EI client Dr Ali Abbassi Monjezi, whose Waterwhelm startup aims to bring clean water to billions of people, has won the 2019 Converge KickStart Challenge.
The former Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering picked up the £10,000 award for early-stage projects with the potential to become high-growth businesses. The KickStart Challenge is one of four awards making up Converge Challenge, the Scotland-wide entrepreneurial programme for staff, students and recent graduates of Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.
Fresh water from waste
Dr Monjezi’s concept is to commercialise an innovative self-powered technology to produce fresh water from waste water while simultaneously generating electricity.
According to UNICEF, 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, a number that is expected to continue to grow.
Dr Monjezi has been working for several years on a solution to this problem, and his project was deemed the most innovative and impactful proposition by the Converge KickStart judges.
Dr Monjezi beat the strong competition from a variety of high potential projects whose quality was said by Converge to be the highest recorded for this category.
The runner-up, winning £5,000, was Saskia Goeres from Designed for Life, a collaboration between the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow. Her first product, Sofa for Life, is a portable, washable and easily repaired sofa. Designed for life’s line of products aims to dramatically reduce landfill waste caused by low value furniture.
Speaking at the KickStart Awards, Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Director of Converge, said: “I heartily congratulate both Dr Monjezi from the University of Edinburgh and Ms Goeres from the Glasgow School of Art on their achievements today and look forward to hearing how they will flourish in the months ahead.”
The 2019 Converge KickStart event was held at the Open Experience, at RBS’s Gogarburn headquarters. RBS sponsored the Converge KickStart Challenge.