News and Blog

09 May, 2014

CleanTech Challenge Launch Event hosted at EcoMachines

On Wednesday 23rd April, we had the pleasure of hosting the CleanTech Challenge 2014 Boot Camp launch event at our central London offices. Organised by LBS and UCL, the CleanTech Challenge is a business plan competition for students from across the globe. Participants receive guidance, feedback and mentorship from industry professionals throughout the Challenge. Each year, ten teams from many entrants are chosen to go through to the two day boot camp finals where they get the opportunity to compete for £10,000 in cash.


The event began with an introduction from Ingrid Marchal-Gerez, co-chair of the Challenge, and was followed by a talk from Prof. Jeff Skinner, Head of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. Prof. Skinner provided some interesting insights into “Why Investors Don’t Invest (and what to do about it)”, providing an overview of some of the key mistakes that entrepreneurs make in the early stages of their company. 


Prof. Skinner argued that an early business idea is only a hypothesis, and not a “polished diamond”, so entrepreneurs should be trying to test and develop their hypothesis, rather than trying to pitch the idea as a finished product.


EcoMachines Founder and CEO Ilian Iliev introduced EcoMachines’ investment approach, and discussed the overlaps and tensions between the Accelerator and VC investment models. He also touched on how EcoMachines is applying the lean startup method to its portfolio companies.


Ilian concluded: “I am honoured to be a judge at the Cleantech Challenge finals. The Cleantech Challenge promotes the ideas of entrepreneurial spirit and technological innovation as a way of addressing the Climate Change challenges facing both developed and developing economies. By backing the competition, we hope to support the community, prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs to grow their companies and meet some great young innovators.”


We wish all of the finalist teams many successes with their ventures. Particular congratulations go to the winners MetaHeat, who developed an efficient heat dissipation solution for electronic and semiconductor devices. All of the teams came up with some really interesting ideas and we are excited to see what they achieve in the future.