Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition
Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson from Aeropowder 2016 Low Carbon Entrepreneur winners from Imperial College London

Previous winners and finalists

2016

Elena Dieckman and Ryan Robinson from Imperial College London were the 2016 Low Carbon Entrepreneur winners. Their idea, Aeropowder, is a composite made from feather waste. It uses the unique properties of feathers to create insulating materials for housing. Since winning the competition they have gone on to win numeropus other comprtitions including NAUCE Varsity Pitch, Shell LiveWIRE and they have also been featured on the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list for Social Entrepreneurs.

Carlton Cummins from Brunel was a finalist in the 2016 competition with his idea Aceleron which has developed the technology to transform electric vehicle lithium batteries into battery packs for renewable energy storage. Since participating in the competition Carlton has been named as Shell LiveWIRE's young entrepreneur of the year and has been featured on the 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list

For a full list of the ten finalists and their ideas see Summaries of 2016 finalist ideas.

2015

Solveiga's Bump Mark, which has recently been rebranded as Mimica, is a new expiry label which goes bad exactly when the food inside the package does. Just run your finger across the label, if it is smooth you are good to go, if it is bumpy then be cautious. This new labelling aims to reduce food waste by telling us more about the state of our packaged food.

Caroline and Vivien are also helping to reduce waste with their online clothes swapping website Clotho London. Students drop off their unwanted clothes at 4 university locations and gain credit to spend on the website. The clothes are then sorted and highest quality items are listed for sale letting people refresh their wardrobes as often as they like but keeping waste low.

Isobel Annan and her team were fianlists in the 2015 competition with their idea Solar SOAS which is an initiative to launch a community-owned clean energy project on unused SOAS university rooftops. Led by students and alumni, this project aims to provide renewable energy locally, offer a green investment vehicle, help reduce London’s carbon footprint and serve as a pilot for other UK universities. Since the competition they were awarded a £20,000 grant from the DECC Urban Community Enegry Fund and raised an additional £22,000 through crowd funding. In September 2016 the solar panels were installed and are expected to generate £2,000 of profit annually.

For a full list of the ten finalists and their ideas see Summaries of 2015 finalist ideas.

You can also watch highlights of the 2015 judging and awards in a video and see more pictures.

2014

James Winfield and Dominic Jacobson from Imperial College London won the 2014 Low Carbon Entrepreneur at a special award ceremony hosted by prize sponsors Siemens at The Crystal in June 2014. They received £15,000 and practical support to set up their Crowd Power Plant, an alternative way of buying and funding renewable energy. 

Kirsty Kenney and Harold Craston from LSE won £5,000. Their idea is to repurpose disused red telephone boxes into free-to-use solar powered mobile phone charging stations. The first solarbox was launched in October 2014 on Tottenham Court Road. Read more in their blog.

Omer El Fakir and his team from Imperial College London were finalists in the 2014 competition with their idea BLOCKS, a modular smartwatch that can evolve with advances in technology and your changing needs, composed of easily assembled and replaceable modules that each carry out a different function. Since participating in the competition they raised $1.6 million in a Kickstarter campaign. Using this and other Angel investments theymoved into manufacture and have started shipping the first devices.

For a full list of the ten finalists and their ideas see Summaries of 2014 finalist ideas

You can also watch highlights of the award ceremony in a video and see more pictures.

2013

There were around 100 entries in 2013, ranging from recyclable bike helmets made from waste-paper, to motion sensors to help save energy in the home. From the initial entries, 10 finalists were chosen to present their ideas 'Dragon's Den' style to the judging panel which included Deborah Meaden, international fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, and Zac Goldsmith MP.

The 2013 winners were William Hines and Rachel Clemo, both students at UCL. Their idea aimed to offer companies in London a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to paper receipts. Called ‘Reseed’ it removes the need for paper receipts and allows users to access their receipts online via smartphones.

2012

The development fund in 2012 was split between three entries that all used the money to further develop their ideas.

The winners were:

Arthur Kay from UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture, who used his fund to start developing a process to turn coffee grounds from the capital's coffee shops into a fuel. He recently won £400,000 in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. More details on his progress are available through bio-bean's website which includes a brochure summaryvideo and contact details.

Jonathan Pye-Finch, Ann Kathrin Schoettle, Andre Vigil, Martin Cobley and David Singer from Kingston University for their 'green key' idea to give new residents an electronic key with information on local sustainable services. This information could include details like where, how and when local recycling services operate, along with tips on energy efficient appliances and how to support the local economy.

Salahud Din, Dr Arnaldo Galbiati, Jamal Zia and Niall Haughian from Imperial College have reduced the carbon footprint of the manufacturing of solar PV cells by creating a thin film solar photovoltaic cell.