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Start-up receives funding to develop emission-free delivery of cold produce

Last year the Breathable Cities programme, set out to find and assist startups working in the air quality field.  The organisers, Growth Studio and Impact on Urban Health, received more than 70 applications, eventually resulting in 10 startups being chosen.

The startups were rewarded with an intense 14 week programme, the benefits of which include a non equity grant of £10,000 and a range of expert support modules to fine tune business concepts and offer founder and investor readiness, growth marketing, bespoke workshops, pitching clinics and one-to-one coaching.

One of the chosen start-ups was Hubl Logistics who pitched a new, innovative way for last-leg logistics companies to store and deliver cold-produce into cities, reducing the environmental effects and cost of food transport.

Eight months later and Hubl have announced that they have secured a funding grant of £1,000,241 from Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst Fund to enable  Hubl Logistics and partners, Aston University, Engineeronics Ltd and Malawi Fruits to address clean food refrigeration in Malawi. 

Founded by engineering entrepreneur Hugh Frost, with a team that combines 80 years of industry experience, Hubl Logistics design technology that transforms the climate impact of chilled goods delivery and transport support systems.

Currently in trial with UK wholesalers, newly launched CoolRun pods are stackable, mobile units for vans and trucks that reduce emissions from refrigerated vehicles and integrate seamlessly within existing vehicular infrastructure.

Fitted with smart technology that remotely regulates temperature through IoT sensors, CoolRun units feature a unique air flow system that enables uniform and adjustable cooling.

This year, the Hubl team will be working with their partners to implement a new micro mobile, affordable and accessible refrigeration system for farmers in Malawi, East Africa, called CoolRun Malawi.

The bespoke cooling innovation, supported by the Energy Catalyst Fund will enable Malawian farmers (predominantly women) to eradicate heat associated food waste and access wider sales and growth opportunities.

Hugh Frost, Hubl Logistics Founder said: ‘ It’s been a fast and exciting journey of growth for us. The Innovate UK funding has enabled us to rapidly accelerate our innovation, tackling harmful emissions caused by food transport refrigeration – both here in the UK and overseas’.

Hubl Logistics recently graduated from the Breathable Cities accelerator programme in 2023 supporting startups tackling air pollution. The business is testing solutions in London boroughs.

Growth Studio say they are almost ready to launch Breathable Cities 2, which they promise to be ‘much bigger and we think even more impactful than last year.’  Watch this space.

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