated him to focus on improving the built environment and gain an MSc in Architecture (Advanced Environmental & Energy Systems), where he began to develop his idea.

One Cherry

One Cherry is developing an online platform that helps charity shops connect with customers to improve the turnover of donated clothes and products and boost the profile of charity shops. The platform will make it easy for any charity shop to publish its items online and gain access to the growing online shopper market. Founders Bei, Anton and Finn are all students of the University of Edinburgh who share a desire to change how businesses work using the latest technologies and innovations.

Pinelinite

Pinelinite has developed a 100 per cent natural timber treatment that is made solely from sustainable raw natural ingredients and contains no environmentally damaging or man-made chemicals. The treatment has been refined over seven years by Michael Dutton, CEO of the UK's only commercial log building company Natural Timber Treatments, based in Ayr. Michael hopes that the treatment will replace existing materials used in the construction market and the prolong the in-service life of timber, reducing the demand for it over the long term.

ReConnect-Restore

ReConnect-Restore is a smartphone app that makes it easy for people to get things fixed, connecting local people who have the skills to fix things with others who need their help and expertise. Described by Edinburgh-based founder Joel Chaney as the Uber for repair and maintenance services, the service aims encourage people to restore things like bikes, furniture and household goods that are broken, reducing waste to landfill and enabling a circular economy approach.

uFraction8

uFraction8 technology address challenges in the bio-manufacturing industry by using microfluidics – the science of manipulating and controlling fluids – at scale as a liquid-particle processing technology. uFraction8 technology offers an alternative to industrial centrifuges that is more energy efficient and sustainable and increases productivity. COO Monika Tomecka is a Falkirk-based biologist who has identified a need for improving the current ways of bio-producing and is already developing a market with algae producers.

Worldwide Integrated Renewable Energy (WIRE)

WIRE is developing a renewable energy solution that blends solar, wind, storage and other technologies in order to overcome the problems associated with current renewable and traditional energy systems. Unlike other solutions the ‘Solar Parp’ will provide continuous base-load electricity and will be manufactured from recycled materials already present in the form of cars, disused oil-rigs, planes and other scrap sourced locally. East Lothian-based founder Paul Krogh has been developing the idea for three years.

Find out more

Climate-KIC at ECCI