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Bespoke virtual platform for Cambridge Cleantech Venture Week

Cambridge Cleantech Venture Week is a showcase for green technology
Cambridge Cleantech Venture Week is a showcase for green technology

Cleantech Venture Week is going digital this year, with a bespoke new networking platform created for the pitching-and-investment day geared to the cleantech and climate-positive sector.

Cleantech Venture events - days and weeks - have been running since 2006, and over the last 13 years more than 220 companies have pitched their technology and service ideas, with investments totalling €600m made to start-ups from across Europe.

Building on a 14-year record of successful Cleantech Venture events in London and Helsinki, the membership-based Cambridge-based organisation has been joined this year by Oxfordshire Greentech for the event which runs from November 23-26.

From 120 applicants, 28 companies have been invited to pitch. The 28 represent five key sectors in the fight against climate change – the circular economy, energy transition, future mobility, smart cities and building tech and water resources. They will be heard by a mix of innovative cleantech SMEs, fund managers, investors, corporate financiers, innovation scouts and professional service firms, who may or may not wish to investigate 28 businesses further.

There’s speakers as well as the pitches, with keynotes by Professor Dame Julia King, vice chair of the Committee on Climate Change, and chair of the Carbon Trust, and Emily Shuckburgh, director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge.

To ensure the event retains the networking functionality Cambridge is renowned for, it will be hosted on a new platform custom-built for Cambridge Cleantech.

“The networking platform is one we’ve created ourselves using Oroboro Global, a web development agency in Calicut, India,” says Martin Garrett, chief executive of Cambridge Cleantech. “When we realised we needed a platform we investigated the possibilities and found that it would be around £6k to hire one for two days – and if you wanted to use it again you’d have to pay another £6k. So we thought: ‘Why not just buy our own platform?’

“We were keen to replicate the most exciting part of Cleantech Venture Day, a pre-matched speed networking where start-ups meet investors for a quick 10-minute meeting, in a virtual setting. Investors log in to the platform and request meetings with start-ups they would like to meet a couple of days in advance, and likewise for start-ups to make similar requests which will then be matched and approved by event organisers. This gives investors and start-ups the opportunity to have relevant meetings lined up for them during the week of the event.

“It’s all-singing, all-dancing, and includes booths, one-to-one meetings – a huge range of options we can utilise.

“We’ll have a troubleshooter from Oroboro at the event 24/7 to check it’s all going smoothly.”

Martin Garrett, chief executive of Cambridge Cleantech
Martin Garrett, chief executive of Cambridge Cleantech

Of the 28 pitching companies, 18 are UK-based and eight are led by female founders. Only one – Camnexus – is based in Cambridge.

“This is our first Cleantech Venture pitch, our financial strategy is to combine the pilot project which started last year in Chile and Brazil with private investment,” said Jessica Ocampos, director and founder.

“In Chile it’s improving real-time decision-making with data from sensors – particularly water losses along their water supply system – and in Brazil we provide data in real-time to optimise water use for farmers.”

Sponsors and participants are also enthusiastic.

“We are proud to partner with Cambridge Cleantech to organise Cleantech Venture Week,” says Nicole Lazarus, director of Oxfordshire Greentech. “We look forward to a week of excellent pitches and networking.”

“SME innovation is a key asset in meeting the environmental challenges facing us all, and Cleantech Venture Week is a terrific window through which to view it,” says Mark Riminton, investment platform manager at Clean Growth UK.

“After a very successful Cleantech Venture Day in February partly hosted at the French Residence in London, many aspects of life were put on hold,” says Lionel Grotto, CEO of Choose Paris Region, who are partnering the event. “As we all come to grips with the new normal, Choose Paris Region remains committed to giving its support to start-ups and investors focusing their business on making a smart and sustainable impact.”

The selected pitching companies are looking forward to their chance to present their work to potential investors and collaborators.

“It has become increasingly clear that innovative climate-positive technologies are part of the solution to the climate crisis and need to be encouraged in a post-pandemic world,” concluded Martin.

Details here.

Dr Jessicas Ocampos, founder of CamNexus
Dr Jessicas Ocampos, founder of CamNexus

The four Cambridge Cleantech members pitching are:

1. BOSAQ (Belgium) – Sustainable water company.

2. Camnexus (Cambridge) – Real-time IoT solutions for a sustainable and responsible water use.

3. Propelair (Essex) – Propelair manufactures the world’s lowest water-flush toilet, using just 1.5 litres of water per flush.

4. SmartHelio (Switzerland) - Diagnosis and prescriptive analysis to solar plant owners (roof-top/utilities).


23 November: Cleantech Trends and Issues

24 November

Session 1 : Future Mobility – expert talks, 6 pitches and networking.

Session 2 : Energy Transition – expert talks, 6 pitches and networking.

25 November

Session 3: Smart Cities & Building Tech – expert talks, 6 pitches and networking.

Session 4: Circular Economy, Carbon Reduction & Water Resource – expert talks, 6 pitches and networking.

26 November

Session 5: A grand finale and more networking.

The 28 companies selected to pitch are in five sectors:

1 Circular Economy

Biocycle Innovations; Origin by Ocean; Refurbed; SilviBio and Syntoil.

2 Energy Transition

Brite Hellas SA; Gelatex Technologies; Gravitricity Ltd; Sennen; Sol Chip and Zeigo.

3 Future Mobility

Advanced Dynamics Pte. Ltd; Circunomics GmbH; Electric Miles Ltd; EnPower, Inc; EZ Charge Limited and Sunswap Ltd.

4 Smart Cities & Building Tech

Airex; Camnexus; My Global Home; SmartHelio; Vestemi and Vortexiot Ltd.

5 Water Resources

BOSAQ QV; Naturbeads; Propelair; Saturas Ltd and Waterblade.

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