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ECCI's Bright Red Sparks claim double win

ECCI start-ups have scooped two of the five top prizes in Edinburgh Napier University’s innovation and enterprise competition, Bright Red Sparks.

Alterwaste - who manufacture compostable tableware made from eggshells - and uFraction8 - a filtration unit that reduces water use in manufacturing - were chosen from 18 finalists to share £12,000 prize money and £17,000 of legal support from law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn.

uFraction8, who are part of ECCI’s prestigious Climate-KIC Accelerator programme, won out in the Going for Growth category. The judging panel described uFraction8 as being “well thought out, ambitious and innovative”, commending its creators’ “passion, attention to detail and drive”.

Fellow Climate-KIC Accelerator residents Alterwaste triumphed in the Business for Good category and were commended for a “sustainable product” created in response to “market and environmental challenges”.

Alterwaste Director Martina Zupan (pictured) said:

"I am absolutely delighted to have won the Bright Red Sparks ‘Business for Good’ award and been acknowledged for the positive work we do at Alterwaste.

“The award is fantastic and both the grant and the legal support package from Shepherd and Wedderburn will help us significantly with growing our business.

“Being supported by the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme at ECCI has been invaluable in helping us progress over the past few months.

“The programme has allowed me to use considerably more of my time developing the business, and with the mentoring support as well as the professional training ECCI provides, we now have a refined business model and a clear vision to follow as we move forward.”

Dr Brian Miller, Founder and Managing Director at uFraction8, said: “Winning this award will really help uFraction8 as we build our business, especially the legal support from Shepherd and Wedderburn.

“Our company was introduced to this firm through the Climate-KIC Accelerator program at ECCI, so we’ve already started building a strong business relationship with the team there.

“I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work and study across the three biggest universities in Edinburgh, and we’re now receiving fantastic support and coaching to develop our business model through the Accelerator programme.

“It just goes to show how quickly things can develop with the right support.”

ECCI’s Climate-KIC Accelerator programme helps great business ideas take off by providing office space, coaching and access to our low carbon community.