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Friday 27 June 2014

Bio-Bean, guest panellists at ESCP Europe's Business in Europe Seminar in London, win $100,000 Founder.org prize

On 23rd June 2014, bio-bean - a UK-based company which turns waste coffee into valuable biofuel - was awarded $100k in funding by the Founder.org Class of 2015 programme. The funding was announced at ESCP Europe in Paris last week.

The team, which is the only British company to have won an award from Founder.org this year, will also participate in the organisation's 8D Company Building Programme, fast-tracking the team through the challenges of building bio-bean into a larger company.

Founder.org is an American start-up seed fund that holds a $100K competition every spring for student start-ups, as well as providing them with seed money, advice, and connections. It is focused on supporting and incubating student start-ups to help them become engines of job growth in the future – and build the next generation of billion dollar companies.

This is the latest in a number of awards for bio-bean, who have been recognised by prestigious organisations including the UKTI (through The Sirius Programme, also an ESCP Europe partner), Shell, The GLA and UCL, who provided seed funding for the business.

ESCP Europe met bio-bean co-founder Benjamin Harriman (pictured) at its Business in Europe Seminar for Master in Management students.

Bio-bean is the brain child of two UCL graduates, Arthur Kay and Benjamin Harriman. It takes waste coffee grounds from coffee shops across London and huge quantities of residual waste from instant coffee processing plants. They then turn the 'waste' into biomass pellets and biodiesel - products in high demand in the rapidly-expanding UK biofuels market.

Bio-bean were up against teams from Harvard and Berkeley, amongst other leading academic institutions.Arthur Kayt, co-founder and CEO said it was wonderful to have won the Founder.org Award:

"It is recognition of the potential 'waste' coffee has to become a significant source of biofuel. There is a huge (and growing) demand for advanced biofuels and bio-bean's innovative technology allows the company to supplement this demand.

"This early support from the US – based Founder.org provides us with a platform to export our business model to America; once we have established bio-bean in London, we plan to scale domestically and expand internationally."

Bio-bean are currently part of the Sirius Programme, a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) scheme that provides start-ups with a year of financial support, mentoring, support to gain clients and access to funding, among other benefits.  ESCP Europe is a partner with UKTI's Sirius Programme, and MSc in Marketing and Creativity graduate Fiona Disegni, with her company Rentez-Vous, is also a Sirius Programme winner.

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