Edinburgh University has announced the winners of the Inspire Launch Grow Awards 2018, which recognise pioneering work from the university’s students, graduates and staff.
22 finalists presented their businesses to a panel of judges earlier in the month. Winners in five categories, winning up to £5,000, were announced at the awards event on Wednesday June 13.
The judges included a number of senior figures from Scotland’s angel investor scene and successful entrepreneurs who have previously been supported by Edinburgh Innovations and its LAUNCH.ed service for student entrepreneurs.
Winner of the Emerging Innovation Award for staff was University spin-out company Carbogenics.
Carbogenics has developed a novel process to turn disposable coffee cups and other non-recyclable paper-based waste into a material called CreChar. It can be used as a soil enhancer as well as other applications, such as the treatment of waste water and boosting the productivity of biogas generators.
The process of making CreChar is carbon negative – it removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it creates.
Founder Dr Jan Mumme, of the School of Geosciences, said: “Winning was unexpected, especially against such strong competitors. We have felt so supported by the University and our business advisers.”
The winner of the Emerging Innovation Award for students was Crover.
Founded by Lorenzo Conti, a PhD student in the School of Engineering, Crover has developed the first remote probing device that is able to move within silos of stored grain.
Crover gives real time measurements of factors such as moisture and temperature, enabling early detection of potential spoilage, to reduce waste and financial loss.
The Enterprise Awards was won by Clean Hub.
Founded by recent MBA graduate Raquel Wing, Clean Hub is the world’s first and only resource hub and support network for founders of ‘clean beauty companies’ which use no known toxins. Approximately 180 brands around the world have already signed up.
The Social and Environmental Award was won by One Cherry.
Founded by Anton Puzorjov, a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences, One Cherry is an online marketplace for second-hand retailers, such as charity shops. Retailers can upload images of stock, expanding their reach to customers, and customers can shop for second-hand items from anywhere, on any device.
The Innovation Cup went to uFraction8.
Founded by engineering alumnus Dr Brian Miller. Dr Miller and his team have developed a pioneering hydrodynamic technique for cell separation and de-watering which uses less energy and produces higher yields than conventional methods.
A special Entrepreneurial Achiever Award was presented to Enactus Edinburgh.
Enactus Edinburgh is a group of 83 students which recently won a national competition for social entrepreneurs and will represent the UK at the Enactus World Cup in California in October.
Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, said:
“I congratulate all the finalists and winners, and we look forward to continuing to support them on their journeys as entrepreneurs.”