Climate innovators in London’s built environment


Cohort 2 of the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator

Cohort 2 of the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator | Photo by Velvet Green Media

Driving Climate Solutions: Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator Announces its Second Cohort

Undaunted, in collaboration with Imperial Enterprise, is proud to announce its second cohort of the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator, an initiative supporting climate innovation in the retrofit market in London. The accelerator is designed to support startups and early-stage scale-ups in the clean tech sector, with a focus on developing cutting-edge solutions for the built environment. These businesses and SMEs are London-based and classified within the Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector. This unique programme connects early-stage startups with resources, mentorship and visibility that can help them move beyond the piloting phase.  

Clare Lowe, Innovation Lead, Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator, is shaping the programme to meet the varied needs of startups. Eager to facilitate mentorship for the unique challenges of the retrofit sector, Clare Lowe said, “We know that to get to net zero we need to take significant action to reduce the carbon footprint of our existing buildings. To do this, we need new technologies, new working practices and above all, a huge amount of collaboration and creative thinking to overcome the challenges. The retrofit accelerator will provide practical support to new built environment innovations and create a collaborative network of innovators and industry adopters to drive the scaling up of retrofit delivery across London.” 

The following businesses are set to begin their journey as part of the second cohort: 

  1. BioTwin - Plant-based, carbon-neutral wall stud 
  2. Carbon Cell - Carbon negative, compostable, insulation, fabricated from waste 
  3. Cyanoskin - Living CO2 absorbent paint 
  4. ecoDriver Ltd. - Energy Management Software & Services blending technology and engagement to help organisations Understand, Act and Transform their sustainability journey. 
  5. Ecofye - CO2 emissions data monitoring (including scope 3) 
  6. Firstplanit - Digital platform to help select sustainable building materials 
  7. Home Energy Foundry - Supply chain management for retrofitting homes 
  8. Material Index Ltd. - Reuse of construction materials 
  9. Map Mortar - Digital twin modelling and simulation for retrofit planning 
  10. Pairio Ltd - Assessment of building energy efficiency to inform retrofit decision 
  11. Q-Bot - Robot that can install insulation under suspended timber floors in homes 
  12. SmartShift Energy - Smart fusebox to help homeowners reduce energy consumption 
  13. UpGreen Ltd. - Energy upgrade planning for SMEs 

After two successful events within the accelerator’s framework with the Challenge Identification Workshop, climate tech SMEs got an opportunity to meet with industry stakeholders under one roof. The goal of the workshop was to enable innovators by providing them expertise on how to identify and unblock some of the barriers to the adoption of their technologies. The workshop allowed founders to pitch in front of an exciting group of developers, local authority, constructors, designers, and energy consultants working on making a relevant impact in London’s built environment. 

Video - How the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator is enabling startups in London's built environment 

Peter Runacres, Head of Urban Futures at The Earls Court Development Company commented on the need for programmes like the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator, “This accelerator is really useful to us as we have a range of existing buildings on site and within our group and we want to help improve the carbon footprint of those. In doing so, we want to bring opportunities to scale up startups and innovators to actually progress and develop. Ultimately the aim is to implement these solutions as we bring forward the full major scheme on the site at The Earls Court Development. It is actually about thinking about the future and developing companies beyond their pilots including upskilling and training.” 

Undaunted actively encourages the sustained participation of diverse startup portfolios from underrepresented communities, including women, minority ethnic groups, disabled persons, neurodivergent persons, and the LGBTQI+ community. Selected participants in the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator will gain access to a wide range of resources, including R&D advice, internships, technical workspace, and networking opportunities with industry stakeholders. 

Underscoring the importance of public-private partnerships in driving innovation and sustainability, Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, said "We are going to see some individual activity for the cohort participants during the course of the programme. They will get an opportunity to access Advanced Hackspace where they will be developing prototypes. They are going to have access to researchers at Imperial College London. The Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator gives innovators an ecosystem to support their business models and their path to technical advancement while also engaging with the industry. We have this combination of collaborative work and individual progress - both of which will expect to bring great returns." 

The accelerator creates a pathway to growth for a diverse range of products and services designed by climate startups bringing unique solutions to the climate crisis across the built environment sector, with a particular focus on decarbonising buildings.  

For more information on the accelerator visit -  

Follow updates of the programme on LinkedIn here 

Powered by Imperial College London, via Undaunted and Enterprise, the Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator is part of the Greater London Authority’s Better Futures programme, co-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  

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Undaunted is a partnership between Imperial’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment and The Royal Institution



Shamita Harsh

Shamita Harsh
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change


Imperial-Innovations, Climate-change, Grantham-people
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