Chip[s] Board pitch at Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition 2018 - Central Research Laboratory Skip to main content

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CRL were as pleased as could be to go to City Hall to see Chip[s] Board pitch as part of the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition 2018. The event, which took place on Tuesday 17 April, saw a selection of some of the Capital’s most promising sustainability-orientated entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of industry-leaders in the hope of winning a prize of £20k to advance their respective products. They were one of ten start-ups invited to take part, following 450 applications.

Chip[s] Board, who are currently on CRL’s Accelerator, make a MDF-like material made using potato waste. At the heart of the product is sustainability; once they’ve made connections with industry, this could see the start-up take tonnes of potato waste and turn it into a versatile, entirely eco-friendly material.

The Chip[s] Board team, made up of Rowan Minkley and Rob Nicoll, were asked rounds of thorough questions by the judges, including ‘are there enough potato peels to replace MDF market?’, ‘how does it biograde?’ and ‘what are the ingredients?’. All valid questions, and all answered with ease by Rob, Chief Product Officer at Chip[s] Board.

It was exciting to see this young start-up pitch with such confidence and professionalism. We’re already looking forward to seeing them pitch as part of part of CRL’s Demo Day on 19 July.


Chip[s] Board pitching to judges as part of Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition


Rowan on being chosen for and pitching at the competition:


“We’re really proud to have been selected for the finals and nominated as contenders for the winning position. It was an amazing experience to be part of and has really helped us develop our pitch quality. We hope the best of luck to all the other participants, particularly to the winners WithLula as their product sounds revolutionary for the female sanitation market“


The full list of start-ups that pitched included:


Cardios – A new system that helps people with heart failure to self-monitor their conditions. The aim is to reduce re-hospitalisation rates and improve outcomes for patients. 

(By Gabriel Lee, Ragav Manimaran and Jaime Valdemoros. UCL)


Chakra – is a reusable cup vending system designed to replace disposable coffee cups. The machine will offer cashback to consumers depositing their cups. These are then washed and reused.

(By Yashvini Shukla, Harshavan Mahendran and Aelf Vandelbegin. UCL)


Chip[s] Board – is a green, biodegradable alternative to chipboard and MDF. It is made from potato waste. As such, it contains no toxic resins or chemicals.

(By Rowan Minkley and Rob Nicoll. Kingston)


Carbon Negative Permeable Pavement System –CNPPS is the world’s first carbon negative road paving. During its lifetime, each metre squared of CNPPS paving captures the same amount of carbon as a medium-sized tree.

(By Kamal Farid. Greenwich)


Electric Vehicle Charging Network – To help people switch to electric vehicles, charging needs to be made easier. This new online system will support the community to share their personal home chargers with each other.

(By Allen Alexander Coppin. Westminster)


 Gridplug London – is a simple demand side response service designed for use by the average consumer. It has a ‘plug and play’ device which allows users to let the grid manage their appliances and save energy.

(By Luke Jones and Rose Armitage. Imperial College)


Liveli –  is a new service for landlords that saves energy and money.  Energy saving measures are installed in rented properties. The cash saved is then reinvested into fresh schemes to save energy. 

(By William Darby, David Cordell and Jamie Harbour. Imperial College)


Musa X – is a fresh way of making sustainable textiles. It uses waste from growing bananas.

(By Lucas Fuhrmann and Valentin Jahn. LSE)


Soluboard – is a new material that could change the printed circuit board industry forever. It has been designed to break down in water. This makes it much easier to reclaim and reuse electronic parts.

(By Jack Herring. Royal College of Art)


WithLula – is developing an eco-friendly sanitary pad. It is quick and easy to dispose of and doesn’t cause harmful waste.

(By Aaron Koshy, Dr. Olivia Ahn, Shyam Anjaria and Gunangad Arora. Imperial College)