Carbogenics, a spinout company that turns disposable coffee cups into fertiliser, has taken the coveted top prize in Converge Challenge 2018, and fellow Edinburgh Innovations clients won the awards’ Social Enterprise and Kickstart prizes.

The annual awards for entrepreneurs from Scottish universities and research institutes were presented at a ceremony in Edinburgh attended by more than 200 Scottish business and entrepreneurial leaders. More than £160,000 was awarded to 10 winners.

Top prize

Carbogenics, which took the leading award – the Converge Challenge 2018 – was founded by Dr Jan Mumme of the School of Geosciences. The company has developed a novel process to turn disposable coffee cups and other non-recyclable paper-based waste into a material that can act as a soil enhancer and boost renewable energy production.

The material – called CreChar – can increase yields from biogas generators. It can also be used as a fertiliser, and to treat waste water from industrial processes.

Social impact

One Cherry, an online marketplace for second-hand shops, picked up the Social Enterprise Award. The prize recognises ideas that have a positive impact on wider social and environmental issues.

The venture was founded by Anton Puzorjov, a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences.

Reducing losses

The winner of the Kickstart Award for best start-up project was Crover, which is developing the first remote probing device that maps conditions inside grain storage silos, to help reduce losses.

The company was founded by Lorenzo Conti, a PhD student in the School of Engineering.

“All three Edinburgh winners have shown inspiring entrepreneurial vision, skills and drive. We look forward to continuing to support these enterprises as they grow and deliver economic and societal impact.”


– Gordon Donald, Chief Operating Officer, Edinburgh Innovations

All three winners were also successful at the Edinburgh Innovations’ Inspire Launch Grow awards in June this year. Carbogenics, One Cherry and Crover have each been supported by Edinburgh Innovations to help create and develop their businesses.

Related links

BBC story

University of Edinburgh story

Converge Challenge