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Case Study: Accelerator Stages 1 and 2 (2019)

With only one week to apply for ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator stages 1 and 2, we profile some of 2019’s big success stories and highlight the impressive achievements of last year's cohort.

The world-renowned initiative offers early stage entrepreneurs access to funding, business coaching with experienced professionals, a range of masterclasses and free workspace at ECCI’s vibrant Edinburgh hub (this year's stage 1 programme is running entirely online in response to Covid-19).

Climate innovations

Joining ECCI in June 2019, Accererator 1 innovations ranged from a waste-reducing reusable menstrual pad (Dream Pads), to a unique solar thermal collector capable of converting solar radiation directly into heat (SolarisKit) and Scotland’s first seagrass restoration company - focused on revitalising Scotland’s rapidly reducing natural carbon sink (Seagrass Restoration Scotland).

In August 2019 seven companies moved onto stage 2 and two new recruits joined - zero-carbon transport innovators PeddleSMART - on a mission to disrupt the commercial and consumer transport market and Clean Water Designs, whose portable, low energy distillation device is set to significantly reduce the demand for bottled water.

New jobs, products, investment and prizes

In total 2019's Accelerator 2 cohort:

  • created 14 new products
  • bagged 17 awards to the value of £467,000
  • 7 companies gained investment to the tune of £195,000
  • 20 new staff were employed

2019 highlights include low carbon technology start-up Waterwhelm, who won a string of awards and accolades while progressing through stages 1 and 2 - from a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship and Young EDGE Award, to being shortlisted in the MSDUK Innovation Challenge and securing a SMART Feasibility grant from Scottish Enterprise to build their first plant.

Creator of the world's first flat-packable, solar collector providing clean energy in the form of hot water, Solariskit, also had a great year - embarking on trade missions to Kenya and San Fransisco, winning top prize in the Converge Awards - Scotland’s annual celebration of academic innovation and entrepreneurship - and being awarded £250k Innovate UK funding to begin trials of their unique flat-packable solar thermal collector in Rwanda.

Founding Director of Waterwhelm Alireza Abbassi Monjezi said:

"The Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI has significantly improved Waterwhelm’s proposition and we look forward to building on this momentum and speeding up commercialisation of our technology in order to make clean water available and affordable for all."

Apply now for Accelerator Stage 1 or 2

Through the programme, we give you access to up to €25,500 grant funding, and business coaching with experienced professionals. You also benefit from a range of masterclasses, as well as workspace at ECCI’s vibrant Edinburgh hub (the Accelerator 1 programme for 2020 will be delivered entirely online due to the COVID-19 crisis).

Applications are now open for Accelerator Stage 1 and 2. Read the descriptions below and FAQs before you apply. Closing date is 5pm on Friday 29 May 2020.

2019’s EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator 1 and 2 start-ups


Currently on the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, Algacraft is focused on improving the production of microalgae for use in the agriculture sector and for carbon capture - algae reduces atmospheric CO2 more efficiently than any plant. Headed up by CEO Mate Ravasz, Algacraft’s team of five experts has developed an innovative, micro-scale bioreactor to improve on outdated, inefficient methods of growing algae. @algacraft


Clean Water Designs has created a portable, low energy, high speed distillation device that purifies and remineralises water for drinking. Currently part of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, Director and experienced entrepreneur Duncan Peters and colleague Constantine Talalaev aim to reduce the reliance on bottled water and improve on disposable, inconsistent filtration methods.


Lilypads provides innovative solutions to problems in the feminine hygiene market. The start-up, headed by founder and CEO Alision Wood, has developed a reusable sanitary pad to reduce waste and improve performance. Lilypads, currently on the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, also operates in Kenya, selling affordable sanitary pads and providing menstrual health education to ensure girls can remain in school. @lilypads_uk


Part of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, Energy3 aims to combat energy and heat waste by providing large scale storage solutions to energy utilities, thermal power plants and energy intensive industries such as glass, steel and ceramic. Energy3’s 40-foot thermal energy storage devices can store up to 40MWh of thermal energy at very high temperatures, which can then be used on demand. COO James Young heads up the small expert team.


PeddleSMART plan to disrupt the commercial and consumer transport market by bringing to market a zero-carbon emission vehicle range leading to cleaner, quieter, safer and healthier towns & cities. Currently taking part in the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, CEO and founder Adam Reid is a seasoned company executive with 30 years of experience.


Currently on the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, Planet Heat’s products provide innovative low-carbon heating and cooling solutions, such as their new compact, easy-to-deploy, thermal energy collector for use in contaminated fluids, streams and rivers. Founder Russell Gibb represented Scotland in the Global Grand Final of ClimateLaunchpad 2018. @TheHeatPumpMan


Part of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator programme, Seagrass Restoration Scotland aims to be the first company in the world to focus on restoring and establishing new areas of Seagrass in Scotland - a vital habitat which also acts as an excellent carbon sink. CEO Calum MacDonald (left) and business partner Euan Tippen plan to expand the company globally.


EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator participant Seawater Solutions works with farmers around Scotland and Vietnam to develop innovative sustainable farming techniques, using seawater, to grow salt-tolerant crops. Focusing on redeveloped coastal farmland, the start-up is on a mission to tackle climate change, loss of biodiversity, and food insecurity. Glasgow based Yanik Adam Nyberg - founder & CEO - has an MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship from the University of Strathclyde.


The SolarisKit collector is a unique solar thermal collector capable of converting solar radiation directly into heat. The flat pack kit can be easily assembled, reduces manufacturing and shipping costs and is ideal for use in developing countries in the global solar belt, such as India and Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil. Currently taking part in EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, CEO & founder Dr Faisal Ghani is a Research Associate of Engineering & Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. @SolarisKitLtd


Getting wastewater from remote areas to sewage plants comes at a cost and impacts on the environment. Waterwhelm’s patent-pending solution is a unique, self-powered process for wastewater treatment and desalination - turning wastewater into freshwater whilst generating renewable energy and fertiliser - and ideal for use in small and remote communities. Founding Director Alireza Abbassi Monjezi is part of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator. @waterwhelm