Borough Firm Bio-Beans wins cash for ‘coffee logs’ after thumbs up from Richard Branson

News Desk (14 July, 2016)

The Virgin-run competition saw 20,000 registrations

10690Pictured are Toby McCartney, Co-founder of MacRebur and Arthur Kay, founder of bio-bean, winners of Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ entrepreneur competition, winning a slice of the one million prize fund

A Borough business that is creating ‘logs’ from ground coffee beans to burn in home fireplaces, has won a slice of a £1m prize fund.

Bio-Bean, based in Cole Street, recycles coffee ground waste into sustainable bio-fuels, and was founded by Arthur Kay, 25, after he saw an opportunity to use coffee waste to power cities, buildings and cars.

It now processes 50,000 tonnes of waste a year and has just launched a new product, Coffee Logs, a carbon neutral consumer product that replaces coal and wood.

The Virgin Media Business Voom 2016 competition, now in its fifth year, saw 20,000 registrations, 750,000 votes and a 29 hours ‘pitch-athon’, where they were judged by a panel including Sir Richard Branson and Tyra Banks.

Bio-Bean will receive £50,000 to help grow the business, mentoring from Virgin StartUp and from  VOOM Professionals recruited via LinkedIn, a £250,000 marketing campaign, with advertising on JCDecaux’s Waterloo Motion (the biggest indoor screen in Europe), a broadband package and financial advice.

Kay said: “Winning Virgin VOOM is a real vote of confidence in Bio-Bean, the green energy company I founded to recycle waste coffee grounds into advanced bio-fuels.

“The prize will support bio-bean in rapidly bringing our new product, Coffee Logs, to market. I founded bio-bean as an architecture student at The Bartlett, UCL, to turn waste into resources. It’s been an incredible journey, with pitching to Richard Branson at VOOM being a real highlight!”

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder, said: “I love seeing entrepreneurs pitch an idea to me which they are incredibly passionate about and it was both a difficult and inspiring task to choose just two winners. All the finalists of the Virgin Media Business VOOM competition showed they have the dedication and intense desire to take their business to incredible heights and I believe they will all do so.”


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