Venture Capital

Ahmed Detta – Advanced Sustainable Development – Transforming Plastic Recycling

Ahmed Detta is the founder of Advanced Sustainable Development (ASD) a PET recycling facility with an aim to transform how plastics are recycled, creating a transparent and sustainable circular economy. 


  • Ahmed’s early venture into mobile phone recycling in Dubai
  • Studying sustainability in cambridge CISL 
  • Why choosing to focus on PET
  • The leap of faith moment after the research
  • Getting Emotional Freedom Technique tapping 
  • Mock presentations to get feedback from friends and executive coaches
  • Being ambitious and realistic with investors
  • Importance of getting a project manager and risk analyst
  • Every ton of PET recycled reduces 4 tons of carbon dioxide 

Useful link:

Advanced Sustainable Development

Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership

Time stamp:

[01:35] What is Advanced Sustainable Development

[03:30] Early career in sales and financial success

[05:22] Studying sustainability in Cambridge 

[08:35] Early problem and solution

[11:18] Choosing to focus on a PET plastics 

[13:25] What happens to the plastics 

[16:00] Deciding to quit, overcoming fear with EFT tapping

[19:30] Getting traction and early feedback

[21:30] Speaking to investors and knowing who is my real friend

[23:40] Measuring the impact of ASD

[26:00] Coolest piece of clean tech you’ve used? 

[28:30] Looking back from 2030

Paul Miller – Bethnal Green Ventures – Accelerating Tech For Good

Paul Miller, founder and CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures. BGV are early stage investors focused on startups that use technology to radically improve people’s lives for the future and solving difficult social and environmental challenges. In short, they’re a pioneer in the tech for good space with early stage acceleration of startups such as Piclo (Open Utility) and Fairphone.

  • Paul’s career from student activist to organising hackathons that lead to BGV 
  • How BGV got its name
  • Impact are linked to business model
  • Importance of backing diverse and balanced teams
  • How community development leads to talent curation
  • Piclo pioneering cleanweb move to bring digital tech to cleantech
  • Fairphone’s crazy idea to actually create their own mobile phone
  • Lettus Grow’s early stage aeroponics concept
  • Mapping the BGV investments to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Paul’s vision of tech for good

Useful link:
Bethnal Green Ventures
Time stamp:[1:45] How did BGV started? [6:00] BGV’s investment thesis[7:40] Investing in diverse teams [10:30] How do you manage the risks of your portfolio? [12:35] How do you assess teams?[14:10] Tips on approaching investors[16:59] Piclo’s early idea to create a flexible energy market[19:30] When Fairphone approached us they were just campaigners[22:17] Lettus Grow’s approach to reducing emmisions in the food supply chain[24:10] Mapping the SDGs [26:24] BGV in 10 years

For more information go to Green Add Venture
This episode is hosted by Jake Woodhouse – connect with Jake on Linkedin or Twitter
This episode is produced by Woon Tan of Podcast Publishing
Designs are made by Joshua Barnes of Forage Studio

Nick Goddard – Spinetic Energy – Mass Production Of Onshore Wind Energy

Nick Goddard is the co-founder and commercial director of Spinetic Energy Ltd, a company devoted to developing an exciting clean tech solution through the use of the Wind Panel. Their automotive inspired approach allows mass production at a low cost, creating an effective small-scale wind energy solution.


  • The advantage of combining different personal skills when building a team
  • Repurposing past experiences into new projects
  • Creating mass production of components is driving cost down
  • The benefits of financial stability when deciding to work full time for a start-up business
  • Ensuring strong personal relationships with contacts you admire rather than making contacts purely to gain popularity
  • How start-up businesses can benefit from a hierarchical structure over total democracy

Useful links:
Spinetic Energy 

Time Stamp:[01:38] Who is Nick Goddard? An introduction to Spinetic[03:15] Nick’s career journey leading up to Spinetic[05:48] The importance of human relationships and combining personal skills[09:35] Taking a fundamentally different approach to achieve success[12:55] How age and experience can reduce the risk of a ‘leap of faith moment’[14:45] How the opportunity of well-paid jobs affects the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the UK today[15:30] Nick’s tips on how to go full time and create interest[16:49] Using social media to raise your profile vs ensuring foundational engineering with substance[19:27] How to approach the investment market and build trust with potential investors[23:00] Building a team and the importance of personal connections[26:33] Nick’s personal mission[28:37] How will Spinetic impact the future and on what scale?[31:34] Where does Nick see himself 10 years from now?
For more information go to Green Add Venture
This episode is hosted by Jake Woodhouse – connect with Jake on Linkedin or Twitter
This episode is produced by Woon Tan of Podcast Publishing
Designs are made by Joshua Barnes of Forage StudioUpdate Description

Alex Pitt – Mustard Seed – Investing In High Growth Impact

Alex Pitt is the cofounder of Mustard Seed, an organisation that provides support to start up businesses with social and environmental impact at the core of what they do. Focussing on the importance of a strong team and using lockstep business methods to track progress, Alex and good friend Henry, are helping to create high impact growth amongst some of the most exciting up and coming companies today.


