Skoll Centre Venture Award winners: Tree-planting Quad-Copters and Farmers’ Transport Logistics

Monday, July 28, 2014

Two new social ventures with founding teams from the University of Oxford have been chosen to receive this year’s Skoll Centre Venture Awards. The winners are Biocarbon Engineering, focusing on replanting one billion trees annually through the use of quad-copter technology, and Linkage, which aims to help smallholder farmers in Kenya to improve their selling practises and supply chain using an Uber-like logistics and transport system.

About the awards

The annual Skoll Centre Venture Awards are given to University of Oxford students whose ventures are deemed to have the most potential to create large scale social impact. Last year’s winnersincluded ventures in areas as diverse as agri-technology, travel booking for the disabled and game-based learning technology. Each winning venture receives up to £20k in funding from theSkoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, which is based at the Saïd Business School, in Oxford.

About this year’s winners

Biocarbon Engineering is an organisation which aims to automate industrial scale reforestation through the use of unmanned quad-copters, remote sensing, automated mapping, and high-velocity, air-fired planting systems, with a view to planting 1 billion trees per year. The team is led by PhD candidate / NASA veteran Lauren Fletcher and current Oxford MBA student Matt Ritchie. The venture will receive £20k in funding from the Skoll Centre.

’Being awarded the Skoll Venture Award this year is an amazing honour,’ said co-founders Lauren and Matt. ’We plan to plant 1 billion trees each year, so we are incredibly grateful for the validation of our concept from an organisation that is globally recognized as a leader in preserving, protecting, and expanding our global forests and jungles. The funding will allow us to build and validate the critical path technology and will lead to full field tests of the planting technology within the next 6-12 months. We are really excited about the connections and collaborations that we are already making through the Skoll Centre.’

Source: Skoll Centre (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
financial inclusion, poverty alleviation