A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.
2013 CleanTech Challenge launches
21 November 2012
The Challenge – which was founded by Director of UCL Advances, Timothy Barnes, and Executive Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, Jeff Skinner, to enable teams of students develop green business ideas – is a business plan competition which will see students compete for the ultimate prize of £10,000 cash at the final in April next year.
The competition will begin this week at the Challenge’s launch event on Wednesday, where teams will be able to register and get an introduction to the preliminary stage, which involves submitting a 200 word idea on a new green business, from reducing carbon emissions to reducing water pollution.
Following the submission of a business idea, students – who should participate in teams of between two and five people – will have their concepts judged by a panel of experts, with those which are ground-breaking yet feasible standing the best chance of progressing to the next stage of the Challenge.
Following a second stage which will see teams in London battle it out for one of six places reserved in the final, teams from across Europe – including France, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium – will compete in a final two-day Boot Camp in the capital culminating in a presentation to the grand judging panel.
Last year’s prize was scooped by Sunuru from the Netherlands with their customizable, lightweight solar panel concept which could revolutionise the way energy is generated from the Sun. A team from UCL, Biopumps, was one of two runners-up in the Challenge with their technology which enables bacteria to pump out biofuels and fine chemicals.
“Green tech is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, despite the difficult market conditions we’re seeing at the moment,” says Challenge founder Timothy Barnes. “It will be great to see this year’s competition encourage students from across Europe to seize this opportunity and contribute to making the world a greener place at the same time.”