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A dozen daring climate entrepreneurs launch bid for success

A dozen daring climate entrepreneurs have launched their bid for global success today at ECCI as ClimateLaunchpad 2018 - the world’s biggest green ideas competition - kicks off in Scotland.

The 12 intrepid innovators are taking part in a boot camp and coaching sessions to help to develop their idea into a rock-solid plan. They'll get dedicated support to communicate their business idea, bypass pitfalls and a chance pitch for funding.

The Scottish competitors will then pitch for a place in the global Grand Final, being hosted by ECCI at McEwan Hall in Edinburgh in November 2018 - the first time this high profile event has come to Scotland.

Those that make it through will go head-to-head with the world's best for the chance to win up to €10,000 and a place on the Climate-KIC Accelerator, also hosted at ECCI.

Scotland's ClimateLaunchpad 2018 participants are working on ideas including a ‘sofa for life’, a carbon ‘fitbit’ that rewards behaviours such as cycling or taking public transport and an alternative to plastic packaging made from food waste.

ClimateLaunchpad is this year running in more than 30 countries around the world as well as Scotland.

ECCI Deputy Director and national Climate-KIC lead for Scotland, Ed Craig, said: "ClimateLaunchpad drives entrepreneurs with new ideas to challenge themselves and structure their ideas into a winning presentable formula - while having fun and learning at the same time. 

"It's is one of the best way to make sure your idea is heard effectively and can progress into a potentially scalable business."

ClimateLaunchpad Boot Camp trainer Mike Goodfellow-Smith said: “This training programme represents experience that I have gained over 30 years in business, distilled by our team into a superb manual and training programme that accelerates the ability of a team with an idea to develop a start-up that then might grow to change the world.

"I think Scotland may well have some top 10 world finalists for 2018 that might help us do just that.”

ECCI Programme Manager Dr Dan Barlow, who is leading a session today, said: “New ideas and new approaches will be key to securing a low carbon transition. 

"Today marks the first stage of this exciting competition that seeks to foster the next generation of climate innovators - ECCI and the ClimateLaunchpad team will do all we can to help Scottish entrants succeed."

Denny Schenk, ECCI Entrepreneur-in-Residence and founder of start-up Retromixer which has been supported by ECCI's Ideas Lab and Climate-KIC Accelerator, is also talking at the event. He said: “Being part of ECCI's Climate-KIC community as an Entrepreneur-in- Residence is a great chance to give back some of the support we received on our start-up journey.

"Starting a business is a great challenge for everyone.

"Entrepreneurs at idea stage benefit massively from collaborating with start-ups and businesses like mine that have already been through the process, and this kind of exchange is beneficial for the entire ecosystem."

Intellectual property consultancy Ellis IP are sponsoring the event's evening reception. Dr Claudia Duffy, a European Patent Attorney at the firm, said: “Ellis IP believes in the true potential of green technologies to tackle many of the problems associated with climate change.

"We are delighted to support the ClimateLaunchpad competition and look forward to working with the inspiring entrepreneurs behind the climate-changing technologies showcased at this year’s competition.”

The 12 companies taking part in ClimateLaunchpad 2018 at ECCI are:

Altitude Thinking

Founder Dale Colley and a team at City of Glasgow College are developing a real time water quality monitoring system which can detect incidents such as chemical spillages, marine litter and pollution. This will prevent contamination and encourage a cleaner and healthier environment.

Beech Product Solutions

This start-up aims to provide a cost-effective alternative to plastic food packaging with a biodegradable material made from food waste. Founder John Sloan’s product will use food waste from agriculture and retail to make PLA (polylactic acid) pellets for manufacturing.


Crover is the first remote probing device able to move within bulk-stored cereal grains. The probe provides real time data throughout the whole silo, detecting potential spoilage and minimising the high post-harvest losses offered suffered in long-term storage. Founder Lorenzo Conti aims to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the food industry.


EcoShift aims to connect buyers and sellers of renewable energy using the available infrastructure, such as the national grid. Entrepreneur Linda Johansson want to digitalise the energy market, creating a peer-to-peer online platform that simplifies the buying and selling of renewable energy.

Let Us Dare

Founder Darren Dawson and team aim to capture and convert greenhouse gases (GHGs) into usable products such as graphite and graphene. Through the combination of direct air capture and a process which removes oxygen, the team plan to break down GHGs to their component parts and create basic, refined and advanced products.


Peapod is a CO2 carbon tracker that shares some features with fitness trackers. It doubles up as a payment method and rewards behaviours such as walking, cycling or taking public transport, offering rewards from restaurants, transport companies and retailers by allowing them to send promotions to customers who forego their cars.The idea comes from Kippitech start-up founder Maria Isabel Ayala Gragera.

Planet Heat

Entrepreneur Russell Gibb has developed a new compact, easy-to-deploy, thermal energy collector for use in contaminated fluids such as streams, rivers, ponds and canals. The product is an alternative to current expensive and cumbersome methods which rely on bulky pipes and large stainless steel radiators.

Sofa for Life

The ‘Sofa for Life’ is an innovative sofa design within a circular service. The customisable, washable and portable design extends the lifetime of the sofa and enables reuse and recycling. Founder Saskia Goeres says its unique design is sustainable without compromising economic considerations, quality or comfort.


TELESIS is a naturally filtered seawater desalination feed-source abstracted from below the offshore seabed. Ron Daniel and the team at Composium Group aim to provide affordable water for the 40% of the planet’s population who live in regions where water stress, forced migration and associated health issues are at their worst.


TrailBlazAR are developing an app that integrates the family activity holiday experience, travel sites such as Tripadvisor and full service travel agents such as Expedia so that tourists can arrange bespoke itineraries. By combining accommodation, public transport, activities and dining choices in one place, Director Alan Whitesideand team aim to increase trade for micro and small tourism businesses.


Undisturbed's flagship product Senspasce is a hemp-based alternative to plastic shower curtains. Founder Jacqueline Bruce’s waterproof, durable and sustainable fabric will wind down from the top to protect bathrooms while showering. The company hopes to establish an incentivised returns service to reuse or recycle components and fabric.


VineSpy is an energy efficient wireless sensor network of smart agriculture applications for vineyards, developed by entrepreneur Spyridon Nektarios Daskalakis. The low cost, battery-less system can be controlled by a single smartphone, helping users optimise daily tasks, leading to better use of their water supplies and reducing food waste.

ClimateLaunchpad is one of the programmes delivered by ECCI in partnership with Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate entrepreneurship programme. ECCI is the official Scottish partner of Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative.

Keep up with the action in this year's ClimateLaunchpad on Twitter: