Hall of Fame / Pavegen
London, United Kingdom
The past twelve months have been transformative for Laurence Kemball-Cook and his renewable energy start-up, Pavegen, which converts kinetic energy from footsteps into renewable electricity. Having recently installed Pavegen technology at Heathrow Terminal 3, the company went on to sign its biggest deal to date with Shell, to create the world’s first player-powered community football pitch in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, as part of Shell’s #makethefuture campaign. Furthermore, in 2013, Laurence become the youngest delegate to join a trade mission to China with the UK’s Prime Minister.
In 2009, Laurence started Pavegen single-handedly from a Brixton bedsit with four employees. Currently headquartered in London, the business now achieves a turnover of over £1.2m (US $1.8m), employs 30 permanent staff and has distributors in 8 countries including the US, Australia, Korea and New Zealand.
In its formative years, Pavegen secured a £1,000 (US $1,500) start-up grant from the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award fund, instrumental in helping the business expand quickly. After his internship experience at a leading energy company, Laurence wanted to find a way to get around the problems associated with conventional methods of producing renewable energy. Pavegen’s signature paving slabs convert energy from people's footsteps into electrical power, with the aim being that one day these slabs will cost as little as a normal floor tile.
After securing the runner-up prize in the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition, Pavegen then went on to the Shell Springboard 2013 finals. The funding and networking opportunities have enabled Laurence to accelerate the rate of Pavegen’s expansion, with 2014 seeing installations of the floor tiles across 22 countries around the world. These include the ‘Walk the Light’ experience at Heathrow Terminal 3, which powers LED lights situated along the walls of a busy corridor, and is being used to raise awareness of energy usage and sustainability issues within the airport.
The future for Pavegen is as bright as its installations, and Laurence remains focussed on his original goals. The company is already recognised as one of the fastest growing clean-tech firms in London, and with a realistic aim being to install their floor tiles in every city in the world, it seems that these first 22 countries are simply an early step on a global adventure.