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  • 👀 HackTrends: 10 top trends to look out for at the HackSummit

👀 HackTrends: 10 top trends to look out for at the HackSummit

PLUS: 100 startups working on these solutions heading to the HackSummit

HackSummit Trends to Watch

Next week the HackSummit doors will open to 1,000 of the brightest minds in Climate. 

It’s going to be a fast-paced two days packed with networking, side events, pitch competitions, climate booths, food tastings, debates, keynotes, workshops as well as the finale of the FoodTech World Cup and NatureTech Challenge.

Beyond the two-day event, there’s a full week of get-togethers, parties and workshops to start friendships and new partnerships to last a lifetime.

Whether it’s your first or fourth time joining us, we’re looking forward to hosting many of you in Lausanne next week (June 13-14th). 

And before we do, here’s a roundup of the top trends to look out for in Lausanne as we hand-pick some of the companies working in the space who’ll be at the Summit…

Catch the TL;DR:

And now, onto the details…

🧬 Synbio for New Materials

How often do you stop to think about what the items you use in your day-to-day life are made out of? It’s a topic that deserves more attention because much of our materials production processes today contribute to resource depletion, waste, and the acceleration of climate change.

With the evolution of tools and technologies available and the corresponding reduction in cost, synbio offers high-potential opportunities to make better, sustainable alternatives to plastics, chemicals and other materials that are lower- or zero-carbon.

Founders to meet, include:

  • Bacta (biosynthetic carbon-negative natural rubber, France)

  • B.fab (synbio to design specific pathways to convert formate into chemicals, Germany)

  • Biomason (microorganisms to grow sustainable structural cement materials, USA)

  • Bioweg (replacing solid and liquid microplastics and petroleum-based polymers with sustainable alternatives, Germany)

  • Cascade Biocatalysts (greener and cheaper chemical manufacturing with longer lasting enzymes. USA)

  • Epoch Biodesign (transforming plastic waste into everyday chemicals, UK)

  • FlexSea (redefining bioplastics with seaweed, UK)

  • Level Nine (catalysts for use in industrial biomanufacturing, Germany)

  • Matereal (bio-based alternative to polyurethane, USA)

  • Searo Labs (scalable, sustainable materials from seaweed, UK)

  • Zelfo Technology (bio-based binders, reinforcement or as a part or complete biocomposite material solution, Germany)

🔌 Carbon-Free Energy Startups

The transition to net zero requires new ways of powering the future. Power networks are under more strain than ever, with the move towards clean energy increasing demand

Startups focused on carbon-free energy and smart grid technologies can help us to manage this transition while reducing the need for costly new grid infrastructure, and the frequency of cuts, surges, and other costly problems. 

10 of the many energy Founders you’ll meet:

  • Flowing Energy (turning heat into clean electricity without burning anything, USA)

  • Jolt Electrodes (low-cost, ultra high speed manufacturing of high performance electrodes for electrolysis. Spain)

  • Malta (industrial-grade, grid-scale energy storage, and electro-thermal energy storage, USA)

  • NeedEnergy (clean energy access, Zimbabwe)

  • Neology Hydrogen (transforming ammonia into hydrogen as feedstock for fuel cells, Switzerland)

  • Sealed (stopping home energy waste, USA)

  • SEOS Energy (financing and technology solutions for the energy transition, Colombia)

  • SmartHelio (predictive solar software, Switzerland)

  • Wegaw (geospatial and Machine Learning technologies, Switzerland)

  • Yuon Control AG (advanced and predictive heating control system designed to optimize district heating networks, Switzerland)

🚌 Electrifying Mobility

Transport accounts for around ⅕ of global CO2 emissions and ¾ of that is from road transport. Expanding public transportation and reducing our dependence on personal vehicles is the only way to ensure the decarbonization of transportation. 

From electric buses to EV infrastructure to sustainable marine mobility, one thing is clear: gas-powered vehicles have got to be phased out.

Meet startups driving the change:

  • Carnot (double-efficiency ceramic engines to revolutionise the industry, UK)

  • Cargokite (transporting goods emission-free anytime to any port in the world, Germany) 

  • E-magy (silicon anode material for batteries for  clean, electrically-powered mobility, Netherlands)

  • Netra (electric vehicle charging stations, Switzerland)

  • OX Delivers (purpose-built electric truck for the Global South, UK)

  • Pionix (EV charging infrastructure, Germany)

  • Romande Energie (electric mobility, Switzerland)

  • Supercharged Labs (charging infrastructure, USA)

  • Swisspod (pioneering hyperloop technology, Switzerland)

  • X Shore (sustainable marine mobility, Sweden)

🤖 AI and Synbio in FoodTech

Increasingly, food and CPG companies are turning to intelligent machines to brainstorm the latest innovative ingredients and flavour pairings. And startups are using advancements in synbio to make these food innovations a reality.

