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Falling Walls Venture Pitches – Session 1: Sustainability

Kelpi, Reverion, Luminescent Heat Engine, Sonocrete, MacroCarbon, Proxima Fusion, Projini Agchem


Falling Walls Venture is a global platform to showcase the entrepreneurial potential in science. The format provides a stage for pioneering science-based start-ups who have successfully turned science into business, proving how entrepreneurial solutions can help solve today’s most pressing challenges.

Throughout the year, universities and institutions from all over the world are called upon to nominate the most innovative science start-up for the competition. The most promising young companies, carefully selected by our Advisory Board, are invited to pitch on the Falling Walls Venture stage in Berlin on 7 November. They also gain access to the whole Falling Walls Science Summit as well as to exclusive networking events and the Falling Walls Community.

Session 1: Sustainability

In 5-minute pitches, each of the 25 international Falling Walls Venture winners will present their pioneering ideas and business models in front of a high-calibre jury and audience in Berlin.

1. Neil Morris, Kelpi, Breaking the Wall to a High Water-barrier, Biodegradable Polymer

2. Stephan Herrmann, Reverion, Breaking the Wall to Climate Positive Power

3. Doron Tamir, Luminescent Heat Engine, Breaking the Wall to Zero-emission Electricity from Waste Heat

4. Ricardo Remus, Sonocrete, Breaking the Wall to Sustainable Concrete

5. Mar Fernandez Mendez, MacroCarbon, Breaking the Wall to Defossilizing the Chemical Industry

6. Francesco Sciortino, Proxima Fusion, Breaking the Wall to Fusion Energy

7. Dotan Peleg, Projini Agchem, Breaking the Wall of Resistant Weeds with AI-generated Herbicides

Find out more about the start-ups pitched on stage here.


United Kingdom

Kelpi is a world-leading sustainable materials innovation business – harnessing the properties of seaweed to create compostable, marine-safe, low-carbon bio-based packaging. They’re addressing the horrors of marine plastic pollution by replacing fossil fuel-plastics with materials that biodegrade fully, leaving no toxins nor microplastics behind.

Kelpi’s unique coating material is created entirely from seaweed and other plant-based materials. Using these feedstocks, Kelpi develops coatings for paper, card and other substrates to create packaging that in many cases can not only match but even exceed the performance of fossil fuel plastics. What makes Kelpi unique is their material’s ability to provide a long term water barrier, in addition to resistance to moisture, oxygen, acid and grease.

Reverion’s mission is to make carbon-negative power generation possible at scale and become the first cost competitive BECCS technology in the market. They are starting with biogas: the only renewable energy source that can provide both secure base load and control power for the fluctuating feed-in from wind and photovoltaics.

As a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich, they have developed and patented the first all-in-one power plant that has the following three main characteristics. 1. It electrochemically converts biogas or hydrogen into electricity with highest electrical efficiencies of 80% (which doubles the efficiency of state-of-the-art solutions). 2. It has a reversible operation mode and can also produce green hydrogen or methane from electricity (Power-to-Gas). 3. It captures pure, storable CO2, enabling cost-effective, negative CO2 emissions for the first time.

Reverion power plants consist of standardized container units. These are designed for series production and plug&play installation to easily replace existing gas engines.

Luminescent heat engine, founded in 2020 and based in Israel, is dedicated to advancing heat technology. Their unique solution, a liquid-based isothermal engine, transforms heat into usable, zero-emission electricity. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionize waste heat recovery, geothermal energy, re-gasification, and long-duration renewable energy storage. It also significantly upgrades existing power systems, converting small open-cycle gas turbines into more efficient combined-cycle systems.
Their versatile technology transforms industrial waste heat from 100 to 700 degrees Celsius into electricity. Actively seeking design partners, they’re set to integrate their technology into various systems. With its groundbreaking technology, Luminescent heat engine is poised to redefine the energy landscape.

Sonocrete is a pioneering start-up on a mission to address the environmental impact of the concrete industry. Cement, the main ingredient of concrete, accounts for 8% of global carbon emissions. Recognizing this issue, Sonocrete is striving to make a significant impact by reducing these emissions by 30%.

Sonocrete achieves this reduction through their innovative use of high-power ultrasound to accelerate the hydration reaction in concrete. This enables a decrease in cement levels without compromising the performance and quality of the concrete. This approach has the potential to revolutionize the industry by offering a more sustainable alternative.

By deploying their ultrasound-based pre-mixing system, Sonocrete is poised to transform the concrete industry, making it more environmentally friendly and paving the way for a more sustainable future.

MacroCarbon is a start-up based in the Canary Islands that specializes in developing Sargassum stationary aquafarming with integrated harvesting and processing. Their goal is to create drop-in feedstocks for the chemical industry such as bionaphtha. Unlike other seaweeds, free-floating Sargassum doesn’t require expensive infrastructure and it can double its mass every 10 days. MacroCarbon aims to develop cost-effective and sustainable methods for growing Sargassum as a biological feedstock for the circular economy.

MacroCarbon’s farms will be integrated with offshore platforms or wind farms. They are working with their partners to develop integrated processing for immediate processing into high-value chemicals.

Proxima Fusion is working to develop power plants via optimized stellarators, devices that form magnetic cages for high-energy matter.

Proxima is the first-ever spin-out company from the Max Planck Society Institute for Plasma Physics, which built and operates the most advanced stellarator on the planet, W7-X. Research over the past decade has now set the stage for Proxima to leverage modern optimization tools and design capabilities, and accelerate fusion. With W7-X reaching high-performance in continuous operation, uniquely among fusion concepts, Proxima Fusion is catalyzing the creation of a new fusion ecosystem in Europe.

Connecting partners from industry and academia, the Proxima Fusion founding team, coming together from the Max Planck Society, MIT and Google, is now entering the race for fusion energy to turn stellarators into economically viable fusion power plants.

Projini uses a proprietary bio-convergence platform developed originally for drug discovery, and applies it to crop protection.

In the recent Agri-Tech Innovation summit, they announced the first-ever AI-generated herbicide prototypes, validated to control herbicide-resistant weeds, including weeds which inflict a $16B annual crop loss for soy and corn farmers in the US.

Projini patented novel small molecules for weed control, and is advancing to prove efficiency in field conditions. They aim to demonstrate that AI-discovery can out-pace and out-perform all other discovery operations which are based on phenotypic screening.

They slash the cost of discovery, while accelerating the process that may otherwise take years or even decades, to several months.


About the Venue
Radialsystem – Studio A
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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