THE finalists for the inaugural Impact Summit competition, a Scottish showcase for startups having a positive impact on the world, have been announced - where the winner will receive a business support package worth over £20,000 from The Herald, FutureX and ParlayMe.

Judges selected Bara Wahbeh (AKYAS Sanitation), Jenifer Clausell-Tormos (Develop Diverse), Barry Leaper (LiberEat) and Dr Faisal Ghani (SolarisKit) to progress from the semi-finals, which took place virtually over March 29 and 30.

The overall winner of the Impact Summit Competition will receive a fully funded place on FutureX's Silicon Valley programme, from which previous cohorts have met with executives from Airbnb, Facebook, SurveyMonkey, Y Combinator, Waze, and Threshold.

Prizes also include support from Scottish companies Sharktower, an AI-driven project management platform; and HappyPorch, a strategy, technology and development agency.

Craig Mackay, Co-founder and CEO of Sharktower, and judge at the semi-finals said: "We were massively impressed by the standard of the semi-finalists, with projects tackling issues from diversity to food waste and showcasing the positive impact they are already making on the people and environment around them.” 

Barry O’Kane, Founder and CEO of HappyPorch, and judge at the semi-finals said: "The variety both in terms of global reach and range of different impact areas of these businesses is inspiring. Well done to the finalists because there were so many other high potential businesses in the competition.” 

Zoi Kantounatou, Co-founder & CEO of FutureX, said: "The Impact Summit 2021 competition final is going to be one to watch! From over a hundred applications of companies using business as a force for good, we have selected the four most exciting and innovative. The prize fund will help them to accelerate their impact globally and give them the support they need - the judges are going to have a tough decision to make!" 

This year's finalists are:


  • AKYAS - from Jordan: wastewater treatment plant in a bag to serve communities in water-scarce and emergency settings
  • Develop Diverse - from Denmark: an inclusive writing platform that enables companies to attract diverse and qualified talent
  • SolarisKit - from Scotland, UK: the world’s first flat-packable solar thermal collector to provide affordable, clean energy to the global south

Impact Summit will take place online on 19th & 20th May 2021. For more information and tickets, visit