Meet the 18 start-ups from 11 countries selected to scale carbon removal innovations
The Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator, delivered by Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace and endorsed by Munich Re and ERGO, recently announced its selection of 18 promising start-ups from 11 countries worldwide with solutions for long-term carbon removal from the atmosphere and its permanent storage.
Following an open call for start-ups, dozens of climate entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of sustainability and industry professionals in September. Eighteen start-ups were then chosen to participate in the first stage of the accelerator, based on a range of criteria including market size and business model, and most importantly, climate impact potential.
Meet the start-ups
AC Biode’s (Luxembourg) technology ‘Reco Glass’ captures CO2 through air filters and transforms it into glass. This creates the potential to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of the glass industry. The founders, Atsushi Mizusawa, Ph.D. (CTO) and Hassan Imran, Ph.D. (CSO), combine experience in engineering and entrepreneurship with a strong background in research and science.
Blue Carbon (Tanzania) aims to become the top “blue carbon” developer in the country by developing mangrove carbon credit projects to support communities and protect the mangroves for climate mitigation. The two founders, Debora Benjamen (CEO) and Cretus Mtonga (Operational Officer & Developer) have complementary skills in marine sciences and project development.
Bomvento (Israel) transforms wind turbines into direct air capture facilities. In addition to generating clean energy, each wind turbine removes up to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, effectively doubling the revenue potential of each turbine. The founding team combines strategic business acumen with scientific expertise to bridge research and commercialisation, ensuring the solution excels both scientifically and practically.
Carbon Nua (Ireland) diverts waste biomass to biochar to meet the demand of the emerging biochar and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) markets. The founding team consists of the two brothers, Alan and Peadar Downey, both with vast experience in mechanical engineering and in the design, fabrication, construction and commissioning of utility plants and equipment.
Carbon Universe (Poland) is a scientific company that has harnessed a method which mimics the gas exchange in human lungs for the construction of a direct air capture reactor. The company specialises in CO2 mineralisation within fly ash, basalt dust, and industrial waste such as red mud generated during aluminium production. With ten scientists on board, the team has nearly 300 years of collective experience in chemistry, science and engineering.
ClimeRock (France) leverages Enhanced Rock Weathering to combat climate change, removing CO2 permanently and enhancing crop yields sustainably. Founders Arthur Chabot and Antoine Davy combine years of successful experience in business development, sales, recruitment, operations, mining, supply chain and process optimisation.
CQT (Germany) aims to capture high rates of CO2 from the atmosphere with a fine-tuned plantation system with very high growth rates. The founding team of Hannes Brandner and Jakob Neu bring the know-how required to combine the different technical and biological aspects of the start-up with the leadership and project management skills necessary to implement the idea.
Dowmann (Ireland) specialises in hyper-efficient engineered carbon removal through certified biochar production. Founders Robert Dowdall, Paul Manning and Cathal Moroney are seasoned entrepreneurs whose collective expertise includes tech development, financial management, and successful commercialisation of research-based technologies.
Forest Hero (Kazakhstan) develops a smart platform for responsible reforestation, forestry management and carbon offsetting by using impact investment instruments. The founding team, consisting of Dana Shukirbayeva and Ruslan Zhemkov, possesses strong expertise in ecology, ESG, and sustainable development.
Mormaír Ltd (Scotland) captures carbon while generating energy. When using biofuels, their chemical looping combustion engines produce energy while removing megatonnes of CO2 from the environment. Its team of engineers, entrepreneurs, and advisors have broad experience in the energy sector, partnerships, research and entrepreneurship.
PLENO (Germany) is a platform that streamlines the carbon credit creation process and calculates carbon stocks efficiently through automation. The two founders, Nura Linggih and Nino Lindenberg, combine a sustainability background with software engineering skills, and a specialty in AI and machine learning.
