Coffee starts the day for billions of people over the world, but very few consider what happens to the waste from each cup. As it happens, coffee grounds are an excellent base material for clean biofuels, and a good alternative for fossil fuels. Arthur Kay, the founder and CEO of bio-bean, recognised that this waste could easily become a sustainable resource for biofuels.

Every day, the world consumes nearly 1.5 billion cups of coffee. Those billions of cups of coffee create 25 million metric tons of coffee-ground waste every year, leading to 90 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. While studying at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, Kay was working on a project on closed-loop systems. He was designing a coffee shop and found himself becoming interested in waste management, after realising that coffee was being wasted everywhere. That’s how, in 2013, he founded bio-bean, which takes coffee-ground waste and recycles it into advanced biofuels.

Power cuts are common in national parks throughout the UK, creating a welcome environment for alternative energy sources. Due to the visual impact of large wind turbines, however, they are prohibited in the protected scenery. And, as you might imagine, solar power can’t quite reach its full potential in the UK’s rainy climate.

This was reason for Win Keech, a former Rolls Royce turbine engineer and Co- Founder of The Power Collective (TPC) with Dean Gregory, to develop the RidgeBlade. The Ridgeblade is a wind turbine, yet instead of being located in an open field or the ocean, it is mounted to the roof of a building and is much smaller and less obtrusive than the wind turbines we’re used to. The roof of a building offers a perfect place for a wind turbine seeing as air travels much faster when pushed over the peak of a roof, just as over the airfoil on an airplane wing.

We asked some of our previous winners Eben Bayer, Molly Morse, Scot Frank, Ginger Dosier and Nick Christy if they have any useful tips for turning a plan into reality. Here is what they said:

We asked some of our previous winners Eben Bayer, Molly Morse, Scot Frank, Ginger Dosier and Nick Christy if they have any advice for entrepreneurs wanting to enter the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Here is what they think about elevator pitches:

Eben: It is the most essential part of your sales presentation— it not only lets you communicate to others— but gives the people you meet the ability to repeat your value proposition to others….

The winner of 2013 Ginger Dosier shares her experience and preparation on the competition last year:

"This time last year we were working diligently on fundraising, networking and getting valuable input from multiple business incubators. We were also getting ready to enter the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. After having heard about it some years earlier, we felt we were finally ready to compete."

This year The Climate Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of activities that highlight their past achievements, as well as drive forward their work to secure a thriving low carbon future for all. On Tuesday March 25, 2014, they hosted a special anniversary fundraising gala in Monte Carlo. 3 former winners of the Green Challenge were also present, and won some awards in Monaco to boot!

Would you like to know what it's like to be a finalist in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge? And what you'll be doing during those 5 days we want you to come to Amsterdam after being selected as a finalist? Have a look at this 5 minute Behind the Scenes clip that we shot last year. You'll see a short compilation of the 2013 finalists and all the things they did before going up on stage to finally pitch their plan. A mixture of laughter, hard work, nerves and excitement just about sums it up. Enjoy!


Last Friday, March 7th, four former Postcode Green Challenge finalists concluded the first ever Green Challenge Deep Dive with a Demo Day. During this Demo Day, they pitched their plans once again, after having gone through an incredibly intensive 1,5 week accelerator programme at Rockstart.

It was great to meet up with former finalists and to witness how much they have grown since they were last in Amsterdam, and especially after completing the Deep Dive.

What is it?

An elevator pitch is a clip of your business pitch, recorded in the time it would take you to convince a possible investor of your business plan whilst you're both in the same elevator. Because this might just happen one day, or you might find yourself at a network event, it's worthwhile to get your business pitch down to that minute and a half. That's all the time you need to pitch yourself, your plan and your product.