Skipping Rocks Lab is a London-based start-up developing natural packaging made from seaweed. These materials are designed to be home compostable and serve as alternatives to standard single-use packaging.
We were inspired by the way nature encapsulates liquids by using membranes, from egg yolk to cells or fruits, and old food technology such as spherification for making fake caviar and decided to apply those techniques to packaging.
The team met whilst studying Innovation Design Engineering Masters at Imperial in 2012, and received business support through Co.Create, the pre-curser to the Venture Catalyst Challenge. Co.Create helped us a lot! With legal advice, business development and actually part funded our first patent filing. We then went on to become part of the Climate-KIC accelerator during which time they were based at Imperial Incubator for two years.
Since then we have had some great success with our first product, Ooho!, the edible liquid packaging, doubling our target during equity crowdfunding in just three days and contributing to the first 100% plastic free half marathon.
We’re now a team of 17 and run from our lab based in Bethnal Green. We have developed an industrial machine to make Oohos and are preparing for roll out. We have raised over £2m through equity and grants. To date we’ve sold 200,000 Oohos for running events, festivals, retail, take away.
The best bit is seeing the products that we create being used. It’s exciting to see the impact we’re starting to have. For example, with Just Eat we were able to distribute about 40,000 sachets to 10 take away restaurants in London, so that’s 40,000 people who haven’t contributed a one-time plastic sachet to the landfill. It’s quite an exciting thought!