News: December 2014
Bioptech one of the winners of Zennström Green Mentorship Award
Today, at a ceremony in Stockholm, the winners of the Zennstrom Green Mentorship award were announced: Swedish Algae Factory, Watty, Bioptech (member of Cleantech Inn Sweden since 2013) and Playback Energy. The GMA was created to recognize innovative cleantech businesses in Sweden who are addressing some of today’s most pressing environmental issues. The award was presented by Niklas Zennstrom along with the Swedish Minister for Financial Markets, Per Bolund.
The four winners will each receive one year of mentorship; access to Cleantech Inn’s industrial programme as well as a personal business mentor, business strategy advice from Serendipity Innovations on their business plan and pitching support from Venture Cup. Sofie Allert and Linnea Wikman from Swedish Algae Factory also receive project support from Vinnova totalling 1 million SEK – and Niklas Zennstrom as their personal mentor.
“Sweden has potential to become a greenhouse for cleantech companies with a strong capacity to address global environmental challenges and compete in international markets. We are looking forward to develop business together with the winners”, says Richard Englund, director, Cleantech Inn Sweden.
“Renewable energy is the future and Sofie Allerts and Linnea Wikmans business plan impressed the jury. Swedish Algae Factory is in an early stage and we believe that this award can play a crucial role in the company, and hence for the development of the biofuel industry” says Joakim Karlsson, from Vinnova.
“I’m excited about this year’s group of winners. Between them they’re looking at solving one of Sweden’s most pressing local problems—eutrophication in the Baltic Sea; and addressing the critical global question of how we maximize the efficiency of our energy systems. What really stood out about the four companies was how they were focused on fundamentally changing the sectors they were working in, rather than making small incremental changes,” says Niklas Zennstrom.
Swedish Algae Factory (SAF) produces clean biofuel from algae, whilst at the same time removing nitrogen and phosphorus from industrial waste water. As a result the company provides a solution to not only one, but two problems—creating clean energy and removing pollutants from the Sea.
“With Niklas Zennström as our personal mentor, we are confident that we will reach our goal of becoming a leading company in biofuels in Europe” says Sofie Allert and Linnea Wikman.
The other winners of the Zennström Green Mentorship Award are:
Bioptech, who developed a phosphorous filter material called Polonite, used in the purification of water. The product helps to solve the problem of eutrophication of lakes and streams. Unlike other chemical filters Polonite does not need electricity and is more cost effective. Once a filter has become saturated, it can be used as fertiliser. The product thus contributes to a natural cycle of phosphorus. Bioptech is a member of Cleantech Inn Sweden since 2013 and CEO Anders Norén has already seen a return on its membership investment:
“I greatly appreciate their insight and knowedge of the field. For me the discussions provide new input, business intelligence and the opportunity to brainstorm how our business development can benefit from relevant debates. The network they offer is invaluable to us.”
Watty offers tailor-made energy savings to everyone, both businesses and private individuals. Watty’s meter breaks down the energy use of a building so that the customer can see the individual cost of each appliance. By comparing with similar households Watty can then give accurate advice on the smartest improvements, both to save energy and money. Thus contributing to a more energy-smart world.
Playback Energy collects information through its Energy Cloud and delivers this energy data with new technology and new concepts. It utilises an infrastructure that allows other companies to build new energy services by being the best at digging up and make available measurements. The goal is that more energy companies will see the benefits of available energy data in future smart grids.
Facts about Zennström Green Mentorship Award
Zennström Green Mentorship Award was founded by the foundation Zennström Philanthropies in 2010 to support entrepreneurs in the clean tech space. Four winners will join a mentoring program with leading experts, an industrial program under the auspices of Cleantech Inn Sweden, and support on how to attract investors by Serendipity Innovations. One of the winners will also receive a million SEK from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova and get Niklas Zennström as a mentor for one year.
Previous winners of Zennström Green Mentorship Award are electric vehicles developers Clean Exercise, water purification company Orbital Systems and Rehact, which develops technologies for climate-friendly ventilation systems. http://gma.zennstrom.org
Catriona Power, Environment Programme Officer
+44 77 99264 817
Swedish Algae Factory
Sofie Allert, CEO
+46 703 87 55 09
Linnea Wikman, Vice President
+46 708 89 98 58
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