Five start-ups battled it out for a host of prizes today as ECCI’s six month Greenhouse programme came to an end.
Start-ups My Bonnie Coo, Beech Product Solutions, Generation Home, Project Munro and Undisturbed - all part of ECCI’s Greenhouse pre-incubator programme - pitched in front of an expert panel at ECCI.
The five budding entrepreneurs' world-beating innovations range from low-cost micro modular homes, to an eco-tourism rewards platform and a sustainable shower curtain made from hemp.
Jacqueline Bruce of Undisturbed was awarded best pitch - winning £300 of consultancy advice from top start-up accountancy firm Johnson Carmichael. Further prizes were awarded for the innovation with the biggest potential carbon impact (Generation Home) and the company that has made the best progress on the programme (John Sloan, Beech Product Solutions).
The Greenhouse - part of ECCI’s Climate-KIC programme - offers pre-incubation support and up to €2,500 in funding for starting entrepreneurs with a climate business idea. Over the last six months the participants have taken part in tailored workshops and joined a community of green entrepreneurs to get guidance on refining their ideas. Greenhouse is designed to be a first stepping stone for motivated, early-stage entrepreneurs who want to build a low carbon business and is a precursor to ECCI’s other Climate-KIC initiatives – ClimateLaunchpad and the Climate-KIC Accelerator.
The early stage entrepreneurs pitched to an expert panel which included Stuart Dearden, Entrepreneur Development Manager at RBS Accelerator Programme, Nick Langan, Senior Project Manager at Edinburgh City Council and Kathy Jowitt, Education Co-ordinator at Climate-KIC, as well as ECCI’s own Innovation Manager Charlotte Waugh.
ECCI Innovation Manager Charlotte Waugh said:
“It’s been a real pleasure to see our first batch of Greenhouse participants settle in to ECCI’s vibrant network over the past six months and go from strength to strength as they progressed through the programme.
“We’re looking forward to helping them on the next step of their start-up journey through ECCI’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and our Climate-KIC Accelerator programmes.”
Johnson Carmichael - an accountancy firm for innovative and high growth businesses - are sponsoring the prize for best pitch. Kirsty Irvine, Business Development Senior Manager at the firm said:
"We are delighted to offer a prize to Greenhouse start-ups; the chosen winner of best pitch will receive a free consultation with our accountancy and tax specialists on how to run a successful growth business.”
Climate-KIC at ECCI currently supports 15 Scottish businesses. The companies taking part to date have scooped more than £1 million investment and 50 awards since C-KIC programmes started in 2017. Carbon auditors* have calculated that in their 1st year of operation, the business innovations developed on the Greenhouse programme could save 232 tonnes CO2 going into the atmosphere - the equivalent of driving a car 28 times around the world, 451 barrels of burnt oil or the mass of 44 elephants.
*Eduardo Rosales Ortega, PhD Researcher at the Institute for Energy Systems and Robert Williamson, MSc student at the University of Edinburgh.
The five Greenhouse start-ups are:
This start-up aims to disrupt outdated approaches to housing by providing modular, energy efficient and affordable homes. Founders Dr Shemaiah Weekes and Dr Mike Page aim to reduce energy emissions to net zero and reduce embedded carbon in building materials. Their company is being supported by ECCI’s Climate-KIC Greenhouse programme.
My Bonnie Coo
Creators of low carbon, self-assembly 3D wall art in the shape of a Highland cow - or ‘coo’ - head. Managing Director Heather Walker wants to see her product become Scotland’s iconic eco-friendly souvenir and must-have home accessory.
Project Munro founders Heather Urquhart and Alan Whiteside's company is an eco-tourism rewards platform that will promote sustainable lifestyle choices and business practices. It aims to encourage more Scots to holiday in Scotland, use green transport options and buy locally.
Undisturbed is developing a hemp-based alternative to plastic shower curtains. 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.
Beech Product Solutions
John Sloan's start-up aims to provide a cost-effective alternative to plastic food packaging with a biodegradable material made from food waste. It will use food waste from agriculture and retail to make PLA (polylactic acid) pellets for manufacturing.
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