Bartlett graduate’s venture is now the largest coffee ground recycler worldwide
Arthur Kay founded bio-bean in 2013 while studying at The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment. Today, the company is the largest coffee recycler in the world.
28 September 2022
bio-bean transforms spent coffee grounds into a variety of sustainable products, such as solid biofuels for use in the home and by industry. The process reduces CO2 emissions by 80% compared with sending grounds to landfill and contributes to the circular economy.
Architecture student Arthur Kay came up with the idea when tasked with designing a sustainable coffee shop as part of his degree at The Bartlett. With support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise, he transformed the idea into a fledgling company, after taking part in entrepreneurship programmes and receiving business advice.
“I had support from so many different parts of UCL, especially from UCL Innovation & Enterprise. Winning the Bright Ideas award (now ‘Build your own business 3: Launch your business’) was the first real boost, allowing me to commit to the business full time and help make bio-bean a reality. I’d encourage students to use the vast resources at hand in UCL.”
Since its launch, bio-bean has grown rapidly, expanding its range of product innovations, raising several million pounds in investment, winning awards and growing to a team of over 30.
Jerry Allen, Director for Entrepreneurship at UCL Innovation & Enterprise, said: “Arthur is a natural entrepreneur, who was able to realise the great potential of his idea with support from The Bartlett and UCL Innovation & Enterprise. His success with bio-bean is a continued source of inspiration for our startups coming through today devising their own innovative solutions to societal challenges.”
- Entrepreneurship support for UCL students and recent graduates
- UCL startup bio-bean
- UCL startup bio-bean returns to campus to turn waste coffee into biofuel
- UCL Institute for Global Prosperity
- Fast Forward 2030