A few of the brilliant startups meeting the urgency of the moment with creative business solutions.
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Despite the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID pandemic, we at Springwise continue to take inspiration from the positive innovation we see on a daily basis. Some of the most exciting solutions deal with climate technology.
With London Tech Week in mind, here are just a few of the brilliant startups meeting the urgency of the moment with creative business solutions.
1. PRECISION FERMENTATION CREATES DAIRY PRODUCTS IN THE LAB
The UK startup Better Dairy is using precision fermentation to remove animals from the food chain, creating dairy products that are molecularly identical to traditional dairy products but without involving the cow.
But this is not vegan cheese made from plants — the precision fermentation process uses yeast to create the individual molecular constituents of milk in different vats, and then blend them together to achieve the exact composition of milk. A very similar process has already been used to produce rennet and insulin.
2. CULTURED MEAT DESIGNED FOR MASS-CONSUMPTION
Ivy Farm Technologies is developing lab-grown beef and pork with a goal to have products available for retail sales by 2023. The Oxford University-based company was started by two alumni in 2019. Seeking healthy meats with no additives or preservatives and without the guilt of contributing to environmental damage, the founders decided to create their own. With patents pending in 12 countries, the company plans to offer pork sausages, Angus beef burgers and Wagyu meatballs as the first options.
3. AI-POWERED PLATFORM DELIVERS REAL-TIME AIR QUALITY DATA
Polish cleantech business Airly, Inc recently raised €3.3 million in a funding round to scale its AI-powered air quality platform. The platform will allow for global access to real-time and historical air quality data.
Airly’s services consist of supplying its customers with enough sensors to provide real-time, hyper-local reports on air quality. Over 600 local governments and cities across Asia and Europe already use Airly, and the company will soon open offices in the UK and US. According to Forbes, there used to be only one sensor monitoring pollution in the city of Jakarta. Now, thanks to Airly, there are 100.
4. RENTAL APP’S POP-UP STORE PUSHES BACK AGAINST FAST FASHION
Rental app By Rotation began in 2019 after founder Eshita Kabra-Davies witnessed the first-hand effects of textile waste while on her honeymoon in Rajasthan, India. The app allows users to rent out their own wardrobes and has more than 70,000 users. Now, By Rotation brought its concept into the real world with a physical pop-up at the Westfield London shopping centre.
The two-week pop-up occupied a 3,300 square-foot space and showcased the top fashion rental item from the app. Fans could rent fashion items and accessories from brands such as The Vampire’s Wife, Rixo and Ganni – some for as little as £3 a day. The space was designed to resemble a flat, and also included rentable furniture and homewares from Studio Arva.
5. MASS PRODUCING ALGAE, NO MATTER THE ENVIRONMENT
The UK-based Susewi can grow mass quantities of algae by only relying on seawater, the sun and wind, allowing it to produce alternative protein in regions that where it would otherwise be impossible, such as desert climates. The algae are then harvested, desalted and dried into a meal that can be incorporated into products like fish feed.
Susewi’s process can recreate natural algal blooms minus the freshwater that would normally be needed. Each strain begins in a laboratory environment before moving to a greenhouse environment. After a period of cultivation, it ends up in one of Susewi’s outdoor ponds, where nature takes over to bring the algae to its final bloom state.
6. A CARBON-OFFSETTING PLATFORM THAT IMPROVES TRANSPARENCY
Carbon offsetting, essentially paying for others to reduce emissions or absorb CO2 to compensate for your own emissions, has gotten a bad rep. This is because it doesn’t really seem to work, except as a form of greenwashing. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are that it is very difficult to measure the exact reductions of individual projects and the process often lacks transparency. A recently launched platform, Sylvera, hopes to change this with a process that makes offsetting more accurate and transparent.
7. VEGAN PUFFER COAT IS STUFFED WITH FLOWERS
The clothing brand Pangaia has developed a puffer coat that uses flowers as an alternative to traditional duck or goose down stuffing. The vegan coat instead uses Flower Down, which is derived from fibrous wildflowers.
To create the stuffing, Pangaia combines the wildflowers, which are shredded and combined with a biopolymer made from vegetable waste, with aerogel, a non-toxic porous solid foam made of 85 per cent paper. The result is durable thermal insulation as warm as most high-end feather down jackets. The company claims that jackets made with Flower Down will keep the wearer warm in temperatures as low as minus-20 degrees celsius.
7th September 2021