This years winning businesses include Breathing Buildings, who have developed a low energy natural ventilation solution for commercial and public buildings, Firefly Solar, a manufacturer of portable solar generators, and Valueform, who provide green alternatives to plastic food packaging.
Each of the winners will now receive up to six months of first class business support and expertise from Hamilton Bradshaw Impact Partners, and up to £1million of investment from Berti Investments to help their business sustainably grow.
Over 80 businesses applied for the programme. The final stage in the four month process for the final six applicants was a dragons’ den style pitch to a panel of judges including James Caan, former dragon and founder of Hamilton Bradshaw, Jeremy Leggett, founder and chairman of Solarcentury, Michael Liebreich, founder and chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Jacques Tredoux, Director of Berti Investments.
The three winners of the 2012 Berti Green Accelerator are:
Breathing Buildings: a Cambridge based company which uses its patented e-stack technology to provide a cost effective, energy efficient alternative to traditional ventilation methods.
“The passion and drive of the team was infectious and I was really impressed by their knowledge of the market, their product and their pricing.” – James Caan
“Breathing Buildings has a simple, patented solution to provide natural ventilation in buildings, saving money and improving ventilation. As a thermodynamics guy, how could I not like it?” – Michael Liebreich
Firefly Solar: a Brighton based company, which design and manufactures off-grid, portable and permanent solar-powered generators, providing power for everything from UK events to work connecting rural communities in developing countries to electricity and the internet.
“The judges were unanimous in their selection of Firefly. Andy was exceptional and pitched very well. His ability to respond to the intense questioning of the panel was right on point and I have every confidence that through the Accelerator, Andy will lead Firefly to greater heights.” – James Caan
“Firefly have been going a few years, they have a range of standardised solutions at various power outputs. They are down-to-earth guys: they have been in the trenches, and they know what works. Winning the accelerator will help them scale up their processes and grow their market place” – Michael Liebreich
Valueform: a company which has developed biodegradable food packaging made from straw; the first of many products in its quest to do away with plastic packaging.
“Valueform presented a really interesting proposition. The team are extremely bright and I’m excited to see how they grow through the programme.” – James Caan
“Valueform is an interesting early stage proposition: they have solved the problem of replacing plastic supermarket punnets with ones incorporating straw, using conventional packaging machines. The team is super-passionate about their vision and very impressive” – Michael Liebreich
Commenting on the success of the first year, Seth Tabatznik of Berti Investments said:
“This is the first year of the programme and we have been overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the applicants. Our winning three are truly inspirational businesses and we are excited to be working with them.
“We established this programme to help support and grow the UK’s cleantech sector through a new approach, providing intelligent capital, which combines business support and funding. Our first year has proved there is a real demand for this tailored support and the Berti Green Accelerator will be back in 2013. We look forward to reporting on the success of our 2012 winners and subsequently meeting more inspirational entrepreneurs in the future.”