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New accelerator programme launched for London’s circular economy start-ups

19 October 2018

London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has today announced the launch of the first accelerator programme of its kind and is calling for applications from interested entrepreneurs.

The accelerator, run by LWARB’s Advance London programme, is dedicated to finding and commercialising the best new circular economy start-up business innovations. The focus for this first accelerator is the built environment sector.

Advance London is working with partners The Carbon Trust and Whole Earth Futures to deliver the accelerator, which will offer 6 months of free intensive support for up to 10 start-ups. Each start-up will already have a working prototype and be ready to test their technologies in the market.

As part of the support package, desk space will be provided in LWARB’s new offices, together with bespoke mentoring and access to their extensive partner network. The aim is to enable the rapid scaling up of innovations.

This first cohort of start-ups will be focused on circular economy within the construction industry, developing new technologies and business models that can advance concepts such as: modularisation; design for disassembly and re-use; technology to prolong asset life; alternative materials and material re-use; turning products into services; and the creation of data platforms.

Start-up businesses will be selected on their potential to scale up and contribute to London’s low carbon, circular economy.

This marks another step in the Advance London programme strategy of supporting the best circular economy SMEs in London and builds on LWARB’s growing expertise and partner network. The accelerator will also leverage LWARB and London’s existing strengths in the technology, finance, academic and start-up sectors.

Applications will open next week commencing 22nd October, and interested start-ups are encouraged to get in contact now through the Advance London website, at

Wayne Hubbard, Chief Executive at London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), announcing the accelerator at the P4G Summit in Copenhagen today, said:

If cities are the engine rooms of the circular economy, start-ups are the spark. Start-up businesses are making an essential contribution to London’s transition to become a circular city, and this accelerator is part of LWARB’s strategy to provide support and finance to circular economy businesses from start-up to maturity. The recent IPCC report has shown us the need for urgent action; this support programme forms a part of our response.

Supporting innovation within the low carbon economy and developing the start-up ecosystem are core pillars of the Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy and Economic Development Strategy.  A dedicated circular economy accelerator will help new entrepreneurs overcome some of the barriers to establishing products and services within their market, and help make London’s economy more sustainable.

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: 

The Mayor is working hard to make London a world leader in efforts to promote a circular economy, which could provide London with net benefits of at least £7 billion every year and 40,000 new jobs by 2036. The International Panel on Climate Change is clear: action on climate change cannot wait and circular economy businesses of all sizes and sectors have a vital role to play. This accelerator is a great opportunity to nurture London’s start-up businesses and help our low carbon economy flourish.


For more information: visit or contact Stuart Ferguson at LWARB via

Start-up accelerator

A start-up accelerator is a fixed term, cohort-based programme that helps new businesses get their products and services out into the marketplace as quickly as possible. The application process is usually competitive, with hands-on support and mentoring provided to the participating entrepreneurs.

Circular economy

Circular economy is an economy which keeps resources in use and at their highest value for as long as possible. It is a much more efficient and environmental alternative to the traditional linear economy in which we make, use and dispose of resources. There are also major business benefits: by 2036, the circular economy could provide London with net benefits of at least £7bn every year and 40,000 new jobs.[1]

London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) works in conjunction with the Mayor of London and London Councils and has a remit to improve waste and resource management in the capital.  For more information on LWARB and its three programmes – Advance London, Circular London and Resource London – visit

Advance London

Advance London is a programme run by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), which provides investment and advisory support to innovative SMEs operating within the circular economy.  The programme has committed £50m of capital and worked with over 100 SMEs that have contributed to improving London’s waste and resource management.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent, expert partner of leading organisations around the world, advising on resource efficiency strategies and commercialising low carbon technologies. The Carbon Trust has extensive experience of providing incubation and support services to start-ups, having assessed more than 3,500 ventures and projects and provided commercialisation support to more than 350 of them.

Whole Earth Futures

Whole Earth Futures is a systems and business model design company helping to establish a new economic model for growth for a range of clients in the public, private and third sectors.  Working across multiple industries, WEF has developed a process of innovation that is agnostic of sector, industry or vertical but catalyses new future-proof business models and breakthrough transformations.


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