Leading climate innovators win world’s largest green business competition

Amsterdam, 15 November 2019 – A clean fuel start-up from Kenya has won the sixth edition of ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green start-up competition. The start-up, Leafy Ke, which converts used diapers into fuel for homes has been selected as the top green business to deliver a positive climate impact. Close behind is second prize winner is Maclec from India, a hydrokinetic turbine technology company. Enerdrape from Switzerland came in third with their idea which has developed the first ever geo-thermal panel that efficiently captures heat in existing indoor environments located underground and transfers it for renewable heating and cooling to buildings. 

Commenting on the award, Peter Gachanja, COO of Leafy Ke said: “This means so much to us. This means parents will be able to look after their families better. Children won’t have to sleep with smoke in their homes from dirty fuel. And carbon emissions can be significantly reduced.”

The winners all came through a highly competitive field at the sixth annual ClimateLaunchpad, a green business ideas competition with a primary focus on addressing the climate crisis. This year the competition attracted a record number of entrepreneurs, with 2,601 applying for national competitions across 53 countries. Training and coaching was organised in 70 locations across all continents, offered by community members from EIT Climate-KIC, the body behind ClimateLaunchpad.

In the past six years, with a slogan of “saving the world one start-up at a time”, ClimateLaunchpad has generated more than 6,700 ideas that resulted in the creation of over 8,000 jobs within 1,900 start-ups. For next year’s edition, ClimateLaunchpad has set its ambition to expanding and organising the competition in 70 countries worldwide, opening up opportunities for more people and ideas.

The 2019 Global Final this year was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 14 and 15 November. The three Global Final winners will receive money prizes, and the Top-16 finalists (top 16 list can be found here) will now enter EIT Climate-KIC’s Accelerator programme for cleantech entrepreneurs.

Providing a summary of this year’s competition, Dr. Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC, commented:

“EIT Climate-KIC is delighted to continue the ClimateLaunchpad as one of our signature initiatives. 

“ClimateLaunchpad is now taking on the dimensions of a global movement, and we see that in the quality of what’s coming through and the extent to which people are building on the shoulders of what’s gone before, learning from each other, and picking up where the biggest needs are and what we need to address.

“All of the participants are winners in their own right and represent the next generation of green leaders in the world. ClimateLaunchpad is in many ways a development programme that connects these brilliant minds and their solutions on an international stage. The exposure for the businesses and the teachings they absorb throughout the process help equip them for leadership in their own countries and communites.”

In addition, through the help of Irish Aid, this year’s competition saw a much bigger expansion in participation from the African continent. Maeve McLynn, Climate Change Policy Advisor at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, commented: “The Government of Ireland is proud to be supporting the ClimateLaunchpad this year. Ireland’s support has contributed to the development of initiatives from all across Africa, that are actively contributing to climate action and people-centred sustainable development.”

“The global finals taking place this week are an inspiring demonstration of the creativity and innovation that people from all over the world can offer towards addressing climate change.”

In a final comment, Dr. Dunlop added: “This is a fantastic years’ worth of thoughtful commitment to climate action, and we are looking forward now to supporting those entrepreneurs and those individuals to take their ideas into the whole system of initiatives that we are supporting.”

More detailed information on all 2019 finalists and their green start-ups can be found here

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