Three Edinburgh Innovations clients have won backing from Europe’s largest sustainability entrepreneurship programme, Climate-KIC.
Sustainable bioprocessing specialist uFraction8, online charity shopping startup One Cherry, and flatpack toaster designer Kasey Hou have been selected for the prestigious Climate-KIC Accelerator programme.
Alongside five other winners they will each receive up to €10,000 of funding plus business support and office space for four months, as the first part of a potential three-stage programme that could last up to 18 months.
All eight companies will be hosted by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, the Scottish home of Climate-KIC, one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
“It’s amazing news. It’s something that we’ve been aiming for, but not long ago it was just a dream,” said Anton Puzorjov, founder of One Cherry. “I know people who have been part of Climate-KIC and I know that their businesses are growing. It was an aspiration to be among them.”
One Cherry’s phone app lists clothing and other items for sale in second-hand shops, which users will be able to browse and buy online. It successfully trialled its service in late 2017 and is planning a market launch later this year.
Puzorjov is a first-year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and has been supported by LAUNCH.ed throughout his time as an Edinburgh student, which started in 2012 as an undergraduate.
“The way I’m thinking now and the way I’m putting the company forward – none of this would have happened if I hadn’t had the support of LAUNCH.ed,” he said.
uFraction8 provides scalable bioprocessing technology enabling biomass filtration, separation and dewatering with no harm and no flocculants, unlike centrifuges, filters and membranes.
Edinburgh Innovations has worked closely with uFraction8 on making business connections, sourcing investment opportunities, and pitching for funding. The company recently won the £100,000 Higgs prize at the Scottish EDGE awards.
Kasey Hou aims to reduce electronic waste by creating products that can be easily repaired by the consumer. Her company’s first product will be a self-assembly flatpack toaster, which she created as part of her product design degree at Edinburgh College of Art.
LAUNCH.ed client Hou said: “Starting from scratch, professional support from LAUNCH.ed has helped me put together my business idea and refine my business plan. It helped a great deal when I applied for the Climate-KIC programme.
“Running a startup business is like putting puzzles together, because it requires bits and pieces of different expertise. With supports and resources from the Climate-KIC Accelerator, I am confident that I will be able to put every piece of puzzle together and have a successful business launch.”