15th July 2019, Bristol, United Kingdom – Sustainable indoor farming company, LettUs Grow, has been crowned national winner of one of Shell’s Enterprise Development awards, announced at Shell’s Energy Summit in London.
Co-founder and Managing Director of LettUs Grow, Charlie Guy, has been awarded the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, receiving a total of £30,000 to help scale the indoor farming company.
LettUs Grow has developed aeroponic indoor farming technology that can grow crops without sunlight or soil whilst reducing water and fertiliser use by up to 95 per cent in the process. Their systems don’t need pesticides or herbicides and can massively reduce the environmental impact of delivering food from farm to fork, by siting farms in rural and urban locations.
Charlie Guy, Co-founder and Managing Director of LettUs Grow, had this to say about the win: “I am truly honoured to have won amongst such an impressive group of finalists. Making it through the competitive process for the national competition is fantastic validation for the potential impact of our technology. It’s a testament to the amazing work from our whole team over the past three years, to bring our unique indoor growing products to market. We’re looking forward to working with the best growers from around the world, to realise the full impact of our technology over the coming years!”
The judges of the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award included Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise Hub at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Discussing why they chose Charlie as this year’s winner, Ana Avaliani said: “Despite working in the increasingly popular sector of vertical farming, Charlie impressed the judges with LettUs Grow’s truly innovative patent-pending technology with a unique farm managementsoftware for indoor and vertical farms. Charlie himself has all of the makings of an entrepreneur: his vision for the company – to grow the world’s leading vertical farming business – was evident in every aspect of the presentation, and his passion to feed people in a more sustainable way was clear. I’m excited to watch the business scale and expand into markets outside the UK, deliver on its mission to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce and see how Shell’s funding can support this growth.”
Following a day of pitches from the finalists, the winners were announced at the Energy Summit by Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge (Chair of The Carbon Trust) and Sinead Lynch (Chair of Shell UK).
Sinead Lynch, Chair of Shell UK, said: “The UK is a global leader in innovation, producing game-changing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. At Shell, we recognise the pivotal role UK innovators will play in a successful energy transition, and we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs in commercialising and scaling their technologies. I have been greatly impressed by the calibre of the finalists and their ideas to accelerate the energy transition.”
All the finalists, together with alumni from the Springboard and Shell LiveWIRE programmes, were then invited to attend Start-Up Connect, a Shell event for low-carbon start-ups looking to scale. The afternoon was hosted by Oli Barrett, founder of Start-Up Britain, and connected 100 low-carbon entrepreneurs with over 300 senior executives and bright minds to help them succeed. It featured talks and panel sessions from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and advisers on capitalising on failures, winning hearts and minds with innovation, fitness to scale, and funding opportunities.