11 new start-up businesses have been enrolled onto Innovation Birmingham Campus’ Low Carbon Incubator Programme. In addition to receiving a structured programme of support and office premises, each start-up will be able to bid for up to €20,000 of grant funding to take their product to market.
The Low Carbon Incubator is part of the European-wide Climate KIC (Knowledge Innovation Community). It follows on from the highly successful 2012 programme, which saw Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Ventive secure £900,000 from its initial funding round.
The 11 low carbon start-ups comprise; Accommodation Pod, which is a floatable, modular, flexible solution for storage and emergency purposes. Blue Planet Hydrogen, which has designed an advanced hydrogen fuel production and control system. Chimney Sheep provides an attractive solution to stop drafts from chimneys. Eden IQ has designed an ultra-efficient infrared heating panel that is cheaper and more efficient than competitor products. Fullgrown Furniture is ‘growing’ furniture straight from the tree by guiding branches. Heat Genius, which has developed a smart, zone-based home heating system using sensor technology to intelligently heat the home. LEDenergysave is developing new LED products. Loftzone provides an innovative solution to using the loft for storage, without compromising on optimum insulation levels. Powercharge is a pay-as-you-go plug system. Pyrogen Africa is a specialist consultancy, set up to provide market intelligence on Africa’s renewable energy markets, while the eleventh start-up Solarera is developing solar energy solutions for the African market.
Henriette Lyttle-Breukelaar, Head of Projects at Innovation Birmingham said: “This is a very exciting cohort of low carbon start-ups, which is a reflection of the rapid growth of the sustainable energy market. It is capturing the interest of serial entrepreneurs, as well as prompting industry professionals to step away from a corporate career path and start their own business.”
Henriette Lyttle-Breukelaar added: “Cohorts of low carbon start-ups have been drawn from six regions across Europe. The Programme is funded and designed to create more diversification within the low carbon sector, which is set to create significant wealth and jobs, especially for a region such as the West Midlands, which has a strong manufacturing base.”
The 11 start-ups enrolled onto this year’s Low Carbon Incubator Programme successfully completed a competitive application process, which assessed commercial strengths alongside product innovation and low carbon impact.
The Programme is being run in three phases. Business plan preparation, mentoring, hot-desking space and a range of networking opportunities are being made available to all 11 start-up companies. The businesses that qualify through to the second stage of the programme will receive more specific coaching to achieve investor readiness.
The low carbon products and concepts will then be entered into the European Venture Competition, being held this autumn in Wroclaw, Poland. The Competition will enable the start-ups to significantly raise their profile, and the event also provides excellent opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and decision makers from the other participating RIC regions; Valencia (Spain); Emilia Romagna (Italy); Hessen (Germany); Lower Silesia (Poland) and Central Hungary.
The entrepreneurs that progress through to the third and final stage of the programme will have access to international materclasses, trade missions and professional pitching training. They may also apply for grants of up to €20,000 to assist with launching their products to the market.
The Low Carbon Incubator Programme 2013 is supported through the Climate Knowledge Innovation Community project, which receives funding from the European Commission through the European Institute for Innovation and Technology.