Resource Use

New competition for UK circular economy start-ups


Green Alley Award 2015

UK-based start-up organisations focused on the circular economy are being urged to apply to The Green Alley Award 2015, which aims to further their work.

The Green Alley Award, first launched by green economy investor Green Alley and German crowdfunding platform Seedmatch in 2014, aims to further the work of young European entrepreneurs, students and graduates with ‘brilliant ideas in the green and circular economy sector’.

This year, accelerator programme Bethnal Green Ventures and waste electronics compliance scheme European Recycling Platform (ERP) UK, have partnered with the two founding companies to bring ‘Europe’s first circular economy-focused start-up’ to the UK.

As such, UK-based start ups and entrepreneurs are being invited to submit business ideas relating to ‘turning waste into a resource’ to the competition by 15 September, to be in with a chance of winning a package of prize money, office space, and other additional benefits worth up to £14,470 pounds, as well as ‘the opportunity to pitch for an investment or crowdfunding’.

Business cases can relate to ‘innovative products, services or technologies that recycle waste, conserve resources and raise awareness of the issue of recycling’.

New competition for UK circular economy start-ups

All competition finalists will be invited to Berlin on 4 November to participate in a one-day event that will include workshops on starting, financing and boosting green businesses. Finalists will then pitch their business idea to an ‘expert jury’, which will then select the winner.

Last year’s winners (pictured, right) included: Helsinki-based RePack, which had an idea for a reusable packaging system for e-commerce; Cologne-based FoodLoop, which pitched for the development of a mobile app that could help reduce food waste; and GreenLab, a Berlin-based company that aimed to develop a vegan and organic fertilizer made of waste from cocoa production.

‘Creating high potential for significant innovation in Europe’

Speaking of the extension of the competition to the UK, Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Green Alley Investment, stated: “We want to connect start-ups and entrepreneurs with great green ideas. We believe that linking London’s well established successful entrepreneurial ecosystem with Berlin’s rapidly growing young start-up scene creates high potential for significant innovation in Europe.”

Bethnal Green Ventures Partner Glen Mehn added that it is “critically important that we find new ways to make better use of existing resources, with a particular focus on the post-consumer stream”, stating: “If we want to tackle our environmental problems we have to find innovative products and services that fundamentally change the nature of recycling, generate less waste and make a better planet. That’s why we support the Green Alley Award 2015.”

Scott Butler, Regional Director UK and Ireland at ERP, noted that the award “will be a great opportunity for UK green economy start-ups not only to benefit from know-how in the German market but also to boost their business across Europe”.

Find out more about the Green Alley Award 2015.

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