Edinburgh firm scales up efforts to tackle food waste elimination

Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu, founder of IntelliDigest

EDINBURGH biotechnology firm IntelliDigest is primed to scale up its efforts in tackling food waste thanks to support from Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator programme.

Combining the latest developments in biotech, deeptech, agritech and foodtech, the company, which was founded in 2016 by Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu, is pioneering the elimination of food waste through the promotion of a circular economy, by preventing edible food going to waste, and by converting inedible food waste into sustainable chemicals. These chemicals can then be used for food packaging, cosmetics, growing food and more.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s 18-month Accelerator programme provides support systems for business owners, allowing them time to focus on developing their company through one-to-ones and networking opportunities.

Through the Accelerator, a ‘Power Panel’ of industry experts worked with IntelliDigest on direction and commercialisation, leading seasoned scientific lawyer Patricia Barclay to take on the role of chairperson with the company.

Set to graduate from the programme in January, Dr Kanu has refocused her efforts on strategic restructuring and positioning the company as the go-to-market brand for addressing the food waste challenge.

IntelliDigest’s award-winning services align with UK net-zero emission targets, including its ongoing development of ‘SusChem’, the world’s first blockchain e-commerce platform for sustainable chemicals from upcycled food waste. The team also delivers independent training for stakeholders in the food system, from ‘farm to fork’, in collaboration with EIT Food and UNFAO – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

IntelliDigest was also financially supported through Royal Bank of Scotland’s ‘Back Her Business’ fund-matching scheme, which provided an additional £10,000 towards funds raised by the company.

Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu, IntelliDigest founder, said: “The Entrepreneur Accelerator has been incredibly useful, giving me the opportunity to network and build lasting relationships with other budding entrepreneurs and experts from world-class organisations.

“The opportunity to spend time focusing on business development has been invaluable, as is the bank’s support in other ways – from funding, to signing up to our initiatives.”

Royal Bank of Scotland accelerator manager, Matthew Teague said: “Dr Kanu developed an innovative, sustainable business which drew our attention, but ultimately, her mindset, drive, and enthusiasm were key to her enrolment. It’s been great to see IntelliDigest continue to grow, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store in the years to come.”

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