CISL’s new green startup hub welcomes electric motor innovator as first business

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) announces green startup Monumo as the first official member of its newly launched Canopy business hub.

Monumo is an electromagnetic engineering company setting out to reinvent the electric motor.  

Electric motors are an increasingly vital technology in today’s world, using roughly 50% of the world’s energy. They pump domestic water, power transport and keep household appliances, like washing machines, running. But there is an environmental cost. Most electric motors are made with rare earth permanent magnets, producing a huge amount of carbon emissions and toxic waste in the process. Monumo’s technology is different – they are creating a more efficient and sustainable electric motor using complex artificial intelligence (AI) which they think will transform the industry. 

Dominic Vergine co-founded Monumo and was previously in charge of sustainability at Cambridge-based software design company Arm. 

Canopy was launched by the then HRH The Prince of Wales earlier this year and opened its doors to businesses this month (October). It is an incubation hub for startups leading the way in green innovation. The community is open to entrepreneurs creating sustainability solutions, as well as SMEs wanting to integrate sustainability into the core of their business operations. 

As well as being a virtual ecosystem which allows small businesses to network, Canopy is also a physical workspace in the heart of Cambridge. Desks and shared space are housed in CISL’s new Entopia Building – an energy efficient, sustainable retrofit. What used to be a 1930s telephone exchange is now a world-leading example of green architecture. 

Dominic Vergine, Co-founder, Monumo said: “Monumo is proud to be the first Canopy member. Getting a startup or small business off the ground isn’t easy, and it’s important to us that we are networked into the right conversations that can drive forward our solution and contribute to the sustainable innovation agenda more broadly.” 

Canopy members can connect with CISL’s 140 staff, working on green initiatives with international actors in business, government and finance. They become part of CISL’s established network of 27,000 sustainability leaders representing every industry on every continent. 

Members can also apply to join Canopy Accelerator programmes. Delivered across a breadth of sustainability impact themes, these short courses cover everything from net zero targets and the circular economy, to women in sustainability innovation. Previous participants include upcycled fashion startup Alterist and carbon-negative cement manufacturer Low Carbon Materials.  

James Cole, Head of The Canopy and Director, of Corporate Relations and Communications at CISL said: “The solutions to pressing global challenges like poverty, inequality and climate change are not beyond our innovative capacity – but we will have to rewire our systems as well as the way we design and deliver and consume products and services. The Canopy offers a home for mission led founders and innovators to access to the support and networks they need to accelerate their journey to impact and scale.” 

There are various options for SMEs joining Canopy, from dedicated desk space or hot desking to bookable meeting rooms, boardrooms, an event space and even a roof terrace with 360-degree views over the city. 

Canopy is currently inviting pioneering members to apply for workspace and support within our sustainable innovation community. 

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