New Breathable Cities accelerator launches in London

April 20, 2023
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Breathable Cities is on a mission to seek out UK startups improving air quality in cities and urban neighbourhoods. This brand new accelerator programme is designed to help early stage businesses implement their clean air solutions with greater speed and increased success.

Up to 36,000 deaths per year in the UK are attributed to pollution, affecting more people who live in deprived urban environments and more noticeable in communities that are clinically vulnerable or from minority backgrounds. Long-term exposure to polluted air can lead to reduced life expectancy from cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and lung cancer. What’s more, damaging air quality can be prevalent in both indoor and outdoor environments.

With an ambition to transform some of these devastating outcomes, Breathable Cities is a free 14 week intense programme designed to find and help accelerate 8-10 selected startups whose solution prevents or reduces air pollution. Programme benefits include a non equity grant of £10,000 and a range of expert support modules. These include fine tuning business concepts, founder and investor readiness. growth marketing, bespoke workshops, pitching clinics and 121 coaching.

Breathable Cities is a uniquely purpose driven partnership between Impact on Urban Health, and Growth Studio – mutual organisations with a driving commitment to find solutions that improve human and planet health.

Impact on Urban Health is part of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, a charitable foundation with a mission of health equity, including impact investing for health. Impact on Urban Health aims to make urban areas healthier places for everyone to live, by removing obstacles to good health. Their Health effects of air pollution programme explores how people’s health is affected by poor air quality and tests solutions to reduce this harmful impact.

Growth Studio is a specialist in building global accelerators for startups. The organisation, co-founded by Paul Finch and Rayan Jawad, helps founders and their teams develop, build and launch solutions – particularly technologies – that make the world a better place to live.

“We designed Breathable Cities with a sharp sense of urgency in mind,explains Paul Finch, Co-Founder, Growth Studio. “We want to catapult solutions that resolve the catastrophic result of polluted air – both in and outdoors. Transforming the human impact of poor air quality is fundamental to our Breathable Cities mission and eventually we hope to be able to provide this type of support to startups and cities worldwide.”

Kate Langford, Director of the Health Effect of Air Pollution programme at Impact on Urban Health, says, “Air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to health. It causes tens of thousands of deaths every year in the UK and costs the economy billions of pounds. But it’s also a social justice issue. Time and time again, research shows that while everyone is affected, it’s those on lower incomes, from minoritised ethnicities, children, or older people, who suffer the biggest burden from air pollution.

“We’re excited to support the Breathable Cities accelerator programme. We want to help businesses stay efficient while reducing air pollution in our cities. And what better place to look for innovative and creative solutions for air pollution than start-up businesses?”

Kevin O’Malley, Clean Air Innovation Lead, Innovate UK, adds: “Air pollution is the biggest environmental health threat to the UK. Fortunately this county has a strong, emerging Clean Air Tech sector, and with the right support and investment this industry can not only deliver air quality improvements at home and abroad but will also create significant economic growth and high quality sustainable jobs for the UK.”

The Breathable Cities accelerator programme is open to applications from a wide range of industry startups who are already building innovations that tackle air pollution and clean air inequity in cities. Following a selected shortlist, the programme will commence in June 2023 and run until September 2023. Applications can be submitted here.

For more information or interviews with representatives from Impact on Urban Health, Growth Studio or Breathable Cities partners, please contact Gaby Jesson ([email protected]).

About Impact on Urban Health

  • Impact on Urban Health works to make urban areas healthier places for everyone to live. Its Health effects of air pollution programme explores how people’s health is affected by poor air quality and tests solutions to reduce this harmful impact.
  • Please contact Farid Kelekun.
  • Impact on Urban Health

About Growth Studio

  • Growth Studio is a specialist in building global accelerators for startups. The organisation, co-founded by Paul Finch and Rayan Jawad, helps founders and their teams develop, build and launch solutions – particularly technologies – that make the world a better place to live.
  • Please contact Gaby Jesson
  • Growth Studio

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