Portfolio by Hugh Frost
10 October 2023
10 October 2023
Temps de lecture : 4 minutes
4 min

Hubl, revolutionising last mile delivery

The global climate tech sector has never been more buoyant. But innovation in air quality has been slower. With Breathable cities, designed by Growth Studio we met the clean air startups tackling the devastating effects of air pollution that kills 7 million people worldwide every year and today we introduce Hugh Frost the founder and Managing Director of Hubl.
Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

We identified a big problem in a significant essential industry (food delivery) that was not being addressed sustainably by the incumbent solution providers. This coincided with the Innovate UK funding call, and the successful bid enabled the development of the product into a fully functional system.

Tell me about your business, what is it, what it aims to achieve, who you work with and how you reach customers?

What if we could transport fresh and frozen food through any means of transport in the most cost-efficient way with zero refrigeration emission? That is what our product CoolRun does! The CoolRun pod is a modular container about the size of a standard roll-cage and works on passive cooling technology using phase-change material, which means no fuel, no heavy battery, or any technology overhaul! Operating on a monthly subscription model, it brings valuable analytics, superior control, and the magic of circular economy to our customers. 

Tell us about your working culture

At this early stage, all the founders are working for little or no remuneration and thus see the bigger picture of creating a product and getting it to market, which, in time will provide revenue and wealth from a truly sustainable product.

The culture has to be entrepreneurial, expectant of high standards and going the extra mile. Motivating and ensuring continuity and delivery requires a team with ambition, drive and mutual respect operating within a transparent supportive culture that they trust.

How are you funded?

We've secured a generous grant funding of £1.7M which has supported our journey so far.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome it?

Our Biggest Hurdle: Breaking the reluctance barrier of traditional logistics businesses and encouraging them to embrace the new, improved, and greener method. We try to overcome it by demonstrating the versatility of our product through pilots and comparing the improvements in KPIs with the status quo. 

How does your product/service answer an unmet need?

Our modular solution enables our customers to do less than truck load for chilled goods making it cost efficient than the current system where a whole chiller truck is used to transport fresh and frozen food. Our passive cooling solution also ensures that there are no refrigeration emissions involved in the whole transport journey. These are the needs that the CoolRun pod meets.

Discover Breathable Cities

What’s in store for the future?

In just 3-4 months, we'll be ready for large-scale manufacturing. By the end of year 1, we aim for an MRR of £70,000, escalating to a cool £80M by year 5.

What one piece of advice would you give to other future founders?

Ensure that there is a real demand for a product that is solving a big problem 

  • Find support from grant agencies and local business support entities, of which there are many.
  • Understand that you are starting on a long journey (3-5) years and ensure that your family are on board with you, as they will also be subject to the pains and sacrifices endured by you. 
  • Take time and carefully select your founder partners. 
  • Don’t rush into purchasing decisions avoid snake oil consultants; there are lots of them!
  • Do it when you are young, preferably, but don’t regret not doing it and spend your life thinking what if, or I thought of that but did nothing.

And finally, a more personal question - what's your daily rule and the rules you are living by at the moment?

  1. Work hard every day and keep looking for results – discipline and focus.
  2. Spend cash and time only on essentials.
  3. Try to smile when communicating even when it's hard to do in stressful circumstances.

Hugh Frost is the founder and Managing Director of Hubl.

Breathable Cities is the world's largest clean air accelerator programme, made in London. It's been designed by Growth Studio, supported by Impact in Urban Health with a mutual mission to help accelerate startups tackle air pollution and secure fast growth.
Growth Studio designs and implements planet friendly startup and scaleup accelerator programmes worldwide. With over 700 startups in 45 countries, Breathable Cities is their latest programme focused entirely on accelerating the success of clean air startups.
Meet the Breathable Cities Startups at their Demo Day on 11th October. Register Here!
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Photo credit:
Growth Studio, Selection Day at the Impact on Urban Health in London. Pictures by Richard Cannon on Monday 12th June 2023