Point2Hectare (Germany) unlocks the full potential of biochar for soils by next-generation biochar and data-driven soil application. Point2Hectare’s three founders, Max Billinger (CEO), Diana Smite (CMO) and Jan Mumme (CTO), have diverse backgrounds, skills and extensive experience in starting and running businesses.
rubisco2 (Germany) offers an effective, easily scalable system for sargassum-algae-based carbon removals with transparency at its core. The three founders, Pablo Navarro (CEO), Manuel Riera (COO) and René Franco (CTO), have multiple years of experience in engineering, physics and waste management.
Servus Terra (Switzerland) is on the mission to democratise carbon credits with AI, turning tree care into income while achieving data-driven carbon neutrality for businesses. The founders, Veysel Inan Geylani and Umut Sevin, have vast experience in the insurance business as well as in tech and data science.
Skoog (Norway) uses the AI technologies in remote sensing to enable the standing forest economy at scale, by bringing together knowledge, incentives and financing to landowners in Brazil. The founding team of Augusto Andrade and Nima Darabi combine ground, tech and business-building expertise.
NEG8 Carbon (Ireland) pioneers innovative Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. The team, a spin-off from Trinity College Dublin, combines vast experience in scaling tech businesses with expertise in carbon capture. Boasting a proven 1.2 tonne/year prototype and modular strategy, their ambitious roadmap targets capturing 5.5M tonnes of CO2 annually by 2035.
WindCapture Technologies (Ireland) designs, manufactures and operates a novel direct air capture system integrated into the blades of wind turbines. Founded by Ronan Hearne and Aaron Bolyan, the start-up blends engineering expertise with deep passion for climate action.
ZeroEx GmbH’s (Germany) objective is to establish an openly accessible and dependable platform for the exchange of knowledge and resources, facilitating collaborative efforts towards sustainable solutions for the challenges of our era. The founding team of Tony Oehm (CEO), Hannes Steinle (COO) and Marcel Kuhs (CTO) combine experience in sustainability research, scaling of tech start-ups and carbon calculations.
On the horizon
Stage 1 of the Carbon Removal ClimAccelerator will run from October to December, with the possibility for start-ups to apply for Stage 2. The selected Stage 2 participants will receive tailored coaching and mentorship, business development and financial support. EIT Climate-KIC will guide participants through a climate impact workshop where they will forecast their business’ climate impact, and develop strategies to improve their environmental footprint.
The ClimAccelerator harnesses 12 years of experience as the main climate innovation solution provider in Europe, with over 2,100 solutions supported and over €2 billion of capital secured.* Since 2017, EIT Climate-KIC and Munich Re and ERGO have supported entrepreneurs all across Europe, scaling a total of 32 start-ups, including 12 with CDR solutions such as afforestation, direct air capture, biochar, and bioenergy-based carbon capture and storage.
About the partners
Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. The group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the asset management company MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivalled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to Hurricane Ian in 2022. Munich Re possesses innovative strength and expertise, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary risks such as rocket launches, renewable energies or cyberattacks. The company contributes to the digital transformation of the insurance industry, and in doing so has further expanded its ability to assess risks and the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals.
ERGO is part of Munich Re and one of the major primary insurance groups in Germany and Europe. The Group is represented in over 25 countries worldwide, concentrating on core and growth markets in Europe and Asia. ERGO offers a comprehensive range of insurances, pensions, investments and services. In its home market of Germany, ERGO is one of the leading providers in the life, non-life and health segments with a comprehensive range of products. The essence of the ERGO brand – ”making insurance easier”- is the compass for company actions. ERGO wants to design insurance for customers as simple, fast and convenient as possible. The Group therefore seamlessly links competent advice with modern mobile and online services, thus allowing customers to decide flexibly how and where to contact ERGO. And because complex issues are still best discussed in person, expert advice from salaried and self-employed ERGO advisers, brokers and strong cooperation partners is a key part of the company’s range of services.
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, is uniquely positioned to deliver on this great initiative. Through its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre ‘Tangent’, the college has successfully delivered numerous international Climate-focussed accelerators and incubator initiatives in recent years, as well as a suite of certified and professional innovation programmes for students, academics and corporate audiences. Tangent is informed by research and international best practice and its programmes are engaging, interactive and experiential.
*Data from EIT Climate-KIC, 2017-2022