Despite the growth in plant-based meat substitutes, most would agree that few products currently on the market are a truly perfect replacement for the genuine article. Alt-fats are just one solution changing the game in an increasingly AI-driven FoodTech landscape.

Connect with the Founders making it a reality, from:

  • Finally Foods (AI-driven molecular farming for the food sector, Israel)

  • Herlab (revolutionising synthetic biology with yeasts, UK)

  • Hoxton Farms (sustainable fats for meat alternatives, UK)

  • LaGrange AI (AI platform to tackle supply chain uncertainties and disruptions, Switzerland)

  • Multus Biotechnology (AI to scale cultivated meat quicker, better and at lower cost, UK)

  • New Wave Biotech (AI Bioprocess Optimisation software to empower SynBio innovators to get to market quicker, cheaper and more sustainably, UK)

  • Nourish Ingredients (animal-free fats using synthetic biology, Australia)

  • Shiru (sustainable ingredients, USA)

  • SilicoLife (AI and biology for sustainable ingredients, Portugal)

  • Triplebar (microprocessor for biology, USA)

  • twig (AI-defined bioengineered ingredients, UK)

🍚 FoodTech in APAC 

APAC is emerging as a major hub of innovation for FoodTech. Did you know Singapore is still the only market in the world that has allowed for the commercialisation of cultivated meat?

And then there’s rice… a staple crop the region is known for, and the most important crop in the developing world. Rice provides food for half the world’s population. But its production comes just behind the livestock sector when it comes to methane emissions, and on a CO2 equivalent basis, emits just as much CO2 as the global aviation industry.

These startups are rising to the challenge in APAC and rice decarbonisation:

  • AgriG8 (rice decarbonisation, Singapore)

  • Allium Bio (co-culturing functional ingredients, Singapore) 

  • Another Food (plant cell cultured coffee, Singapore)

  • CarbonFarm (rice decarbonisation, France)

  • Phyx44 Labs (animal-free proteins and fats, Singapore)

  • Pivot Eat (novel process for plant-based meat, Australia)

  • Umami Bioworks (cultivated seafood, Singapore)

  • Elevate Foods (upgrade existing micro & small farm-gate food processors, Singapore)

🌊 Blue Economy

The ocean and the climate are inextricably linked. Did you know the world’s oceans are the largest heat sink on the planet, providing over 50% of the Earth’s oxygen production and absorbing 23% of all human-caused CO2 emissions?

Yet despite its critical role in tackling climate change, marine ecosystems are under threat from pollution, overfishing and man-made disruption. Startups are driving the blue economy by looking at ways to regenerate, restore, conserve, and clean up our oceans as well as pioneering faux fish alternatives.

Get to know some of the startups in the space:

🌳 Blockchain and MRV for Biodiversity

Global biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. Out of 8 million species in existence, 1 million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, more than ever before in human history. This continued loss means putting our food security, climate regulation, economic stability, and even medicine availability at risk.

MRV measures the positive impacts and biodiversity benefits of protection, restoration, and regeneration projects. And blockchain offers a transparent, decentralised, and secure way to track and manage environmental data.

Take a look at who’s working in the space:

  • Callirius (private capital directly to high-quality nature-based climate projects,  Switzerland)

  • Earthstream physical infrastructure for biodiversity monitoring, UK)

  • Kanop (data analytic for nature-based solutions, France)

  • Open Forest Protocol (bringing transparency and integrity to the carbon credit market, Switzerland)

  • Pivotal (data for positive nature outcomes, UK)

  • Rainforest Connection (eco-acoustic monitoring platform, USA)

  • recarb - offering a science-based rating and monitoring system for the success factors of restoration projects in tropical forests.

  • Space4Good - uses remote sensing to monitor social and environmental impact.

  • Synature - developing real-time biodiversity assessment technologies based on eco-acoustics.

