With the conclusion of Stage 2 of this year’s ECCI EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator approaching, we caught up with the entrepreneurs pulling the strings behind some of UK’s most promising climate start-ups. First up, Jack Kennedy from Dodo, who has progressed through Stage 1 and 2 of the programme.
What is your company and product all about, in a nutshell?
Dodo allows companies to measure and reduce their carbon emissions in just a few minutes.
Tell us about your background.
I first met my co-founder Csaba in March, two weeks before lock down. I had worked in product management at a fintech startup while Csaba had just finished working on his own startup in Amsterdam. We had a shared interest in the environment and wanted to put our skills to good use...so after a few weeks of brainstorming we came up with Dodo.
What plans have you moved forward while taking part in ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage 2?
We officially launched our first product during the ECCI Accelerator, which we didn’t think would be possible given the tight timelines. We’ve now signed three clients and are working on some advanced features to improve the measurement of emissions and to help companies take action.
What plans have you for expansion beyond?
At the moment we’re focused on getting feedback from companies and building out our product. Our goal for the future is to build a platform that makes it easy for any company in the world to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the world.
What’s your ultimate goal?
We want to help companies to collectively reduce 400m tonnes, or 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
What is your greatest achievement?
I’m sure it’s the same for most companies but our greatest achievement is setting up and launching Dodo just as the national lockdown started. We managed to gather research from over 50 companies, launch our MVP and sign up our first clients!
Your views on Scotland and Edinburgh’s sustainability scene?
We’ve had great support, advice and insights from all of the advisors we’ve met at the ECCI and beyond. As an early stage startup it’s fantastic to have that guidance and also learn from the other companies that are going through the same journey.
What role has the support offered to you by ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage 2 played in your success?
ECCI has helped to really get our idea past the initial stage and into a position where we could start selling to customers.
The greatest thing we learned so far was on segmenting our market, understanding our competitive advantage and managing the sales process.
Why are competitions that support green innovation important during Covid-19?
With emissions on track to reach historical levels, the one silver lining that came from Covid-19 was that it allowed us to pause for a moment and recognise the damage that was being caused. Competitions that support green innovation at this time are crucial to enable us to plan and realise a better future.
How do you relax?
Good food and a good movie!
EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator
ECCI's renowned Accelerator programme, which gives low carbon start-ups the funding, tools and coaching they need to grow into great businesses, has adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 by switching coaching and mentoring sessions online.
Since launching in 2017 ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator businesses have secured more than £2.5m worth of investments and won more than 70 awards.
Stage 2 helps participants understand their target audience and comes with up to €5000 funding. The innovative 2020 cohort included six companies progressing from Stage 1 and three new recruits - with entrepreneurs from all across Scotland and the UK taking part in the wholly online programme.
Innovations range from off-grid solar technology which will enable people in refugee camps to become more self-sufficient, to a product that helps forestry organisations meet government goals on tree planting and a super-fast carbon measurement software tool for SMEs.