In the lead up to the grand final of ClimateLaunchpad (CLP) - the world’s biggest green ideas competition - we caught up with Scotland hopefuls Reshape Technology, Go Green Expert and Loch Electronics to find out their hopes for the final and what makes them tick.
The three will compete in the worldwide Grand Final in Amsterdam on 14-15 November, pitching against teams from 50 countries worldwide for prize money of up to €10,000 and a place on the renowned Climate-KIC Accelerator start-up development programme. Last but not least, we hear from Anthony Magrath from Reshape Technology...
What is your company and product all about, in a nutshell?
We empower anyone carrying a mobile phone to measure and reduce their personal impact on climate change.
Similar to a fitness tracker, our app works on the basis that if you can measure something, you can take steps to reduce it. We want to encourage behavioural change by gamifying carbon reduction.
Tell us about your background.
I'm a technologist, and for many years worked in companies developing microchips for mobile phones. During that time I was exposed to software, algorithms, hardware and architecture design and spent a lot of time talking to customers and solving technical problems. A few years back, I developed games for mobile phones and enjoyed creating interactive experiences. I started to become increasingly aware that my knowledge could be used for the greater good and in May this year took the plunge and formed my own company, with the idea for the product.
What plans do you have for expansion?
We'd like to grow a business to deliver the product and will take the necessary steps to achieve that. We hope that the exposure ClimateLaunchpad provides will enable us to grow a management team that share our mindset and vision.
What’s your ultimate goal?
Our set of values revolve around empowering people to be part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. Our goal is to raise awareness to the extent that people realise they can make a personal difference and start taking action. We believe that this is going to require a shift in social norms and we hope our product can create some momentum behind this.
What is your greatest achievement?
That's a hard question to answer! I feel I'm on a journey where there are fantastic opportunities ahead. Reaching this point in ClimateLaunchpad had been great and I hope the biggest achievement is yet to come.
Your views on Scotland and Edinburgh’s sustainability scene?
It's fantastic to see how much support there is in Edinburgh for innovative start-ups and people are particularly supportive of tech-for-good.
What role did the support offered to you by ECCI/CLP play in your success?
The 2-day workshops were excellent - we learnt how to identify our value proposition and how to interview customers to discover what they really needed. It was great to meet other teams and learn of their challenges. I think we all helped each other in the end. One thing I particularly liked was the focus on developing the pitch-deck over the two days - it provided a goal to shoot for. ECCI has been superb in offering support along the way - their industry expertise and contacts have proved very useful.
How do you relax?
This year, I started Barbershop singing - 4 part harmony. I sing in a 50-strong male voice choir and we did a show at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. It's a great way to switch off from the pressures of building a business.
Keep up with the action in this year's ClimateLaunchpad
Can't make it to the 2019 ClimateLaunchpad Global Grand Final in Amsterdam? Not to worry - Keynotes, sessions, & the Global Grand Final itself will be accessible via the ClimateLaunchpad livestream.