Undaunted welcomes 13 green innovators onto the sixth cohort of its unique climate accelerator programme, The Greenhouse.
Living paint that transforms buildings into carbon dioxide-absorbing structures. AI to combat wildfires. 100% biodegradable, microplastic-free nappies. A sustainable biotech alternative to leather. These are just a few of the thirteen early-stage startups who recently embarked on Undaunted’s twelve-month climate accelerator programme, The Greenhouse.
Across all industries, the survival rate of new startups is 10 per cent. For startups graduating from Undaunted, the survival rate is over 93 per cent. Alyssa Gilbert Director of Undaunted & Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute
Practical innovations that can make a real difference at scale are part of our toolkit when it comes to tackling climate change. The Greenhouse is one of Undaunted's flagship activities, supporting the growth of young, sustainable businesses on a mission to turn ideas into impact. Startups graduating from Undaunted’s accelerators have raised more than $1 billion in investment since 2012 and created over 1,500 jobs in 30 countries.
"Cohort 6 received a record number of applications showing that the motivation to tackle climate change with commercially driven, technical propositions that have the potential for scale, is stronger than ever”, says Jim Shaikh, Head of The Greenhouse. “Diversity remains a hallmark of The Greenhouse programme with companies covering a wide range of sectors and technologies and led by founders from a range of backgrounds”, he continues. “I look forward to working with the teams as they embark on what our alumni say is a transformative and immensely valuable experience within their entrepreneurial journeys".
Undaunted alumni have gone on to realise impressive achievements beyond the accelerator programme. Back in January Multus Biotechnology raised £7.9 million from investors to support further R&D on growth media for cultivated meat and the transition to manufacturing its first commercial products. In March Radiant Matter 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.
More recently, FlexSea’s biodegradable plastics attracted £3m investment, DyeRecycle secured an H&M Foundation Global Change Award, and RFC Power partnered with Ørsted, one of the world’s biggest renewable energy companies, to put its energy storage technology to the test in situations where it can help buffer fluctuations in the supply of renewable power.
"Key to what we’re doing is fostering an ecosystem," says Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Undaunted. “Creating opportunities for diverse talent to test out the earliest seeds of their ideas by supporting initiatives such as Imperial's Climate Entrepreneurs Club and Climate KIC's Launchpad. The Greenhouse provides a step beyond, nurturing the most exciting ideas in their pre-seed stages of development.
"Importantly, we're also focused on creating a community of support and problem-solving that continues after these promising young businesses graduate from The Greenhouse and try to scale up in competitive and very challenging marketplaces," she continues. "Across all industries, the survival rate of new startups is 10 per cent. For startups graduating from Undaunted, the survival rate is over 93 per cent. Our upcoming Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator, for example, is a bespoke programme designed to bring early-stage founders working on decarbonising the built environment into direct contact with key stakeholders who will be vital in enabling the uptake and use of innovations, boosting the commercial viability for scale up. The programme is set to include a pilot project that will trial solutions actively in retrofit projects across London."
Support, growth and impact
The Greenhouse programme is supported by the Greater London Authority via the Mayor of London, and HSBC UK, through the bank’s global Climate Solutions Partnership.
“We have been impressed by the breadth and calibre of the Greenhouse participants to date, and Cohort 6 continues to be as innovative,” says Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC UK. “Working in partnership with Imperial College London and others, we will continue to bring together our combined knowledge, insight and international network to help scale up climate solutions to have real-world impact.”
Added Alyssa Gilbert: “This funding really enables us to support climate innovators in a way that enables them, at the earliest part of their journey, to focus on potential environmental and climate impacts. By the end of our twelve-month programme they're ready to raise investment: to develop both commercially, and also in terms of the impact that they can have on climate and the environment."
For the first time, The Greenhouse programme has also partnered with the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) and CO2RE, to support two climate innovators in the field of fintech, and one in the area greenhouse gas removal – collaborations designed to bolster cross-pollination of support, ideas and networks within Imperial's broad climate innovation community and beyond.
"Transforming Finance for a greener future will require breakthrough innovation in climate data and analytics," says Matt Scott, Executive Director CGFI. "That’s why CGFI are delighted to be working in partnership with The Greenhouse Undaunted programme at Imperial to support the next generation of Climate FinTech entrepreneurs."
Meet Cohort 6
VundaHaus is driving the decarbonisation of homes by industrialising the process of installing solid wall insulation. Its prefabricated insulation kit can be installed in a fraction of the time of traditional methods and at a fraction of the cost of other off-site. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
Resting Reef is a sustainable death care service that meaningfully commemorates past lives, whilst building new life. Resting Reef transforms the ashes of those who have died into beautiful reef memorial structures that regenerate biodiversity, capture carbon, filter water, and prevent coastal erosion. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
Replica Biomaterials is a biotechnology company developing a sustainable high-tech alternative that provides the same look, feel and performance as real leather but without its carbon footprint. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
Planet Diapers create 100% biodegradable, biobased and microplastic-free nappies using its proprietary biomaterial, reducing its nappies' carbon footprint by 50% compared to standard nappies. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
NatureBound helps farmers and corporates leverage biodiversity data. Its AI platform enables scalable biodiversity reporting and supports farmers in their transition to sustainable agriculture. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
Isometric Outcomes specialises in engineering product design. Its first product is an energy efficient dehumidifying bathroom ventilation device, that helps reduces energy costs, carbon emissions, and prevents mould forming. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
FireX.ai uses artificial intelligence to suggest the most effective strategies for combating wildfires. It also provides curated datasets that assess fire risks, valuable for insurance companies. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
FABMaterials is on a mission to deliver planet scale fashion upcycling. Its proprietary process will transform 90M tonnes of zero-value waste into high-value circular construction materials. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
CyanoSkin is an innovative living paint designed to transform buildings into carbon dioxide-absorbing structures, reducing emissions and addressing urban pollution. If CyanoSkin coated buildings globally, it could absorb up to 85% of global emissions. Follow the team on LinkedIn.
Climate Kick's mission is to bridge the gap between green investors and renewable project developers, paving the way towards a sustainable future. With advanced financial technologies they empower investors by providing tools to invest and monitor both financial performance and sustainability outcomes. Additionally, they offer affordable and efficient capital solutions to emerging green projects that struggle to secure financing.
Anqalab is building an AI-powered platform that accelerates the development process of new sustainable battery materials.
Thank you to our funders
The Greenhouse is supported by the Greater London Authority via the Mayor of London, and HSBC UK, through the bank’s global Climate Solutions Partnership.
Imperial College London is part of HSBC’s global Climate Solutions Partnership, which aims to unlock barriers to finance for companies and projects that tackle climate change to bring them to scale while also delivering for people and nature. The global initiative is backed by $100m of philanthropic funding from HSBC over five years.
Undaunted is a partnership between Imperial's Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment and The Royal Institution.
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