Stepping up to global ambitions
Laurence Kemball-Cook, Founder, Pavegen
Staff: 30 (offices in London, Australia, Japan and Korea)
2013 Revenue: £1.2 million
Laurence Kemball-Cook of Pavegen.
2014 has been transformative for Laurence Kemball-Cook and his renewable energy start-up, Pavegen. Having recently installed Pavegen technology at Heathrow Terminal 3 and Stratford Westfield, the company has now signed its biggest deal to date with Shell in a major international project. Furthermore, late 2013 also saw Laurence become the youngest delegate to join a trade mission to China with the Prime Minister.
In 2009 Laurence started Pavegen single-handedly from a Brixton bedsit with four employees. The business now employs 30 permanent staff, located in London, Australia, Japan and Korea. Having himself received an internship in the energy sector, this year Pavegen will take on five interns, an increase from the two yearly places Laurence has been able to offer in the past.
In its formative years, Pavegen secured a £1,000 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 has allowed 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.
Laurence Kemball-Cook won a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award in June 2011 and was a finalist for the 2011 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.