Hordes of interested students, academics and those just passionate about CleanTech crowded into the Gustav Tuck Lecture Theatre at University College London last week, for the first CleanTech Challenge 2012 information session.
We heard an introduction from the founders of the competition, Dr Jeff Skinner (Executive Director, Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, London Business School) and Tim Barnes (UCL Advances), sharing with us the compelling reasons behind the competition – the forging of links and contacts between technical students and business students who may have great ideas but lack the complementary skills to really make them happen. We heard how the competition was set up, and some great stories from the first few years.
Daniel Carter of Conduit Ventures gave us some fascinating insights into the current CleanTech world – where they’re investing most, and where they see the most potential. Suffice to say, there are some really exciting ventures in the pipeline!
Prof Jawwad Darr of UCL gave us some great ideas to kick us off, giving some excellent plugs for his continuous nano-particle manufacturing process along the way – a very promising technology with a huge range of cleantech applications.
Finally Daniel Sanders of new venture Decarbon (and Cleantech Challenge 2010 winner) gave us some sense of the challenges and excitement of starting up a new venture, but showed to all that a cleantech idea doesn’t have to be a specific technical invention – it can be any business model under the sun that has a positive influence on the way business interacts with the environment.
Finally there was an opportunity for the technical and business students from all over London to network over drinks and snacks, and several exciting ideas and potential teams were announced to the crowd.
If you missed this event, never fear – the official launch of the CleanTech Challenge 2012 will take place at London Business School on Wednesday 25 January. We look forward to seeing you there!