Meet The Greenhouse's latest climate innovation cohort


Undaunted collage showing two figures waling over mountains towards a huge energy storage unit

The Greenhouse at Undaunted welcomes fifteen pre-seed startups onto its climate accelerator programme.

Fifteen new startups on a mission to use their skills to resourcefully tackle climate change and set up scalable and equitable businesses along the way have begun the twelve-month Greenhouse accelerator programme at Undaunted.

We are serious about tackling climate change, and to do so, we need to support creative people with innovative ideas about how to design and implement climate solutions. Alyssa Gilbert. Director of Undaunted & Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute

The programme supports early stage 'pre-seed' startups to develop the skills and experience needed to succeed in a competitive marketplace and is a flagship activity of Undaunted – a partnership between The Royal Institution (Ri) and Imperial's Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment. Cohort 5's innovations include carbon-negative polystyrene, textiles made from banana fibre and potato harvest waste, and devices for roadside drains that capture particulate pollution. 

“We are serious about tackling climate change, and to do so, we need to support creative people with innovative ideas about how to design and implement climate solutions,” says Undaunted Director, Alyssa Gilbert. “The Greenhouse accelerator helps founders at the early stages of building their businesses, as they begin to commit to their ideas on a full-time basis. It’s a big step for them, and a fantastic and inspiring community for us to work with.

“As well as expert coaching, masterclasses, and equity-free grant funding, our Greenhouse startups benefit from being based in central London”, she continues, “with access to free workspace at the Ri where we’re seeing a really exciting, proactive and positive community evolve.”

The Greenhouse accelerator effect

Greenhouse alumni – whose innovations span diverse fields and industries – have gone on to realise impressive achievements beyond the accelerator programme.

In 2022 Seratech won the OBEL Award for their zero-emission cement, while Deep.Meta received grant funding from Innovate UK for a £1.9m project exploring how novel artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can help reduce energy use and carbon emissions across the steel industry. Flybox were also awarded a €5.2 million grant by Horizon Europe to develop technologies and systems that contribute to EU-Africa for Food Security, and Co-Founder of The Tyre Collective, Hanson Cheng, was profiled as a Wallpaper* Change Maker

More recently Founder of Radiant Matter, Elissa Brunato, partnered with Stella McCartney to create the world's first ever garment crafted with naturally sparkling and iridescent BioSequins – modelled by Cara Delevingne in the April 2023 issue of Vogue.

Undaunted in the face of climate change

Our community… is growing rapidly foster[ing] a unique culture at our home at the Royal Institution, and is an aspect which help all our innovators to maximise their potential, and provide a supportive environment within which they can thrive. Naveed Chaudhry Co-Founder and Head of The Greenhouse

Co-Founder and Head of The Greenhouse, Naveed Chaudhry, is looking forward to seeing this new cohort develop. “Despite being on our 5th Cohort since 2021, we continue to see an influx of exciting innovations with significant potential to tackle our climate change challenges at scale. The motivation to tackle climate change through innovation is stronger than ever, with Cohort 5 receiving a record number of applications. This has resulted in a very diverse cohort once again, a hallmark of our programme.”

“Our community at The Greenhouse, and Undaunted more broadly, is growing rapidly”, he continues. “This has fostered a unique culture at our home at the Royal Institution, and is an aspect which help all our innovators to maximise their potential, and provide a supportive environment within which they can thrive.”

The Greenhouse accelerator programme is supported in-part by HSBC UK, through the bank’s global Climate Solutions Partnership. 

“It has been wonderful to see these innovative early-stage start-ups thrive within the programme” says Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC UK. “We understand that the challenge of climate change cannot be tackled without collaboration and are proud to be working with The Greenhouse accelerator and look forward to hearing from the inspiring new cohort”.

Meet Cohort 5

Carbon Cell – a carbon-negative, non-toxic, fully biodegradable replacement for polystyrene and other polymer-based insulating foams, made with biochar.

Circular Regen – developing a methodology to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the built environment by using sustainable materials and designing for disassembly so that resources can have multiple lives.

CLIP Energy – powering down home energy use with smart sensors and AI.

Decarbonite – developing carbon negative, non-toxic, and fully biodegradable fabrication materials as a radically green alternative to particle and fibre boards.

Epicue – heat stress management for workers in high heat, via low cost epifluidic sweat monitoring.

Faeba – identify and scale unsung bio-textiles for the fashion industry and beyond. We achieve game changing carbon reductions through material innovation and our unique end-to-end network.

Fibe – a materials start-up developing the world’s first textile fibres out of potato harvest waste.

Guerilla.Co – Guerrilla is a retrofittable device enabling roadside drains to capture particulate pollutionwhich would otherwise be washed into the ocean, without using any electricity or moving parts while maintaining high flow rates.

Ki Hydrogen – a deep-tech venture developing novel waste-to-hydrogen technology that produces green hydrogen using 75% less energy compared with water electrolysis.

Nium – Nium uses nanotechnology to decarbonise chemistry, beginning with the most polluting chemical industrial production on earth: ammonia production.

PulpaTronics – recyclable carbon-based RFID tags made to preserve more of our world's resources.

Samudra Oceans – robotics and AI to scale seaweed farming.

Tazaar – bridges the gap between manufacturers and consumers with a digital service record that offers product traceability and customer engagement throughout the product lifecycle.

Vuala – Vuala X1 makes food waste recycling easy by automatically separating food waste from other wastes, generating raw material for energy production on site; saving 95% on logistics and labour costs, and 75% lower carbon emissions.

ZoriTex – optimising textile waste sorting – combining vision and AI-powered technologies to drive circularity in fashion textile recycling.

Applications for Cohort 6 of The Greenhouse are open now

Are you an innovator with a solution to tackle climate change? If you, or your team, have a breakthrough idea that has the potential for significant climate impact and commercial growth apply now for Cohort 6 of The Greenhouse.

If you'd like to find out more about the programme, team and application process, or have a question, join one of our informal Q&A sessions online in the coming months.

The deadline for applications is 9 August 2023 (23.59 BST)

Undaunted: The Greenhouse

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The Greenhouse is one of Undaunted's flagship activities, and its mission is simple: to support the growth of young, sustainable businesses looking to tackle climate change.

Undaunted’s community of innovators aim to implement global change through pioneering, practical solutions, not only within the world of enterprise, but also across law, policy, academic and societal engagement contexts.

Undaunted is a partnership between The Royal Institution and Imperial's Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment.

Logos: Royal Institution, Imperial College London, Grantham Institute

Undaunted is co-funded by the 2014 to 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, the Greater London Authority and HSBC UK.



Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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Enterprise, Imperial-Innovations, Climate-change
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