  • Cofounding Mustard Seed with good friend Henry Wigan, and having a strong friendship at the foundation of a business
  • Alex‘s best methods of finding new businesses to support and understanding which qualities to look for
  • Using lockstep relationships to manage social return with high impact
  • How a strong personal and social mission is key for commercial success
  • The importance of getting to know your team

Useful links:

Mustard Seed


McKinsey and Company

Good Club


Food Cloud

Time Stamp:

[02:08] Alex’s personal journey and the beginning of Mustard Seed

[05:40] Working with businesses at the very start of their development

[06:10] Developing from Entrepeneur to investor

[07:20] Trusted referrals from current investors as leads to potential new businesses

[09:05] What factors to consider when looking at new investments and the importance of getting to know the team

[11:10] The correlation between personal/social drive and success

[12:50] Using KPIs to track performance and success on a regular basis

[17:04] Lockstep relationships allowing commercial and social return to reinforce each other

[18:45] What’s in the future for Mustard Seed?

Agnes Czako – Airex – Making A Social Impact With Efficient Buildings

Agnes Czako is co-founder and managing director of Airex, an exciting company looking to reduce heat demand in buildings through increased thermal efficiency. Airex have developed an intelligent air brick with inbuilt sensors, to monitor conditions and regulate air flow.

Balancing thermal efficiency and air exchange in a sustainable and smart way
The great benefits of the funding mechanisms in place in the UK today
The importance of building a great team and the ability to learn as you go

Useful links:
Sustainable Ventures
Green Angel Syndicate

Time Stamp:
[01:05] An introduction to Agnes Czako and her role
[02:10] What inspired Agnes to get into sustainability?
[03:10] The beginning of Airex and their funding journey
[04:00] Recognising the problem with air bricks and working towards a solution
[05:30] The features of the intelligent air brick
[07:05] How creating traction can be challenging at the very early stages of business development
[10:30] The benefits of investor experience and networking, not just financial support
[11:00] The efficiency of events when pitching to investors
[13:50] Having an inspiring team at the core of a business
[16:25] Being motivated by sustainable and social issues
[19:40] What Agnes would like Airex to achieve in the next 10 years

Andrew Wordsworth – Sustainable Accelerator – Growing The Sustainable Startup Ecosystem

Andrew Wordsworth is the founder of Sustainable Venture group of companies. Sustainable Venture’s mission is to create a more sustainable future world where climate change and resource scarcity is addressed by commercial solutions. They are a venture builder where they develop, invest in and provide workspaces for sustainable business. Sustainable Workspaces located in London is the largest community of colocated community of sustainable startups.

  • The genesis of the Sustainable Ventures, Sustainable Workspaces and Sustainable Accelerator 
  • Proving the equity crowdfunding model when E-Car Club was sold to Europe Car
  • Examples of Sustainable Accelerator portfolio companies
  • How Sustainable Accelerator help startups grow their valuation and develop the business
  • How to pitch to investors and benefits of wearing both hats of investor and investee
  • Why understanding risk will help your pitch
  • Andrew’s personal story and inspiration to move into sustainablity and startups
  • Mapping startups impact and Sustainable Development Goals

Useful links:Sustainable Ventures – Workspaces – Accelerator – Futures – Club – – – Pli – – – Angel Syndicate – Green Ventures – Trust –
Time stamp:[03:00] Andrew’s journey into podcasting[07:20] Sustainable Venture’s mission[10:30] Why crowdfund and why there was a need for an accelerator fund[15:00] Sustainable Accelerator Fund 1 and 2[17:30] Why Rovco is such an exciting business[23:00] Pitching to investors and being pitched[25:50] The best pitch Andrew heard[28:50] What inspired Andrew’s entrepreneurship journey
For more information go to Green Add Venture
This episode is hosted by Jake Woodhouse – connect with Jake on Linkedinor Twitter
This episode is produced by Woon Tan of Podcast Publishing
Designs are made by Joshua Barnes of Forage Studio

James Johnston – Piclo – Leading The Flexible Energy Marketplace

James Johnston is CEO and cofounder of Piclo, an exciting company working to globally change the way we use energy today. James and his team have developed a way to make our energy grids more flexible and sustainable and aim to inspire others to follow in their footsteps and move the conversation forward.


