Next-generation climate entrepreneurs pitch to investors at Greenhouse Demo Day

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The three winning teams voted top pitches by the Demo Day audience

The three winning teams voted top pitches of the day by the Demo Day audience

The Greenhouse Demo Day saw 15 startups from Undaunted's climate accelerator programme pitch business ideas to investors at the Royal Institution.

Undaunted’s latest cohort of climate innovators took to the historic stage of the Royal Institution (Ri) to pitch their ideas at The Greenhouse Demo Day, a flagship event on Imperial College London's cleantech calendar.

Innovations ranged from gadget repair toy boxes for kids and a chatbot tool for sustainable designers, to low-carbon architectural materials and sustainable dyes for the fashion and textile industry.

On graduating from The Greenhouse, these ambitious early-stage startups join a flourishing community of Undaunted alumni whose impressive track record – raising more than $1 billion in investment since 2012 and creating over 1,500 jobs in 30 countries – is underpinned by a passion to create sustainable, equitable and scalable businesses.

Pioneering a new future

Global climate tech investment in 2022 reached an all-time high [totalling] $82bn... but the bottom line is, we need more. Ian Stuart CEO, HSBC UK

CEO of HSBC UK, Ian Stuart's, keynote praised and encouraged the resilience it takes for climate innovators to scale up, emphasising the need for more investment: "Global climate tech investment in 2022 reached an all-time high [totalling] $82bn... but the bottom line is, we need more. We've got a lot to do in a very short timeframe."

"The UK is a very, very important home for innovation and fundraising. London is the third biggest startup hub globally after the USA and China," he continued. "25% of venture capital is now directed towards climate technology. I think that will increase in years ahead."

HSBC UK, the Greater London Authority and the European Union Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded Cohort 4's Greenhouse programme and Demo Day. Undaunted Director, Alyssa Gilbert, took the opportunity to emphasise how vital this support is:

Ian Stuart, CEO at HSBC UK, delivers a keynote on Demo Day
Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC UK

“This support really enables us to support climate innovators in a way that we want to, which is part of a public good.” she said.

“It’s incredibly important that, at the earliest part of their journey, they can focus on the potential environmental and climate impact... so that by the end of a year they're ready to get investment and build what is hopefully hugely promising commercial growth, but equally promising growth in terms of the impact that they can have on climate and the environment."

A positive vision of the future

  • Wonki Collective win first prize for their pitch

    Wonki Collective win first prize for their pitch

  • Second prize goes to DyeRecycle

    Second prize goes to DyeRecycle

  • Third prize goes to BlueNose

    Third prize goes to BlueNose

  • Ian Stuart meets some of our climate innovators

    Ian Stuart meets some of our climate innovators

  • Demo Day delegates meet our Greenhouse innovators at the innovation showcase

    Demo Day delegates meet our Greenhouse innovators at the innovation showcase

  • Demo Day delegates meet our Greenhouse innovators at the innovation showcase

    Demo Day delegates meet our Greenhouse innovators at the innovation showcase

The theme for the day was positive vision for the future and the event’s second keynote came from Futerra CEO, Lucy Shea, whose talk, Selling Sustainability, homed in on Futerra's mission to make the anthropocene awesome. 

"This is all of our careers for the rest of our lives", she said, "moving from that extractive, exploitative economy, to the solutions economy. So, how are we going to do that...?" Watch Lucy's keynote again here.

A huge congratulations to The Greenhouse Cohort 4, and to the three teams voted top pitches of the day by the Demo Day audience!

Meet some of the teams

Watch each startup pitch again here and meet some of the teams behind the tech below.

Can you fix it?

Team Repair are on a mission to empower the younger generation to repair, not replace, their broken electronics. Aimed at 10-14-year-olds, subscribers receive a broken gadget, from remote controlled cars to gaming consoles, alongside tutorials to help them fix it. The box is then returned to be reused by budding engineers across the country.

Team Repair was founded by Innovation Design Engineering graduates Megan Hale, Anais Engelmann, Oliver Colebourne, Patrick McGuckian and Oscar Jones, who hope to put the “wow moments” back into the classroom.

Threading hope for change

DyeRecycle are reducing the environmental burden of the textile industry by combining two seemingly unrelated challenges: dye and textile waste. 

Dr Aida Rafat, a previous Research Associate from the Department of Chemical Engineering, has developed a new chemical process to selectively extract dyes from fibres, with no loss in performance. Decoloured fibres produce new clothes, while separated dyes give a splash of colour to new fabric, while retaining 90% of its original colour. Back in June the team secured an H&M Foundation Global Change Award.

Bacterial building blocks

Plasterboard is the third most used product on the planet, and yet its impact is often overlooked, says Cresco Co-founder, Ed Jones, a graduate of Imperial's MSc Innovation Design Engineering course. Currently 10% of global carbon emissions come from the materials and construction processes required to build and renovate buildings, also known as embodied carbon.

Cresco's tech produces low carbon building materials by promoting bacteria growth alongside waste materials to induce the formation of limestone. The team adjust the waste materials and nutrients present to make wall board with different properties; fire resistant, transport durable and insulative.

Food that makes you glow

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of carbon emissions globally, which is almost more than all transport combined. Dan Tang, the founder of Radiant Foods, remembers that making the switch to plant-based eating was a challenge. The meat substitutes that Radiant Foods have developed possess a muscle-like meat texture with deep umami flavours – only from three ingredients.

Dan graduated from Imperial's Business School with a Master's in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management in 2019.

Harnessing electricity from waves

The coastline is one structure that humans have failed to utilise, according to WaveX. The team inflate flexible structures under the seabed to absorb energy from waves while reducing coastal erosion. The structures convert wave energy to electricity by using pressure variations in the air-inflated bags to force air through a turbine that generates electricity. The structures are protected from storms and are 50x lighter and five times cheaper than other devices. Electricity generated from WaveX technologies would cost 4p per kilowatt per hour.

The startup was co-founded by Mechanical Engineering graduate Thomas Allen, Environmental Engineering graduate Will Evans and Research Postgraduate in the Department of Mathematics Jacob Francis. Back in May the team won Imperial Enterprise Lab's 2023 VCC competition.

Intelligent electric vehicle charging

The increasing demand for electric vehicles is seeing the demand for electricity soar alongside it. Energy prices at the peak time are the highest, but also breach capacity limits which can result in fees.

Gridicity software, designed by Alicia Blatiak from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering, provides intelligent EV charging to avoid capacity breaches and high energy prices.

Chat GPT for designers

Felix Wieberneit, Innovation Design Engineering graduate is helping designers create climate-conscious products through the chatbot tool The tool will empower designers to optimise the entire life cycle of the product by providing a wealth of information in a simple chat interface. Users can analyse existing products, create a new concept, compare existing concepts and select sustainable materials.

Fuel reduction

BlueNose is a design tool that improves the aerodynamics of merchant navy ships to reduce their fuel consumption by up to 5%. The optimised structures are streamlined to reduce air lag and fuel consumption. Co-founder Leon Grillet is a graduate of Imperial's Innovation Design Engineering Master's.

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Cohort four's Greenhouse accelerator programme and Demo Day was funded by HSBC UK, the Greater London Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.


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

Logos: Royal Institution, Imperial College London, Grantham Institute


Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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Bryony Ravate

Bryony Ravate
Communications Division

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Enterprise, Climate-change
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