British American Tobacco - Announcing the 2022 Battle of Minds winners

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Carlo Fedeli and Thibaut Monfort-Micheo from team FlexSea

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26 October 2022

Announcing the 2022 Battle of Minds winners

The winners of BAT’s global business competition, Battle of Minds, have been announced.

Now in its fourth year – and its second in partnership with BAT’s corporate venture unit, Btomorrow Ventures – Battle of Minds  is BAT’s global business competition that seeks to find the best young minds from around the world and support their ideas to solve some of the most pressing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) challenges.

Building on the previous competitions, this year’s Battle of Minds saw more than 4,500 people enter and 750 brilliant ideas submitted over a number of months. After a rigorous set of local rounds, nine teams made it through to last week’s virtual final.

The two-day virtual final saw our nine finalists tune in from around the globe to bring their unique ideas in front of the judging panel. Each team had the chance to convince our judges through a seven-minute elevator pitch, followed by a questions and answers session to further explore details and feasibility of the ideas.

The winning team was Team FlexSea from the UK with their proprietary technology enabling them to create a seaweed-derived bioplastic that can be used as packaging for various products, without a downgrade in packaging quality or competitiveness. Their idea has the potential to significantly decrease usage of single use plastic in packaging. Team FlexSea will receive a £50,000 investment from Btomorrow Ventures.

"We are so incredibly happy", said Carlo Fedeli and Thibaut Monfort-Micheo from team FlexSea, “Battle of Minds has been a great programme and we saw very strong pitches along the journey by our fellow competitors. Winning the prize will enable us to invest in a pilot machine to get our seaweed-derived bioplastic solution to market.”

The two runners up were Team Drogo from Bangladesh and Team Erre from Mexico. Both teams will receive £25,000 funding from Btomorrow Ventures to contribute towards further exploration of their ideas.

The two runners-ups’ ideas were:

  • Team Drogo: creating eco-friendly sanitary pads through recycling textile and bamboo waste that is a by-product of the textile industry. Their solution ranges from procuring and recycling the waste into new pads, through to disposing of their own product.
  • Team Erre: creating the first reusable mug system in Mexico that allows users to take away their food and drinks without generating any single-use waste. Their environmentally friendly solution ensures a win-win-win for the planet, the cafés and the consumers. 

Geetha Raman, BAT’s Group Head of Talent Acquisition, said: “Battle of Minds continues to go  from strength to strength. Receiving so many entries confirms the depth of brilliant and creative thinking by next generation talent the world can call upon to tackle the ESG challenges we face. I’m delighted we’ll be working with such an amazing team of bright minds to turn their innovation into a solution, supporting them today to build A Better Tomorrow.”

On the judging panel this year were: Lukasz Garbowski, BTV Investment Director; Imtiaz Faruque, Group Head of Organisation Effectiveness; Tracy Oates, Senior ESG Policy & Engagement Manager; Ahmed Hasan, Global Head of Business to Business & Direct to Consumer Platforms; and Jonathan Upward, Group Head of Operations Development & Sustainability.

Want to participate in next year’s Battle of Minds competition? Follow BAT on LinkedIn  to find out more.