Mayor, Zac Goldsmith & Richard Reed give £15,000 to Eco-Entrepreneur

05 June 2014

An initiative allowing the public to group together by ‘crowd sourcing’ to buy and supply energy has won a £15,000 prize from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson at the 2014 Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award Ceremony.

Two students from Imperial College masterminded the ‘Crowd Power Plant’ idea - an online electricity marketplace that connects producers and consumers of electricity. The Mayor was joined by Zac Goldmsith MP, Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed and the Mayor’s Environment Adviser Matthew Pencharz, yesterday evening as he presented students James Winfiely and Dominic Jacobson, the first prize of £15,000.

Runners up Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston from LSE, took home £5,000 for their Solarbox idea, which will bring London’s iconic telephone boxes into the 21st Century by transforming them into free green mobile phone charging points.

The Mayor’s annual competition encourages investment in low carbon innovations whilst nurturing London’s student entrepreneurs of the future. London is already at the centre of innovation for green technologies, with a booming green economy worth more than £25bn. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The incredible students behind these green innovations are the future leaders who will be powering London’s booming green economy. I look forward to seeing these students develop and succeed, whether through a fantastic internship at Siemens or by turning their ideas into thriving new businesses, they will help shape London’s economic future.” The winning entries beat off stiff competition from other finalists whose ideas included:

  • Floating urban food farms in barges
  • Cartoon energy and carbon heroes
  • Wireless office lighting system
  • A social logistics network

Ten finalists, chosen from over 200 entries, had to present ‘Dragons’ Den’ style to a panel of expert judges including Deborah Meaden, Richard Reed, Zac Goldsmith MP, Siemens UK CEO, Roland Aurich, and Environment & Energy Advisor to the Mayor of London, Matthew Pencharz. Not only was there the opportunity to win the start-up funding but students could also win a paid internship with sponsors Siemens, giving an opportunity to gain valuable experience to boost their career prospects. Roland Aurich, CEO at Siemens plc said: “The Prize has proved a great way to inspire innovation and get young people involved and active in the debate about reducing carbon emissions. The interns who have already come to Siemens through this competition have made the most of this opportunity and we’ve valued their input.” A group of volunteer Student Ambassadors were recruited to help promote the competition within London’s colleges and universities. An award for the best Student Ambassador, also handed out at the ceremony, went to Nithya Gopalakrishnan, an MBA International Business student from the University of Greenwich who wins two weeks of work experience at London City Hall. 

Notes to editors

  • For images of awards event please email [email protected] The Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition was open to students to students at Further and Higher Education Institutes across the London. The Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition is an annual competition open to students across the capital which gives them the chance to win a cash prize, paid internship opportunities, as well as invaluable support and guidance as they look to develop their ideas.∙
  • The Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Siemens and the support of the London Environmental University Group (LEUG) who are helping to deliver the scheme by processing applications and promoting the award to London's students. ‪∙
  • To view a list of the runners-up in the competition please visit: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/mayors-low-carbon-entrepreneur
  • Siemens is a global engineering company with a focus on the key sectors of Energy, Industry, Healthcare and Infrastructure & Cities. The Crystal, a Siemens initiative based in London, is an innovative visitor attraction and home to the global centre of competence for cities. For more information visit: www.siemens.co.uk and www.thecrystal.org