The University of Wolverhampton’s Built Environment Climate Change Innovations (BECCI) project has launched its new Innovation Incubator programme with the aim of supporting climate friendly business ideas.
The UK government funded incubator programme is designed to support and nurture the development of new ideas and new enterprises using low carbon innovation, delivering a step change in the sustainability of the built environment with a primary focus on climate change and buildings.
The programme supports early-stage entrepreneurs, providing them with the skills, mentoring and networking opportunities to turn their ideas into viable businesses.
Businesses were invited to apply and following a selection process, six new enterprises were selected to join the first cohort of entrepreneurs with a launch event successfully hosted via Zoom by BECCI team members Richard Davies MBE, Knowledge Transfer Manager, and Lauren Clarke, Marketing Executive.
Richard Davies MBE, BECCI Knowledge Transfer Manager who is leading the creation of the Incubator, said:
“There was so much hope and optimism in the Zoom room during the launch. With the twin challenges of the climate emergency and Covid-19, it was a real privilege to witness the zest and energy of the successful six teams. I am so excited to see where they lead.
“The programme supports entrepreneurs to start-up and grow their climate change focused business ideas. The start-ups are part of a vibrant cohort of entrepreneurs. During Phase 1 of the programme they will receive a 3-month bespoke package of strategic support and practical business help and they will work collaboratively on their businesses to achieve their ambitions.
“The launch was a great success, gaining positive feedback from all of the entrepreneurs who said it was “inspiring”, “motivational” and “insightful”.”
The programme’s first cohort includes a varied mix of climate change ideas including a new low cost sustainable energy retrofitting service for existing homes, a simple product to address heat loss from loft hatches and capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air in the built environment.
Over Phase 1 of the programme, the six entrepreneurs will attend a tailored programme of group workshops, receive one-to-one support and will benefit from expert input in a range of fields such as technical, finance, legal and Human Resources to develop their innovation.
Dr Paul Hampton, BECCI Project Director, said:
“Our world is rapidly changing and in order to meet our low carbon goals, we must act fast. The BECCI Innovation Incubator is an important programme as it allows us to support the talent who can make a positive difference to the way we lead our lives in a net zero-carbon world.”
The BECCI project offers fully funded support to small-and-medium enterprises located within the Black Country and Marches Local Enterprise Partnership areas. The remit is to develop products and processes that reduce carbon emissions from the built environment. To help achieve the government’s 2050 goal, BECCI provides support in areas such as insulation, building fabric, ventilation, heating and cooling controls, battery storage and smart grid.
For more information on the support that BECCI can provide call 01902 321028 or email: BECCI@wlv.ac.uk.
The BECCI Innovation Incubator is launching its second cohort early in 2021, with the application process due to open in November 2020. If you are interested in joining the second cohort of climate change entrepreneurs, please register your interest with Richard Davies: R.Davies10@wlv.ac.uk.