Nine climate start-ups have this week launched their bid for success with ECCI's EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator.
The 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. Stage 1 helps companies find their market niche and figure out how to scale up and get investment-ready.
The three-month programme has attracted entrepreneurs from all across Scotland and the UK, with innovators joining from afar afield as the Isle of Skye and Aboyne in the north of Scotland, to London and Dublin across the borders and seas.
Collectively the eager entrepreneurs demonstrate that the UK has a significant role in developing the innovations needed for a global green recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Innovations range from a zero-carbon rural transport system soon to launch in Skye, to a housing retrofit system aided by 3D modelling and a super-fast carbon measurement software tool for SMEs.
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.
Heather Urquhart, Director of Inverness and Skye-based Zero Carbon Emissions, said: “We are delighted to be welcomed into the EIT Climate KIC Accelerator programme. We aim to create opportunities for rural communities to move away from a dependency on polluting hydro-carbon fuels to low carbon alternatives based on locally generated off-grid electricity.”
"Accelerator training will help transform our ideas into a robust, green and sustainable business model" Heather Urquhart, Director of Well@ Getting Around
Aboyne-based Ken Morrow, Power To Go Hydro’s Operations Director, said: “Setting up a tiny start-up is a pretty lonely place. A completely new invention can seem so fragile and untested.
“It will be a tremendous support to have a knowledgeable team of advisors around us and a cohort sharing the same feelings and using their own experiences to help.”
ECCI’s Innovation Project Manager Shona McElroy said: "We’ve been delighted with the quality of the talent and innovation entering the accelerator this year. I’m excited to see this group of innovators come together and move into the next stage of customer and product development with the support of ECCI.”
"We’ll be working alongside these entrepreneurs to develop the business and impact potential of these cutting-edge products and services and to support the hard work of creating globally competitive businesses.”
Meet the new EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator start-ups
3D2 retrofit aims at solving bespoke building problems with bespoke insulation solutions. Most deep retrofit of buildings only address easy-to-reach areas of the building such as walls, roofs, windows, doors. This leaves up to 20% of a building where heat loss occurs even after the retrofit. These harder to reach areas create weak points that lower the buildings performance and increase the use of energy for space heating and the dwellings CO2 emissions. 3D retrofit is developing a system to 3D print natural biodegradable material to fill these gaps resulting in higher building performance following deep retrofit. ArqJBW
Edinburgh-based CEO, Julio Bros-Williamson, said: “Addressing climate change and ensuring we reach the Scottish government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 has been the focus of my work over the last few years and this project hopes to contribute some way. It is a privilege to obtain this support from ECCI which will act as a launchpad for setting up a service to tackle poorly performing existing buildings in Scotland.”
Agricarbon aim to build and supply the robust, low-cost soil carbon measurement tools needed to enable regenerative farming projects at scale - accelerating a global transition from 'conventional' to regenerative farming. The science-led innovation will reduce the cost barriers of soil testing whilst maintaining accuracy, credibility and confidence in this fast emerging marketplace. Dundee based Co-founder’s Stewart Arbuckle (CEO) and Peter Lyburn (Corporate relations) make up the team.
Stewart Arbuckle, Co-founder and CEO, said: "We are delighted to have been accepted onto the EIC Climate-Kic Accelerator programme. It's come at the perfect stage of Agricarbon's evolution, where we have the right foundations in place to really accelerate the growth and development of the company, and the access to mentors, investor networks and others that the programme offers will be invaluable to us on this journey".
Dodo is a software system for businesses to efficiently track and reduce their carbon emissions in a fraction of the time it would take to manually calculate them. The system connects directly to a company's accounting system, using their existing accounting data to generate a picture of the company’s total CO2 emissions and making it possible for many more small and medium sized businesses to understand and manage their emissions. CTO Csaba Szabo and CEO Jack Kennedy are based in London. www.dodo.eco
Jack Kennedy, CEO, said: “Dodo is a software system for businesses to efficiently track and reduce their carbon emissions in a fraction of the time it typically takes. It connects directly to existing company data like accounting software to generate and visualise CO2 emissions across the company in just a few minutes. This makes it easier and faster for small to medium sized businesses to tackle their emissions and become carbon neutral.”
