Judges line up to select London’s best student ‘green’ business idea

12 February 2015

London’s brightest students have a week left to apply for a £20,000 prize fund to get their dream ‘green’ business idea up and running. The Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition, sponsored by Siemens, encourages London’s students to come up with ideas to help reduce energy use and carbon emissions in the capital.

This year the Mayor has secured an eclectic array of inspirational business gurus to help him judge the awards including: Dame Ellen MacArthur DBE, award-winning solo yachtswoman; Charlene White, journalist & newsreader; Richard Reed, entrepreneur, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies; Siemens UK CFO Andrew Hall; Morad Fareed, co-founder of Delos and Matthew Pencharz, Mayor’s Senior Adviser on Environment & Energy.

Previous winners include Bio-bean founder Arthur Kay whose successful ‘green’ business idea now turns London’s waste coffee grounds into biofuels. ‘Bio-bean’ is in the process of setting up a major processing plant. The 2014 winners Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston recently launched their first solar powered mobile phone charging station, “solarbox” on Tottenham Court Road and plan to open a further six installations this year.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “This is gearing up to be a smorgasbord of brilliant new carbon cutting ideas from our best young business minds. It is also an excellent opportunity to get involved in London’s thriving green economy and I look forward to seeing all the innovative ideas with our first class judging panel.”

The top 10 finalists will pitch their ideas to the judges at a City Hall event. The competition brings young people from across London together to talk about the challenges that London is facing. These opportunities give students the chance to become London’s business entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: "A new economy, based on circular models aiming at positive impact, is already emerging. Creativity and entrepreneurship are key for that systemic change to achieve its full potential, and deliver multiple benefits as well as resilience."

Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens plc said: “The Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition is a unique opportunity for London students to gain funding to transform their concepts into reality. The young people we have employed through this competition at our sustainable cities initiative, The Crystal, have demonstrated their desire to create a better city environment. I look forward to meeting this year’s winners and interns.” The deadline for applications to this year’s competition is Thursday 19th February 2015. The winners will be announced immediately following the finalist pitches to the judges at an event at City Hall in March.

Notes to editors

The winning entry for the Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2015 will be rewarded with cash and support to help develop the practical application of their idea. Ideas can be submitted in one of 8 categories: - Product design - a new product that requires less energy and material to make, and to use. - Materials/reuse and recycling/circular economies - keeping valuable resources out of landfills. - Behaviour change/networking - 'greener' services to link up sustainably-minded Londoners - Energy efficiency/capture/generation - reducing energy use or capturing and generating power more sustainably - Food/food waste - sustainable production and distribution of food for London - Water management - Other ideas to help create a sustainable future for London

• To enter the competition visit and submit an online application form before 19th February 2015: www.london.gov.uk/lowcarbon The full list of judges for this year’s competition includes: o Dame Ellen MacArthur, solo yachtswoman and founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which promotes the concept of the circular economy o Morad Fareed, New York based entrepreneur and former professional athlete, co-founder of Delos – Building Wellness o Charlene White, journalist and newsreader o Richard Reed, Co-founder of Innocent Smoothies o Andrew Hall, CFO Siemens UK o Martin Powell, Head of Urban Development, Siemens

o Matthew Pencharz, Environment and Energy Advisor to the Mayor of London o Johnny Luk, CEO National Association of University and College Entrepreneurs (NACUE) - Bio-bean was founded by Arthur Kay www.bio-bean.com now running as a fully operational corporation turning London waste coffee grounds into biofuels - ‘solarbox’ was co-founded by Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston in 2014, and the team also includes Baron Derrick van Voorst tot Voorst. They work out of Impact Hub Islington. For more information visit www.solarboxlondon.org orhttps://twitter.com/solarboxlondon - The Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2015 has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Siemens. Siemens was established in the United Kingdom more than 170 years ago and now employs 13,760 people in the UK. As the world’s largest engineering company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK. The Crystal, a Siemens initiative based in London’s Royal Docks, is an innovative visitor attraction, one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, a sustainable events venue and home to Siemens’ Global Centre of Competence for cities.

The competition is sponsored by Siemens, a global engineering company with a focus on the key sectors of Energy, Industry, Healthcare and Infrastructure & Cities. For more information visit: www.siemens.co.uk and www.thecrystal.org