  • The Landbanking Group (a new asset class for regeneration at scale, Germany)

  • Treeconomy (technology to quantify, track and deliver nature’s power to restore the Earth, UK)

  • Xilva (digital infrastructure for forestry investments, Switzerland)

🌬️ Carbon Capture

Excess CO2 in the atmosphere is warming our planet at an alarming rate, largely due to human-driven activities – namely, the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon capture isn’t exactly new tech, but lately startups have been looking at creative ways to capture carbon while also improving environmental conditions.

Some are even using captured emissions to make beneficial products like concrete, plastic, or food to encourage a circular carbon economy and reduce reliance on fossil carbon.

Meet the startups scaling the technologies:

  • Arkeon (food from CO2, Austria)

  • BeZero (carbob ratings agency, UK)

  • Everest Carbon (MRV sensor to unlock gigaton-scale geochemical carbon removals, USA)

  • COLIPI (fermenting renewable carbon, Germany)

  • Divea (CO2 capture  from industrial emissions using graphene membranes, Switzerland)

  • Flux (enhanced rock weathering, Kenya)

  • InPlanet (regenerative agriculture for carbon removal, Brazil)

  • NeoCarbon (direct air capture technology, Germany)

  • NeoCarbons - unlocking the potential of algae using photobioreactor decarbonisation)

  • novoMOF (commercializing advanced materials called Metal-Organic Frameworks, Switzerland)

  • Ucaneo (pioneering biomimetic direct air capture technology, Germany)

  • Turnover Labs (ultra-durable, low cost CO2 utilization technologies, USA)

  • UNDO (enhanced rock weathering, UK)

☕ Alternative Coffee and Chocolate

Coffee and chocolate might feel ubiquitous but they are on track to becoming a luxury product. 

The commodity price for arabica coffee has jumped 40% since 2019, with major coffee retailers like Starbucks up to over $6 a cup. And traditional chocolate faces two economic challenges: a price increase of +300% compared to last year and the potential disappearance of 90% of plantations in Ghana and Ivory Coast by 2050 due to climate change.

Our caffeine and chocolate cravings are unsustainable, especially as these crops are increasingly susceptible to changing tropical climates.

These startups in coffee and cocoa bean are helping to maintain access to the foods and drinks we love:

  • Another Food (plant cell cultured coffee, Singapore)

  • Celleste Bio (creating a proprietary ‘cocoa technology’ that eliminates the industry’s costly reliance on fragile rainforests, Israel)

  • Food Brewer  (cultivating plant cells to produce cocoa and coffee, Switzerland)

  • Foreverland Food (next generation chocolate, Italy)

  • Kokomodo (climate-resilient, cell-cultured cacao for high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, Israel)

  • Minus Coffee (beanless coffee, USA)

  • Northern Wonder (coffee from non-tropical ingredients, Netherlands)

  • Unspent (converts industrial coffee waste into coffee oil, USA)

⚒️ Zero Carbon Cities

Concrete and steel dominate construction today, an industry responsible for almost 40% of global emissions. But to achieve global climate goals, carbon emissions from steel, cement, and concrete need to decrease by more than 90% by 2050. Can’t we build greener?

Turns out we can. Many companies are moving away from traditional recipes and coming up with entirely new bio-based alternatives to building, from wood alternatives to climate-conscious cement.

  • Concrete4Change (CO2 mineralisation into concrete, UK)

  • Kubik (building materials from plastic waste, Ethiopia)

  • Material Evolution (sustainable alternative to OPC, UK)

  • Naturloop (all-natural fiberboard made of coconut husks and natural tannin, Switzerland)

  • Paebbl (industrial material from CO2, Netherlands)

  • Plantaer (detoxifying concrete surfaces to enable plant growth on buildings and roads, USA)

  • Scrimber (load-bearing timber construction products, Switzerland)

  • Strong By Form (timber-based bio-composites, Chile)

  • TileGreen (carbon-negative building materials form low-value plastic waste, Egypt)

  • Scrimber (load-bearing timber construction products, Switzerland)

The HackSummit is Europe’s largest gathering of ClimateTech builders and investors, taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 13-14.

More than just a Climate Conference, The HackSummit is a full week of activities and gatherings where Climate innovation takes over the lakeside city of Lausanne.

Join the startup pitches, fireside chats and debates with industry frontrunners to get exclusive insights, early signals and first-hand data to leapfrog your competition.

Meet us all in Lausanne. Use code FINALFEW for 20% off when you apply for your pass today.