Elpis Solar has developed a next-generation off-grid solar technology which will enable people in refugee camps to become more self-sufficient. The technology will empower solar-entrepreneurs in the camps to provide essential services like water filtration, mobile phone charging, digital services and light systems in their communities. The Dublin-based team have global ambitions and will begin operating in Rwanda. Co-founders Samuel Kellerhals and Alexandros Angelopoulos are University of Edinburgh alums. elpissolar.com
Alexandros Angelopoulos, Co-founder and Operations Manager said: “As University of Edinburgh alumni, we are delighted to have been accepted to the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI. We hope that with the training provided and the capital resources available across the three stages we can work towards scaling-up our bespoke solar-powered water filtration solutions across various communities in need around the world.”
Edinburgh’s Gecko Glazing has developed a unique, super-low cost solution to reduce heat loss from windows, even double glazed ones. Custom-made, lightweight clear plastic panels are installed inside existing window frames, where they dramatically reduce heat-loss and energy bills for a fraction of the cost of conventional double glazing. The panels can be installed in seconds and are suitable for a huge range of windows.
Gareth Claase, Founder, said: “Acceptance into the Climate-KIC accelerator means I already feel less of a lone, green-dream chasing, slightly deranged individual, and more part of a supportive team. Acceptance itself is a confidence boost, and I’m hugely looking forward to the advice, expertise and other support I hope the programme can provide.”
Loch Electronics has developed the world’s first personal dishwasher with medical grade UVC light - tipped as the perfect solution for households of 1-2 people for washing their cookware and tableware and disinfecting personal items and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). With 65% of UK households made up of 1-2 people, the UK could reduce its annual consumption of water by 5.3% and of electricity by 2.2% if all households without a dishwasher switch to using Loch Electronics’ Capsule Dishwasher. The Edinburgh-based team are Francisco Carreno, Managing Director and Hang Xu, Marketing Director. lochelectronics.com
Francisco Carreno, Managing Director, said: “Being part of EIT Climate-KIC and ECCI it's a fundamental step in the right direction for our business. I really appreciate the vote of confidence from ECCI on our business idea and can’t wait to meet our fellow entrepreneurs and be part of a community that cares deeply about our planet. For a mechatronics engineer like myself the business training and coaching will be incredibly helpful. We are launching our product this year and I hope it helps to alleviate the burdens of a lockdown during this pandemic.”
Power To Go Hydro
Power To Go Hydro is developing an inflatable water wheel which generates clean, accessible, affordable electricity. The innovative system is cheap to manufacture, easy to transport and simple to install - and causes less environmental damage than other micro hydro systems. What’s more, the continuous nature of the hydro energy sets it apart from other systems and makes it better suited for decentralised micro grids. Aboyne-based Operations Director Ken Morrow and Managing Director Allan Chalmers make up the Accelerator team
Ken Morrow, Operations Director, said: “I’m particularly looking forward to starting the programme because setting up a tiny start up is a pretty lonely place. A completely new invention can seem so fragile and untested. It will be a tremendous support to have a knowledgeable team of advisors around us and a cohort sharing the same feelings and using their own experiences to help.”
Tech-Terra is on a mission to create transformational green energy projects by converting oil & gas assets in the North Sea. The Aberdeen-based team aim to create a series of 'combined energy' sites around these assets, utilising their geothermal potential and other green energy sources to supply industry, transport, farming and homes, while providing new opportunities for the skilled oil & gas workforce. Helen Taylor, Director of Strategy and Managing Director Brian Archer are based in Aberdeen.
Brian Archer, Managing Director, said: "As a start-up with ambitions to make a serious impact in the energy transition Tech-Terra we could not think of a better launchpad than EIT Climate-KICAccelerator at ECCI. Being a part of the community that ECCI have developed will be critical in realising our vision of a business that will transform legacy hydrocarbon assets into green geothermal producers and start the process of utilising oil & gas skills to have a meaningful impact."
Well@ Getting Around
Well@ Getting Around is developing a zero-carbon rural transport system which helps Scotland’s rural communities access shared electric vehicles that are powered by locally generated off-grid electricity. The social enterprise is a partnership between Sleat Community Trust, Interactive Health and Highland Health Ventures, University of the Highlands and Islands and Shewan Associates. Founder Alan White and Director for Zero Carbon Emissions Heather Urquhart are based in Inverness and Skye.
Could you benefit from ECCI's start-up support programmes?
ECCI is the official Scottish partner of EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative. We give low carbon start-ups funding and support to build rock-solid business models and take their target markets by storm.