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Autumn award nominations flying in for ECCI start-ups

Five ECCI start-ups are heading to the finals of three separate awards ceremonies it was announced, as the autumn award season draws closer.

Recent ClimateLaunchpad Scotland winner Lorenzo Conti from Crover has been shortlisted for the Converge Challenge KickStart award, a competition that provides support for an early-stage idea or a new product or service. Lorenzo, whose product is a grains storage monitoring solution that aims to reduce waste, will find out if he has won £10,000 and a place in the Converge Challenge Top 30 in 2019 at an awards dinner on 20 September.

Joining Crover at the ceremony are Climate-KIC Accelerator start-up Carbogenics, one of seven finalists competing for over £130,000 in the Converge Challenge category, which is aimed at businesses ready to incorporate. The University of Edinburgh spin-out has invented a process that turns fibre-rich waste material like paper cups into a new material that can be used in anaerobic digestion and horticulture.

Greenhouse alumni John Sloan from Beech Product Solutions is a finalist for the Scottish Resources Awards gong for Best Circular Economy Initiative. John will find out whether his innovative product – a cost-effective alternative to plastic food packaging made from food waste – has beaten off the other nominees on 4 October, when the winners are announced at a glitzy awards ceremony at the EICC.

And two more of ECCI’s Climate-KIC Accelerator start-ups are gearing up for the finals of the Royal Bank of Scotland Great British Entrepreneur Awards. uFraction8’s Monika Tomecka and Brian Miller are finalists in the Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year category. Martina Zupan of Alterwaste is in the running for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Now in their sixth year, the awards acknowledge the work of entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. If the ECCI pair win at the Gala final in Edinburgh on 8 November, they’ll join the ranks of former winners Julie Deane OBE, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, brewing giant BrewDog’s James Watt and David Buttress, who created JustEat.

Martina Zupan, founder and CEO of Alterwaste (pictured) said: "I'm honoured to be recognised for what we're doing with my business - a big thank you to everyone who nominated me.

"I feel absolutely privileged to share the stage with the other amazing young entrepreneurs who are doing exceptionally well out there."

Lorenzo Conti, founder of Crover said: "We're still on a high from our ClimateLaunchpad Scotland win last month.

"Being able to pitch in front of a global audience is a unique opportunity that no other business competition in Scotland can offer.

"Since starting the project we were confident we'd get to a global stage eventually, but we never thought we'd get there as fast as ClimateLaunchpad is allowing us to do!

"We're ready to make Scotland proud!"

ECCI's Acting Head of Innovation Charlotte Waugh said: “It’s exciting to see such a broad range of innovative ECCI start-ups - all at different stages in their start-up journey - being honoured by many of Scotland’s top business awards.

"We wish them all the best of luck in the finals and look forward to helping them through the next phase of their development as part of ECCI’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.”