Friday September 18: For the first time, an Australian entry has made it through to the prestigious Accelerator business school in Europe, by winning the Southeast Asian final of the world’s biggest clean-tech competition.
Elevenstore, an all-female entry from Melbourne, won the ClimateLaunchpad Southeast Asia and Oceania final on Friday night, moving into the semi final and gaining an automatic spot at the prestigious EIT Climate-KIC business school, Climate-KIC Accelerator.
Elevenstore’s winning idea is to turn clean, plentiful biomass (plant and animal material) into cheap, lightweight batteries for electric scooters, to replace petrol-run scooters in the Asian market.
Elevenstore’s Karolina Biernacka says: “This is an amazing experience for which we are very grateful. We hope that we can not only inspire and empower others to actively pursue their dreams, but also support the global transition to a zero-carbon world.”
Two other Australian entries, LocalCycle (NSW) and Seed2Diesel (Qld), also progressed through to the semi final, to be judged at the end of this month.
LocalCycle, a father and son team from Sydney, wants to collect organic waste from cafes, restaurants, offices and councils and instead of transporting it long distances to rot in landfill, process it locally into compost, fertilizer and mushroom kits.
LocalCycle’s Stephan Renard says “I’m very proud to represent Australia in the next round. As a social enterprise, we aim to enrich local communities by creating a circular and scalable waste collection system. We want to encourage Australians and the government to take action on food waste and climate change.”
Seed2Diesel, run by an engineer from Toowoomba, aims to collect farmers’ oilseed crops for processing in a shared facility, before returning it to them as cleaner biodiesel to run their machinery.
Seed2Diesel’s Johhny Wapstra says: “Strewth, I never thought I’d get this far! This means that other people think my crazy idea just might work. This is recognition that my efforts are valued and I feel validated. This is amazing. I’m actually a little bit numb!”
Christopher Lee, CEO of Climate-KIC Australia, which ran the Australian arm of the competition says: “It’s very exciting – having all three Australian teams progress, and one a regional winner, is testament to the strength of the program and the quality of our teams”
Over its history ClimateLaunchpad, an initiative of EIT Climate-KIC has generated more than 6,700 clean-tech ideas, resulting in the creation of more than 8,000 jobs within 1,900 new companies.
Stedman Ellis, CEO of the Future Batteries Industries CRC, this year’s sponsor of the Australian final says: “It’s great being able to support such high calibre clean-tech innovations, and help get them out of the lab and into the world.”
Winners at the Global Grand Final in early October will share in $30,000 prize money as well as gaining a place in Climate-KIC Accelerator.