With global carbon emissions at an all-time high, and scientists predicting further growth with increasing populations, there has never been a more urgent moment to build and invest in pioneering climate change start-ups which find solutions to this planet-killing problem.
Carbon13 is a UK based venture builder which specialises in building start-up businesses that fight the global climate change emergency. Based in Cambridge and founded by Dr Chris Coleridge and co-founders Dr Nicky Dee and Michael Langguth, the seven-month programme supports founders to find a complementary cofounder and then develop their venture, combining elements of both an incubator and an accelerator. It aims to select and support over 1000 entrepreneurs in the next 5 years who are specifically chosen because they want to build scalable ventures with the collective potential to reduce carbon emissions by over 400 million tonnes. With global carbon emissions at an all-time high, and scientists predicting further growth with increasing populations, there has never been a more urgent moment to build and invest in pioneering climate change start-ups which find solutions to this planet-killing problem.
Carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases such as methane are directly responsible for the decline in health of the planet. These emissions include the build-up of gases including Carbon Dioxide, (mainly from combustion or the burning of fuels such as petrol) and Carbon Monoxide (mainly from incomplete combustion). These gases create a layer of gases around the earth and stop the release of heat from the sun. This in turn causes global warming, melting ice caps and disrupting the weather and water cycle, causing heat waves, storms, flooding, droughts and killing crops, causing world food shortages, species extinctions and famines.
Carbon13 aims to support ventures that reduce these greenhouse gas emissions. It is named after the Carbon13 isotope which is not commonly found in nature but is increasingly found in tree rings from the 18th century. An increase in this isotope is therefore evidence that climate change is anthropogenic (originating from human activity) and corresponds to the industrial revolution. 13 is also the number of the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) which aims to reduce carbon emissions. Michael Langguth, cofounder says “we created this mess, and it is up to us to fix it.” Helping create and support ventures that do this is a great way to help protect and save the planet.
What climate saving businesses have come from Carbon13?
Infyos was created by Sarah Montgomery and Tony To. It aims to help leading supply chain players, from battery makers to car makers, to improve their supply chains and make them more carbon neutral. It wants to build a future where every electric car vehicle battery is sustainable. Founded in 2021, it already has over $111k in investment and is growing.
BioZeroc is a venture which uses biotechnology to make concrete, without the need for cement. This enables the production of concrete products which are carbon neutral and carbon negative. Their mission is, as John Somerville (co-founder and CEO) writes, “to revolutionise the concrete industry; transforming one of the most polluting industries into the cleanest.” Their products could revolutionise the building industry worldwide. BioZeroc have raised $350k in investment this year.
PuriFire Labs specialises in regenerative waste solutions, using various sources of heat to drive the patented hydrothermal liquefaction process. Their circular waste conversion process converts various forms of municipal waste including plastic, into rich bio-crude and organic molecules that can be used for plastic reformation or upgraded in biofuel. Founded by Matt Pearce and Neel Shah, their vision is to “Wage a War on Waste” through processing 100 million tonnes of waste per year by 2030 and turning it into biofuels and animal feeds.
Unavoidable commercial food waste is a 361.9 million tonne global problem, especially when that food waste ends up in landfills contributing to carbon and methane emissions. However, separating food waste from general waste is a hassle, especially if it only makes up a small proportion. Collecting the separated food waste is inefficient and costly, and its destination is opaque. UK and EU legislation add a burden of being compliant to every hospitality and non-hospitality business – no matter the size – and providing reports in response to inevitable food waste audits is a headache. Limetrack claims its “low-friction digital B2B food waste management platform eases that pain, ensuring that all businesses are fully compliant, that food waste is cost-effectively collected, tracked, and processed.” Founded in 2021 by Cord Schneider and Andy King, it currently has $137k investment.
Kita, is the world’s first carbon insurer which has the vision to de-risk carbon removal solutions to accelerate their ability to scale. Founded in 2021 by Natalia Dorfman, Paul Young and Thomas Merriman, it provides carbon insurance and is focused on enabling a new decarbonized world. It is currently in stealth mode.
Materials Nexus is a AI-enabled Materials Discovery Platform which transforms the way that new materials are designed using a rapid automated process and advanced quantum calculations that give high accuracy at larger scales. Founded by Jonathan Bean, Robert Frost, Nic Stirk and Jon Pillow, they work with partners to accelerate development of their next-generation materials to reduce global CO2e emissions. They are currently raising capital.
Are there any other programmes like this?
Although Carbon13 is the first UK carbon emissions focused venture builder, other programmes are doing their bit to save the planet. Founders Factory mission studios lead the next generation of mission-led start-ups and focus on everything from start-ups reducing household carbon emissions to those improving health by tackling obesity and loneliness, to Climate kic (knowledge and innovation community), a EU initiative which aims to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient society.
Carbon-emission reducing start-ups are the future. They help stimulate the economy through enterprise, help find solutions to logical problems, and most importantly help save the planet. Venture capitalists, investors and scientists who are looking for a place to help start-up their mission driven climate changing businesses should look at programmes like Carbon13, and do their bit to change the world for the better.