  • Having complete understanding of a problem before working towards a solution
  • Applying flexibility to utilise energy in a more efficient way
  • The importance of building a team and how people form a company’s identity
  • The power of ‘pivoting’ towards new ideas and adapting from failure
  • How different investors are best suited for different stages of development

Useful links:


Bethnal Green Ventures

Time Stamp:

[01:35] Who is James Johnston?

[02:05] Starting with a solution rather than a problem

[03:45] Applying flexibility to make effective use of energy sources

[05:00] Developing a market place to buy and sell flexibility services

[06:25] James’ personal journey and gaining inspiration from Bob Metcalfe

[08:25] Building a team with cofounders Andy and Alice

[11:00] Learning from your failures and developing new business plans

[14:25] How different investors are beneficial at different stages of development

[17:45] Having a global mission

[19:45] Methods of tracking progress

[21:10] The future for Piclo

Liv Sibony – SeedTribe – Connecting Investors With Impactful Startups

Liv Sibony is the Founder of SeedTribe, an impact investing platform focused on connecting entrepreneurs and investors focused on the UN SDGs. With the Angel Investment Network behind SeedTribe, they connect the biggest angel network with the most impactful startups trying to raise finance. Liv believes in using business as a force for good and she talks about her role with SeedTribe as Head of Impact Investment at SeedTribe.
  • How SeedTribe is supporting purpose and impactful startups
  • Why it is important to focus on purpose driven business
  • How collaboration is at the heart of scalable impact
  • How to grab an investor’s attention with passion and emotion
  • The future of SeedTribe
Liv Sibony’s Linkedin –
Time Stamp:
[01:26] Olivia Sibony’s role at SeedTribe
[03:03] Liv’s journey from Goldman Sachs to starting GrubClub
[06:00] SeedTribe’s focus on purpose driven businesses
[12:20] What investors are looking for
[14:20] What does SeedTribe do?
[18:59] The importance of emotional side of the pitch
[20:00] Why it is an exciting time to work in the environmental space
[22:30] The Golf Club Test
[25:13] The challenge of measuring and reporting impact
[27:16] SeedTribe as a collaboration platform
For more information go to Green Add Venture
This episode is hosted by Jake Woodhouse – connect with Jake on Linkedin or Twitter
This episode is produced by Woon Tan of Podcast Publishing
Designs are made by Joshua Barnes of Forage Studio

Matt Mclaren – Entomics – Addressing Food Waste With Insects

Matt Mclaren is the CEO and cofounder of Entomics, a company whose aim is to reduce the impact of food waste through insect bioconversion.

Food waste is one of the biggest problems we face today, with one-third of all food being wasted globally. Their method of turning waste into useful, high-quality resources allows them to put waste back into the food chain in a natural and sustainable way.


  • Using already natural processes to a more sustainable advantage
  • How do you solve food waste with insects?
  • Turning an exciting university project into a successful business
  • Understanding your vision before thinking about investment
  • The importance of the reduction of food waste for a more sustainable world

Useful links:
Shell Foundation
Green Angel Syndicate

Time stamp:
[02:46] What is Entomics?
[03:25] Where did the idea for Entomics come from?
[06:20] Using insects to reduce the impact of food waste
[08:15] Necessary research to start the project
[11:30] The idea of waste hierarchy
[14:30] Working with the Shell Foundation
[17:29] Advice to others starting out
[22:20] How the team got together
[25:50] Food waste: The bigger picture
[29:30] Local feed solutions as a way of being more sustainable

Juan Pablo Cerda – Zeigo (RE-Search) – How Smart Tech Is Changing The Renewable Energy Market

JP Cerda is the Founder and CEO of Zeigo. Zeigo aims to build a marketplace for B2B renewable energy purchasing, recently closing its seed round, including investment from the Green Angel Syndicate.
Highlights in this episode:
  • How to market your vision to investors
  • Why solving real problems is always a good starting point
  • Importance of building a talented team, first hires and cofounders
  • Why it is good to have healthy competition
  • Why it is an exciting time to be working in the renewable energy market
Note – Zeigo is the new trading name of Re-Search Energy, altered after this recording.

Useful links:

Time stamp:
[01:32] What is ?
[04:15] What is the problem and solution you are working on?
[08:10] From working with oil majors to being a first time founder
[13:30] How software is accelerating the move towards renewable energy
[20:00] Its good to have healthy competition
[24:30] Vision and impact of Re-search
[29:00] Getting advice as an early stage startup?

For more information go to Green Add Venture
This episode is hosted by Jake Woodhouse – connect with Jake on Linkedin or Twitter
This episode is produced by Woon Tan of Podcast Publishing
Designs are made by Joshua Barnes.

You can download the full transcript here.