MODUL University team secures place on Expo 2020 accelerator programme with social impact investing app Carb-In
March 02,2019

App underlines university’s commitment to innovation and sustainability

A team of MSc students from MODUL University Dubai has secured a place on an accelerator programme, which is being conducted by Expo 2020 Dubai’s global funding and partnership programme Expo Live in conjunction with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa).

The placement will enable the student team to further develop their start-up, Carb-In – a sustainable enterprise that will give UAE investors and individuals the chance to ‘do well, by doing good’. 

The bespoke accelerator programme, which supports student teams that secured funding and support as part of Expo Live’s University Innovation Programme (UIP), is designed to empower young innovators with the tools necessary for the next stages of their entrepreneurial journeys.

Andrea Hesketh, David May and Yauheniya Nestsiarenka, three students on the master’s program in Sustainable Development, Management and Policy, hit on the idea of Carb-In while studying a course under Professor Jeremy Williams that covers the emerging phenomenon of social impact investment. 

The business idea is based around an app that will enable investors to make a positive social and environmental impact while generating private financial returns. With Carb-In, investors will be connected to renewable energy and other sustainability related projects in Africa, providing users with options to offset their personal carbon emissions through carbon neutralizing investment. The app will offer individuals a working mechanism to remain carbon neutral (or positive) through a range of investment vehicles that will earn them a profit. 

Zaid Maleh, Managing Director of MODUL University Dubai, said: “This app, and the incredible effort of the students and university staff, underlines the commitment that we have at MODUL University Dubai to innovation and sustainable solutions. The Carb-In app and the hard work that has already gone into the idea is the best evidence there is of the quality of professors and faculty, and the attitude of the students day in, day out at MODUL University Dubai.” 

The app uses a carbon calculator that will track and monitor a user’s emissions, before partnering the investor with specific social impact investment firms, allowing the investor to select projects that will pay returns on carbon offsets.

Next steps for the team behind the sustainable enterprise app includes work on a Sharia compliant structure to facilitate Islamic investment and incentives, and consultation with financial advisors, experts and social impact investment firms to facilitate financial transactions and zero-default investment programs.

Carb-In was one of 47 UAE-based student teams to receive grants of up to AED50,000, plus guidance and exposure, as part of the Expo Live UIP. After continuing its collaboration with Expo Live, it became one of 28 UIP grantees to secure a place on the accelerator programme, which will see the young innovators mentored by Sheraa’s in-house team of experts, helping them to further develop their social impact investment project.

MODUL University Dubai, a subsidiary of Dubai Investments, has focused its efforts in the space of sustainability and innovation with the launch of the Centre for Sustainability through Research and Education (CSRE), a fully integrated research centre with the mission of facilitating sustainable solutions.