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'Fantastic five' step closer to start-up success

Five cutting-edge start-ups hoping to make their millions from climate innovations took one step closer to success today as the Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage 2 kicked off at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI).

ECCI’s ‘fantastic five’ are the brains behind low carbon innovations ranging from the self-styled Uber of the energy markets – Equiwatt – to smartphone-based irrigation product for Indian farmers, Farm-Hand, and Alterwaste’s plates made from eggshells.

The companies are joining the second of three stages in the Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI – the EU-funded business support programme which offers entrepreneurs coaching, workshops and funding of up to 60,000 euros to take their markets by storm.

The five start-ups join an impressive 23-strong roster of companies supported through Climate-KIC at ECCI. Those taking part have scooped 27 awards and nearly £600,000 in investment since ECCI launched the programmes in 2017.

The five start-ups joining Accelerator 2 today are the first to benefit from the expertise of ECCI’s newly appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence - Denny Schenk. Denny, whose role is funded by legal firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, leads tap mixer company Retromixer. Retromixer is an alumnus of the Climate-KIC Accelerator at ECCI and appeared on the BBC's Dragon's Den in 2016.

The start-ups will also benefit from free legal support from industry leading firm Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Fantastic five

The companies taking part are:


Creates eco-friendly products out of industrial waste by-products. The company's current focus is a new material they've developed from eggshells.

Carbogenics (Franziska Srocke, Market Development Director for Carbogenics, pictured above)

Developing a low carbon technology to convert fibre-rich waste material like disposable paper cups and tetra paks into carbon materials for application in anaerobic digestion (AD) and horticulture.


Plans to ‘uberise’ the energy markets using digital technology. The company has developed an innovative platform and smart hub technology that pays households for saving energy when the grid is under stress.


An affordable smart irrigation system that uses smartphones to provide ‘right-time, right-volume’ irrigation to crops, aimed at farmers in water-stressed India.


Sustainable bioprocessing specialists who have designed an energy efficient and sustainable alternative to industrial centrifuges.

Johnson Fernandes, Co-founder and CEO of Equiwatt said: "We are really excited to have ECCI and Climate-KIC support our acceleration phase at Equiwatt.

"Climate-KIC is the European champion in climate innovation and Edinburgh is the data capital of Europe - a great platform to help us realise our vision globally.

"In the next six months, we plan to expand our team and launch commercial trials. Being part of Edinburgh's thriving digital and energy sector will help us attract the best talent and the right partners to scale our company. "

Martina Zupan, Founder and CEO of Alterwaste said: "I am delighted to be able to continue my Climate-KIC journey through the Accelerator 2.

“The Accelerator 1 has helped me move my business forward significantly and I am excited about how much further I will be able to progress with ECCI's further support."

ECCI’s Head of Enterprise and Innovation Ed Craig said: “ECCI’s vision is to create a vibrant zero carbon future so it’s hugely exciting to welcome this latest batch of low carbon entrepreneurs with equally big ideas onto our successful accelerator programme.

“Scotland has a world-leading approach to tackling climate change, and we’re looking forward to being able to offer our home grown climate innovators the money and expertise to take on growing global markets.”

Accelerate your idea

Want to know more about the Climate-KIC Accelerator programme at ECCI?