Young Entrepreneurs: Arthur Kay, Bio-Bean
An entrepreneurial superhero, Kay is using London’s coffee for a different type of energy, all while cleaning up the world and growing a successful business…
Name: Arthur Kay
Arthur Kay is the co-founder of energy start-up bio-bean, which is one of those innovative and obviously brilliant business ideas that leaves you asking “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The green energy company collects used coffee grounds from London’s wholesale producers and coffee shops (and we all know Londoners love their coffee – we produce over 200,000 tonnes of caffeinated waste), converts it into biodiesel and biomass pellets then sells it on to transport and heating industries.
And young entrepreneur Kay is the mastermind behind this eco-friendly yet lucrative business idea, which originated whilst the now architect graduate was designing a coffee roasting plant and shop at university – looking into how the building’s waste disposal could be used to power it.
The business launched in 2014 after winning the Pitch 2013 and £275,000 in funding, and was named one of our Startups 100 in May due to its environmental and commercial (it had £200,000 grant backing, a growing market and many noteworthy clients) potential, and has continued to gather traction ever since.
To date, the social entrepreneur’s company has been endorsed and funded by significant institutions including the Berkeley Group and the UKTI’s Sirius Programme, as well as receiving financial backing from several private investors and winning numerous financial rewards including €500,000 to expand the business from the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2014, £20,000 from Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Competition, $100,000 from Founder.org and £40,000 from Shell in March of last year.
Alongside growing the business, the 24 year-old has remained a pioneer for the environment, as well as diverting vast tonnes of coffee waste from landfill sites and AD plants, his start-up has saved 729,600 tonnes of Co2-eq and 53,200 barrels of oil. In fact Kay, who launched the business to counteract the rising waste collection and disposal problems, and the need for cleaner, affordable energy, was named one of London’s Leaders by Boris Johnson last year.
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And the environment remains at the forefront of Kay and Bio-Bean’s future plans with an ultimate ambition to “introduce the idea of waste as a resource to a wider market and kick-start the circular economy here in the UK.”