ECCI is hosting ClimateLaunchpad, the global green ideas competition, again this year – now with an extended deadline of Friday 1 June 2018.
With cash prizes of up to €10,000 and the chance to secure a place on the coveted Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI, this could be your chance to make it big.
Here Monika Tomecka, founder of biomanufacturing start-up uFraction8, Climate-KIC Accelerator participant at ECCI and a finalist from last year’s competition, tells us her ClimateLaunchpad story.
What’s the driver behind your business?
By 2030 there won’t be enough food on this planet to feed the people living on it. Biomanufacturing, on the other hand, can produce 20 times more food per square metre of land than traditional farming.
Using biological cells in food and drink production is already well known in the dairy industry (bacteria), beer production (yeast) and pharmaceuticals (mammalian cells), but it's becoming more and more popular to produce micro algae and other microbes for food, animal feed and pigments, amongst other things.
The hope is that biomanufacturing can save us from future food shortages, but biomanufacturing processes need to be optimised to be economically viable – particularly cell harvesting, which is a hug part of the cost at the moment.
As a biologist, I've always understood need for expanding biomanufacturing – and I also saw the limitations on manufacturing at an industrial scale. So my company, uFraction8, focuses on overcoming these hurdles. We focus on reducing the cost of cell harvesting to make cell-based production more efficient and environment-friendly.
Why did you apply for ClimateLaunchpad 2017?
ClimateLaunchpad is a great place to bounce your ideas off other entrepreneurs as well as experienced mentors. The competition offers amazing training which helps you to prepare for the final pitch - but more importantly, it helps you to define what you've got and what you're lacking to develop your idea into successful business.
How far did you get in last year’s competition?
We won the Scottish finals and won a top 10 place in the global ClimateLaunchpad finals in Cyprus in 2017.
What did you get out of it?
Our win secured our entry to the Climate-KIC Accelerate programme. It also gave us a lot of recognition and media coverage which helped with our marketing. uFraction8 has finally started to be recognised as sustainably-driven company taking action for the climate.
What were your hardest and best moments?
It was hard to compete against friends. Throughout the programme, we truly got to know all of the participants and we wished everybody could go through. It was fun to interact with such driven individuals. My best moment? Definitely standing on stage at the Global ClimateLaunchpad finals :D
Any tips for aspiring applicants?
Go for it! Nobody will do it for you. If you care about your idea and believe in its potential, I don't see a reason not to apply!
Want to follow in uFraction8’s footsteps and take part in ClimateLaunchpad 2018? Get your application in by Friday 1 June 2018.