ISCF 2017 – The Winners Are ..

GIMA Press Release

11th September 2017

bio-bean scoops the 2017 GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund

A proven vehicle for celebrating grass roots development and true innovation, the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund (GISCF) has already contributed to helping three brands crack the garden retail market both here and across the globe. This year, another company is set to benefit from the GISCF excellent prize package. Introducing the 2017 winners – bio-bean. 

A clean technology company, bio-bean has industrialised the process of recycling spent coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. It was the company’s Coffee Logs that captured the attention of the judges thanks to its simplicity and environmentally friendly nature. Beating off stiff competition, bio-bean – as GISCF winners - will receive support up to the value of £6,000 to help with development and marketing costs associated with entering the UK garden retail market, including a year’s full GIMA membership, and a wide range of business support tools.

Coffee Logs are quite simply, a fuel for stoves, wood burners and chimeneas. The difference comes from the fact that the logs are each made from 25 cups of spent coffee grounds. These compressed coffee grounds produce more heat and burn longer than wood, making them not just cost efficient but help to lower emissions and reduce waste.

GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “We’re incredibly pleased to confirm that bio-bean is the 2017 winner of the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. The company, its processes and resulting product are not just innovative, but they are also changing the way we think about traditional heating methods, and how recycling of an everyday bi-product can reduce waste and lower our environmental impact. bio-bean are certainly opening a wide conversation about waste and how it can be reinvented. We’re so pleased to be helping them reach a wider audience.”


In addition to choosing a winner, the panel also selected two highly commended companies. Those just missing out on the highly coveted title were:

  • Screen with Envy - Made from an advanced mix of wood and composite, these UK designed modular garden screens and trellises are unique in the market. Offered in a variety of sizes, colours and stunning designs, the products look like wood, and can be cut to size like wood. However, due to the composite mix of the material, they won’t warp, rot, mould or age. They are UV treated and fully waterproof.
  • SmartPlant™ - SmartPlant is the app for people with plants. The app provides plant and pest identification, monthly plant care advice and the ability to chat with over 100 regional plant experts. With hundreds of thousands of downloads and an instore presence in over 110 plant retail locations in both the UK and USA, SmartPlant is focussed on making sure everyone can grow beautiful, healthy plants. SmartPlant’s latest innovation, SmartPlant barcode scanning technology, allows people to scan the barcode of their new plants and automatically receive monthly care advice.

As the winner, bio-bean is now set to receive funding and help with the development and marketing of their product, together with support from experts within the industry.

To find out more about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund please join GIMA on-stand at Glee 2017, Hall 20, stand P44-Q55.

Tell us more about bio-bean

bio-bean is the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into biofuels. In the UK, we are drinking more coffee than ever before, creating around 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds every single year. In the past, cafés, office blocks and instant coffee factories have spent millions of pounds to send vast quantities of this waste straight to landfill - where it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. bio-bean is the answer to this problem: we recycle thousands of tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year, processing them into amazing carbon-neutral fuels like our new Coffee Logs. Coffee Logs, which are available in supermarkets, garden centres and garage forecourts all over the UK are the most exciting new fuel in the UK - burning hotter and longer than wood and helping the environment too.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the journey of bio-bean?

Since we were founded by Arthur Kay in 2013, bio-bean has grown rapidly. We work with major coffee chains like Costa and Caffe Nero, collect coffee from railway stations and office blocks all over the UK, have recently expanded our collection route to Birmingham and Manchester, and launched our unique Coffee Logs product – which have since become an Amazon Bestseller!

With a team of over 35 people split between our London offices and the world's first coffee recycling factory in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire, it's an exciting time for the whole bio-bean team as our sales and production grow even further.

How did you hear about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund? What made you enter the award?

Our Communications and Marketing Executive, Pippa, found out about the award through Glee communications and thought we'd be a perfect fit. We entered the business as part of our preparations for this autumn's attendance at Glee. We are absolutely thrilled to have won - as a growing start-up with a new product this support will help us take our business to the next level.

What can people at Glee expect to see from you?

We can't wait to meet attendees at Glee. Come down to Stand 20A31 to get your hands on a sample of our Coffee Logs, meet our friendly team and be in with a chance of winning a prize or two!

 Visit bio-bean at Glee, NEC Birmingham (Hall 20 Stand A31) 11th – 13th September 2017.



For further information on this press release please contact:

GIMA Press Office: 01959 564947 or


Notes to Editors

About GIMA

The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) is a membership organisation representing the majority share of suppliers and manufacturers operating within the UK gardening industry. Formed in 1999, its goal is to promote the commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU based companies supplying the UK garden industry. Run by a small team of dedicated professionals, and governed by a council of members, GIMA is funded by membership subscriptions and services. The range of services and support provided for members is extensive, offering something for all members, regardless of their size or heritage