Breathable Cities programme to accelerate startups in the air quality field

Growth Studio and Impact on Urban Health are launching ‘Breathable Cities’ to assist startups working to improve air quality in urban areas.

Growth Studio is a specialist in building global accelerators for startups. The organisation was co-founded by Paul Finch and Rayan Jawad in 2016 to help founders and their teams develop, build and launch solutions – particularly in what they refer to as the ‘tech-for-good’ space – that make the world a better place to live.

silhouette of buildings during sunset

Impact on Urban Health is a charitable foundation which 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.

The Breathable Cities accelerator – which is being launched this week – aims to assist the growth of 10-12 startups working to improve air quality. It will initially be focussed in London but there is a plan to subsequently expand the programme globally.

It is a free, intense 14 week programme, the benefits of which 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 one-to-one coaching.

The search for startups takes in those businesses who are working to prevent air pollution at source, contain particulate matter in place or remove it from the air. They may be addressing indoor or ambient air pollution and they may be working in specific industries such as transport or construction. 

Paul Finch, Co-Founder, Growth Studio said: ‘We designed Breathable Cities with a sharp sense of urgency in mind. 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, said: ‘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’.


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