Heat, drought, wildfires—the climate crisis is getting a hold of Europe, and every little measure to reverse the trend counts. European startups with a circular business idea can significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as their engagement in the Green Alley Award, Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy, demonstrates. From a total of 177 applications from 25 different European countries last year, the majority came from Germany, Italy, and the UK and focused on topics such as circular fashion, zero waste shopping, reusable take-away packaging, and sharing economy. The 9th edition of this European prize is calling startups all over Europe to apply with their business ideas for a circular economy by November 21st, 2022.
“If we really want to be a climate-neutral continent by 2050, we have to work towards a circular economy that will provide the resources for the energy transition and electrification of transport,” says Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group and founder of the Green Alley Award. “We have to explore not only existing but also emerging solutions to reduce global warming and circular startups are great innovators in this field.”
Since 2014, Landbell Group, a global provider of environmental and chemical compliance solutions, has presented the Green Alley Award to startups whose innovative products, services or technologies help to make the most efficient use of resources and reduce waste drastically. The award sponsors are looking for companies with business models in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention that are about to launch their products or services or are already in the growth phase and want to expand into other European markets.
Whether it is the development of sustainable materials, ideas for waste reduction or helpful digital tools, the circular economy holds enormous business potential for European startups. The diversity of concepts from participants over the past years clearly shows this. Three out of eight winners since 2014 have come from Germany; among them, the 2022 winner, Voltfang: The Startup convinced the jury with their sustainable electricity storage system that uses only second life batteries from electric cars to store excess energy from solar panels and provide clean energy to companies. In 2021, traceless materials from Hamburg won the award for a patent pending technology that transforms agricultural industry residues into a sustainable plastic alternative. Before these consecutive German victories, two winners came from Finland, two from the UK and one from Estonia.
The Application Process
- Startups are invited to submit their application by November 21st, 2022 online at green-alley-award.com.
- A pre-selected number of startups will be put on the Green Alley Award website for a public vote. The startup with the majority of the votes will be automatically amongst the six finalists. The remaining five will be selected by an expert committee.
- In April 2023, the six finalists will be invited to Berlin, where they will participate in working sessions with high-ranking circular economy experts and startup mentors. In the evening, each of the finalists will have the chance to pitch their idea live on stage to an expert jury and an international audience. The winner of the finals will receive prize money of €25,000. At the after party, there will be an opportunity for networking and making new business contacts.