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Talking funding and inspiration with Keir Carnie

Last month we relaunched the Blue Earth Summit Pitch Tent, offering the opportunity for explorers, impact projects and businesses to find funding from like-minded investors.

As a key pillar of the Blue Earth Summit, The Pitch Tent enables impact to become measurable, connecting ideas with investment and bringing people together as a force for good.

One of our success stories from last year’s Pitch Tent was NUUD plastic-free chewing gum, with the business getting multiple investment offers in the room and finalising a £750,000 funding round soon after the event with the support of Wavelength Ventures.

Ahead of this year’s Pitch Tent, we caught up with NUUD Founder, Keir Carnie, to ask a few questions about his experience and find out what he’s been up to since BES ’21.

What was the ‘Aha!’ moment for you with NUUD, how did it spark in terms of an idea and what were you doing at the time for work/life? 

I began looking into alternatives upon the realisation that regular chewing gum is a single-use plastic, stuffed full of synthetic ingredients. Inspired by brands such as Oatly and This successfully disrupting other large, mature and polluting food & drink categories.  

Pitching, especially live, is hard for most – how do you find that aspect of putting yourself out there?

It’s certainly challenging, but I find preparing well, combined with a strong understanding of the subject matter and trying to keep things passionate, yet light hearted where appropriate, helps deliver a strong pitch… but I’m far from an expert!

Blue Earth Summit’s Pitch Tent is but one of the milestones for NUUD – is there anything different about it compared with other routes you’ve take to get funding? Can you explain how Blue Earth has impacted your journey?

The density of quality, impact-focussed investors present not only seeking opportunities but happy to share insight and advice really stood out, and we’ve forged some fantastic relationships from the summit that I have no doubt will be hugely beneficial in the long term. BES Pitch Tent is the Dragons’ Den of sustainability, minus the fire of course! 

We’re trying to identify everyone’s blue thread – the thing that ties them into our community of outdoor-inspired, purpose-led people and businesses – can you articulate yours?

BES does an amazing job of connecting the dots between maximising the enjoyment from our planet’s beauty, whilst working towards future-proofing it through sustainably-minded people and practices! 

How do you find the founder/start up/business owner lifestyle – does it take over your life or have you found a good balance?

It’s certainly all-consuming at times, but my relaxation comes from closing the laptop and getting outdoors for some sport, exercise or to explore!

About NUUD Plastic-Free Chewing Gum

Did you know that there’s a drinking straw’s worth of plastic hidden in each piece of regular chewing gum?

The same plastics- such as polyethylene- are used to make shampoo bottles and carrier bags. Plastic gum is stuck to 95% of pavements and even when responsibly disposed of, ends up in landfill and water-systems forever. 

Nuud is the plastic free, plant based, biodegradable and naturally sugar free chewing gum on a mission to rid the world of the single-use plastic gum that sticks around to harm our planet.

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