Informatics PhD student Jonathan Feldstein, founder of Bennu.ai, was one of three winners at the new Net Zero EDGE award presented at COP26 by Scottish EDGE, the UK’s biggest funding competition for high growth potential businesses.
Bennu.ai has developed a new way to sort waste automatically. Half of what goes into our general waste could be recycled, while 25% of the contents of our recycling bins is contaminated with unrecyclable waste. Bennu.ai has developed Janus, a bin that sorts waste automatically. The user throws waste away and Janus takes care of the rest. It guarantees to save businesses 10% of waste management costs and early projections estimate possible reductions of 40%.
The new award supported by Royal Bank of Scotland was given to businesses which demonstrate environmental sustainability excellence. The pitches were delivered at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in front of members of the public, invited guests from the business and startup support community and a global audience via live stream.
I am delighted to win such a prestigious award during COP26. I believe that sustainability should not come at a cost. My vision is to develop the best AI solutions, to increase the recycling rates of companies, while lowering their costs, and leave behind a liveable planet for the coming generations.“
Scotland's net zero target
Finalists had the opportunity to pitch onstage to a high-profile judging panel consisting of Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, Sir Tom Hunter, founder of Scottish EDGE funding partner the Hunter Foundation, and Professor Eleanor Shaw of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University Business School.
The new Net Zero EDGE award supports Scotland’s target to be net zero by 2045. Finalists pledged to help create credible change, building awareness of the importance of making sustainability and climate friendly practices core to their growth.
We were delighted to see such a high calibre of Scottish entrepreneurs wishing to not only start a business but make a real change. The passion and ideas we saw at the event give us hope for not only cementing Scotland as leaders in the sustainability journey but also for tackling climate change and helping targets be met.“
The winners were:
£100,000 – Faisal Ghani, SolarisKit, the world’s first flat packable solar thermal collector https://solariskit.com
£50,000 – Jonathan Feldstein, Bennu.ai, an automated recycling sorting machine, https://bennu.ai
£50,000 – Alicja Dzieciol, SilviBio, innovative seed and soil treatment technology, https://www.silvibio.com
Photograph shows from left: Faisal Ghani, Jonathan Feldstein, Alison Rose, Alicja Dzieciol.