Climate-focused start-ups battle at world’s largest green business ideas competition

October 16, 2017


Two environmentally-focused companies on the Climate-KIC programme hosted at the Innovation Birmingham Campus are set to battle it out with the world’s best at the Climate Launchpad Global Grand Final in Limassol, Cyprus.


Having seen their ideas crowned in the top three across the country, finishing second and third in the National Final respectively, solar concentrators company Un1imited and electric cars rental company rentE are now moving on to represent England against 103 other finalists from across 35 countries on October 17th and 18th.


All participants will pitch their business idea to an international jury panel consisting of experts from backgrounds in investment, academia, sustainability and entrepreneurship at the Semi-Finals on October 17th, which will be followed by the Theme Awards on October 18th, a separate pitch competition where teams have the chance to win €5000 free to spend on developing the start-up.


Pitches will be assessed against six overarching themes including Urban Transitions, Sustainable Production Systems, Decision Metrics & Finance, Sustainable Land Use, Carbon Impact or Food. Lampson Leung, Founder of Un1imited and expert in Sustainable Building Performance Design said:


“I am very excited to compete in Cyprus. This is a culmination of seven years of hard work. We completed the concept in May 2017 and this is a great opportunity to showcase what we’ve done to the world.


“The Climate-KIC programme has been excellent, sharing financial and entrepreneurial advice from experts in the field. Most importantly, this is a chance for us to get exposure, and therefore creates opportunities for us to obtain funding.”


The Bristol-based company sustainably generating water and electricity now plans to start installing its solar panel solution to pavilions on buildings and objects to make the product operational and mobile.


Since the establishment of the world’s largest green business ideas competition in 2014, the Climate Launchpad competition has evolved from a European to a global stage in its bid to impact climate change, receiving 964 business ideas for 2017. Rob Jolly, Founder of rentE and ex Innovation Manager at Jaguar Land Rover said:


“This competition presents a great opportunity for exposure to investors with a climate focus. We have expanded quicker than we thought, and now have the capacity to reach half the size of Enterprise Rent-a-car.”  


The organisation based on a renewable energy site at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham is now hoping to expand nationally and internationally, with the next step to scale up across three cities in total.  


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