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From ‘femtech’ to ‘fintech’ and everything between UCL Alumni have nurtured and launched many successful startups. They produce an incredible diversity of unique products, many with a focus on sustainability and ethical business practices and all created with the passion of talented, driven founders.

If you’re looking for goods from sustainable and ethical businesses then this is a great way to do it - all the while supporting home-grown talent. 

For the sustainably-minded

Bio-Bean

A roaring fire on a cold winter’s night?  Completely sustainable way with biofuel logs made with recovered coffee grounds – created by startup bio-bean.  Founded by Arthur Kay (UCL Architecture, 2013) the company recovers over 3,500 tonnes of coffee grounds every year from around 900 Costa stores. It sells its sustainable biofuel products and logs in stores and via Amazon.

Buy sustainable bio-fuel logs

Blackwood

UCL startup Blackwood creates beautiful accessories, using only natural and innovative leather alternatives, such as wood leather and cork leather. They also plant a tree for every product they sell, and aim to make carbon neutral accessories. The company was founded by Oskar Zieba (UCL MEng, Mechanical Engineering with Business Finance, 2019) and Guerric de Ternay (UCL English Legal Studies, 2014).

Buy carbon-neutral accessories

For the festive party-goer

Afrochenchix

A range of hugely popular afro hair products – all vegan, natural, organic and cruelty free. Rachael Corson and Jocelyn Mate came up with the idea for the company while working as professional services staff at UCL. 

Buy vegan, natural, organic and cruelty-free hair products

Double Dutch

Mix things up a little when choosing your drinks at those festive parties with Double Dutch’s unique mixer drinks – combining unusual flavour combinations such as pomegranate and basil. The company was founded by twins Joyce de Haas and Raissa de Haas (UCL MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, 2014) and has sold 10 million bottles across 22 countries

Buy unique mixer drinks

Mélange Drinks

Enjoy ready-to-drink craft alcoholic sodas. Flavours include rhubarb and raspberry, grapefruit and tangerine, and yuzu and passionfruit. Harry Sain (UCL Pedagogy & Communication) and Alec Price (Exeter University) founded their company earlier this year with a commitment to premium and interesting ingredients and without any added sugars or other ‘nasties’.

Buy craft alcoholic sodas

The Oblique Life Members’ Club

Connect with people through experiences – from jazz nights to life-drawing classes. The company was founded by brothers Romi Sumaria (UCL Economics and Geography), Shonil Sumaria (UCL Economics and Geography) and Keyu Sumaria (UCL Spanish and Management).

Buy membership for the Oblique Life Members’ Club

For the foodies and connoisseur

Livia’s

All-natural, vegan, gluten and dairy-free treats. Olivia Wollenburg (UCL Psychology, 2011) founded the company after being diagnosed with severe intolerances. The products are now available online and in stores including Tesco and Boots (check out their special advent calendar).

Buy all-natural, vegan, gluten, diary free treats

Dr Will’s

Dr Will Breakey (UCL PhD Craniofacial Surgery) and Josh Rose cofounded Dr Will’s to sell healthier, additive-free sauces and condiments, like beetroot ketchup and avocado mayonnaise.

Buy healthier, additive-free condiments

Foga

Instant whole-plant smoothies (no need for a blender). The company was founded by husband-and-wife team Phoebe Thirlwell-Pearce (UCL MSc Entrepreneurship) and Ollie Thirlwell-Pearce.

Buy instant whole-plant smoothies

For children

Musemio

Startup Musemio is developing innovative mobile virtual-reality games that allow children to explore arts and culture in a fun and accessible way. Kaitlin Fritz (UCL MA History of Art, 2018) and Olga Kravchenko (King’s College London) created their company to deliver a platform of curriculum-led adventures, quests, and challenges that expand children’s cultural education through exciting gamification.

Virtual reality games to explore art and culture

Playbrush

Playbrush is an interactive smart toothbrush which combines technology and gaming to make the experience of brushing teeth fun and rewarding. The company was founded by Paul Varga (UCL MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, 2013), Tolulope Ogunsina (UCL MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, 2013) and colleague Matthäus Ittner. They’ve sold 175,000 Playbrush units in 25 countries and are partnering with big brands like Unilever. 

Making brushing teeth fun

For the techies

Everyone loves a bargain when it comes to eye-wateringly expensive mobile phones Vendi can make sure you get the best deals with its online marketplace where every buyer, seller and product is verified. The company was co-founded by Pablo Gonzalez-Iglesias (UCL Management Science and Innovation) and business partner Anil Rao.

Buy and sell verified mobile phones

MishiPay

MishiPay delivers a mobile self-checkout solution that allows in-store shoppers to pick up a product, scan the barcode, pay with their phone, and simply walk out of the shop with their purchase. MishiPay’s CEO and founder Mustafa Khanwala (UCL MSc Engineering with Finance) was named among Europe’s top innovators by Forbes.

Mobile self-checkout with MishiPay

Emotech

The ‘world’s first robot with personality’, aiming to be more personal than Amazon’s Echo and similar devices (available for pre-order). CEO and co-founder Hongbin Zhuang (UCL MSc Human Computer Interaction & Ergonomics) brought together the team in 2014.

Pre-order the robot with a personality


Supported by UCL Innovation and Enterprise

In the past academic year, the department has helped create over 70 startups that have collectively raised £9.7 million in investment and created 187 full time jobs. UCL Innovation and Enterprise helps supports students, alumni and staff to achieve entrepreneurial dreams. 

To find out more visit the student section of the UCL Innovation & Enterprise website