Young Innovators Success Stories: Matthew Isaacs, My Emissions, London
Bringing climate transparency to the food sector with carbon labelling
Matthew Isaacs started My Emissions to help food companies be more transparent about their climate impact. His product calculates the carbon footprint of food, so brands can add carbon labels to products and menus. This helps consumers make more sustainable food choices.
When Matthew first won the Young Innovators Award, he had a strong idea and minimum viable product (MVP), but very little traction.
“I had an idea of what we wanted the company to offer. However, we only had one client, no scalable processes and no case studies or examples of people using our labelling,” Matthew remembers.
A year on, My Emissions has 50 paying customers (including clients in the US and Canada), a full-time team of nine and more than £100k in revenue.
Over the course of the Young Innovators programme, the business has seen phenomenal growth and achieved a number of significant milestones.
Matthew secured three clients in the space of a week in March, which offered validation that food companies were willing to adopt the carbon labelling. Crucially, it also gave My Emissions the case studies and testimonials it needed to win new clients and start growing.
Two months later, the business closed a 400k funding round. In addition to providing a 12-month runway, the funding allowed Matthew to hire new staff and bring valuable expertise into the business.
Matthew signed the company’s first major client in September, putting My Emissions on strong footing heading into next year.
“Our first major client is a household name. While the deal remains confidential, it shows us that we can work with enterprise-level clients. That proves the market opportunity and gives us significant revenue, which will allow us to grow and expand our business,” he says.
Age isn’t a barrier
Winning the Young Innovators Award has given Matthew confidence in both his own capabilities and the potential for My Emissions.
His biggest area of growth during the programme has been in his management and leadership skills. He now directly manages three employees and has learnt to adapt his role to ensure he’s getting the best from the whole team.
Matthew has also learnt to overcome some of his insecurities around building a successful company as a 25 year-old.
“I’ve realised that my age isn’t a barrier to running a highly successful climate-tech company. Previously I’ve held myself back, restricting myself due to my lack of experience,” he says.
“As we’ve hit certain targets, sometimes earlier than expected, I’ve come to realise that My Emissions truly can be a market-leading company. My age shouldn’t be a barrier to this.”
Matthew credits regular calls with his Innovation Champion from Innovate UK EDGE with helping him to reflect on progress, stay accountable and come up with ambitious new ideas for where to take My Emissions.
He hopes to grow My Emissions into a market-leading company and has plans for a £1 million-plus funding round next year.
For future Award winners, Matthew recommends making the most of the connections through the programme. He describes the connection to Innovate UK as “incredibly helpful” in unlocking lots of different partnership and growth opportunities.
He adds that winners shouldn’t hold themselves back – have faith that you could be the person to create change.
“There’s no reason why you can’t be the person that can make a difference or build a meaningful (and profitable) business. Choose something you’re passionate about and go for it!”
Join us and become part of the Young Innovators community. Find out more about the programme here.
Read the other Young Innovators’ success stories here.