Bangladeshi start-up Cassetex wins global green business idea contest

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The three cofounders of Bangladeshi start-up Cassetex, which won this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad, a leading global green business idea competition Courtesy

More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 56 countries participated in the global climate competition

A Bangladeshi team of three has won this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad, a leading global green business idea competition, for inventing a solar-powered battery swapping service for electric three-wheelers.

Through the innovation, the team hopes to transition more than one million vehicles and save 0.47 megaton of CO2 per year, according to the official website of the competition.

Gopal Kumar Mohoto, Tauseef Anwar, and Ahmad are the cofounders of the start-up Cassetex, which represented Bangladesh for the first time in this competition and won the award along with €10,000 in prize money.

“Being amongst the top start-ups in the world is a tremendous recognition for Cassetex and Bangladesh. The transport sector is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and one of the toughest sectors to bring change to,” said Gopal, the CTO of Cassetex.

“We are humbled by this award, and we hope it will help us solve the critical challenges in the transport sector in Bangladesh,” he added.

More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 56 countries participated in the global climate competition that took place online from September 30 to October 2.

A team called Sosei representing a company from Uruguay, which provides tailored solutions to help farmers and agricultural companies ease into regenerative agriculture while optimizing profits and minimizing risks, won the second prize.

Mumbai-based design and material innovation start-up “Carbon Craft Design” picked the third spot with their architectural and interior products that up-cycle carbon emission.

What Cassetex says

Bangladesh has more than 1.5 million electric last-mile transports across the country, which helps avoid harmful emissions in small cities and provide a sustainable source of income for many people, says Cassetex.

But these vehicles have become a burden on the national electricity infrastructure. There are new rules to control these vehicles, leading to losses and rising costs.

Cassetex will provide 100% solar powered battery swapping stations.

“Our service will increase the daily operating range of these vehicles, leading growth in income. Our technology is more efficient due to lightweight batteries requiring no maintenance,” it says.

Cassetex customers will never have to repair or replace these batteries. They will only pay for the energy they use, through popular mobile financial services.

By targeting 25% of the intended market, the start-up hopes to achieve profits of $11.2 million in five years.

The competition

Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of event organizer EIT Climate-KIC, called the winners of this year’s ClimateLaunchpad Grand Finale “absolutely inspiring.”

“ClimateLaunchpad offers green entrepreneurs from all around the world the chance to transform their best ideas into a company, a product, and jobs for people in their community,” he added.

A total of 972 entrepreneurs completed a self-paced online learning curriculum this year, while 780 start-ups participated in a full training program globally.

Winning teams of National and Regional Finals were invited to compete in the Global Grand Final, resulting in 68 teams pitching in front of expert jury panels this week.

Celebrating outstanding climate innovators, ClimateLaunchpad winners were chosen by an international jury that looked at the business potential of the finalists’ ideas as well as the social impact, job creation, climate impact and the quality of their pitch.

They were categorized in eight main themes: Resilient Regions, Climate-Friendly Food, Healthy Clean Cities, Circular Economies, Clean Energy Systems, Sustainable Mobility, Cleantech, and The Next Big Thing.

The top 16 teams selected by the jury to perform in the Final Round of the Global Grand Final will get direct access to the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator program for climate positive start-ups.

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