Dominic Dunnett writes about a refreshing trip to the University Of Edinburgh Business School last Wednesday for the E-Clubs Low Carbon Entrepreneur series providing a shining example of Low Carbon Innovation in Scotland.
UWI Technology (UWI) design and licence a label that tells users how close to the critical point of degradation the contents of their container is.
Pete Higgins provided a tour of his extraordinary journey from Architect to Life Sciences entrepreneur. Pete explained in humbling detail the path taken to bring him into the successful position he is in today. From 2008 until the present, Pete has financed his business through collecting a multitude of prizes for innovation in his sector combined with Angel Investor funding, not to mention the heartbreaking sale of his prized Campervan! This highlighted a period of 6 years before any revenue was made by the Company and the myriad of prizes and awards that Pete and UWI have won are therefore testament to how hard his team have worked. UWI was the first Company in Scotland to inspire the creation of a US Angel Syndicate solely for the purpose of investing in Pete’s business and the future for UWI Technology is certainly on the up.
Vegware develop, manufacture and distribute completely compostable food packaging and catering disposables.
Lucy Frankel delivered a presentation which demonstrated Edinburgh’s growing influence in Low Carbon Innovation, and gave an insight into the continued growth of Vegware’s ever impressive global CV. It was extremely encouraging to hear Lucy talk of the Company’s genuine interest in helping Scotland’s recycling ethos by beginning to map interest in food waste recycling across the country as well as going as far as avoiding business propositions which interfere with already proven successful recycling techniques. Like UWI Technology, Vegware has also received Angel Syndicate funding and Lucy highlighted the support had not purely been financial, and that their business advice had proved just as valuable at crucial periods during the Companies rise. Vegware have since been named in the top 100 businesses in Europe and are a Ruban d’Honneur recipient in the 2013/2014 European Business Awards.
Overall, the session highlighted for me the growing clout that Edinburgh and Scotland are developing in the sector of low carbon Innovation and it was certainly inspirational to hear from two Companies currently blazing the trail.