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Call for circular economy start-ups to enter award in Berlin

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Last year’s winner was UK start-up Adaptavate with its compostable wall-panelling, Breathaboard.

A European start-up award for circular economy projects, run by Berlin Investment GmbH, the Green Alley Award is calling upon young entrepreneurs to submit applications by 27 July. Projects relating to innovative business models, resource preservation, resource recovery, the circular economy and recycling, are all welcome, with the final scheduled to take place in Berlin at the end of October. Apply online at www.green-alley-award.com.

This year’s award is seeking to help build bridges between start-up communities in Berlin, London and Helsinki. These European start-up hubs have been pioneers in the area of circular economy, says the award’s organisers.

Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Green Alley Investment GmbH, said: “We would like to encourage young entrepreneurs across Europe to rethink existing patterns of consumerism and waste habits. Last year we [saw] some of the diversity and potential that especially UK start-ups stand for. The British winner Adaptavate was proof [of] the UK’s strong start-up ecosystem.”

Connecting green hubs
In 2015, the Green Alley Award received 100 applications from all over Europe, including ideas from Germany, Israel, Bulgaria, Ireland, and the UK, but also as far away as from South America and Canada. The winner of the final pitch was the British start-up Adaptavate with its product “Breathaboard”, an alternative wall paneling made out of 75% agricultural bio composite and therefore entirely decomposable.

“Resource efficiency is a pressing issue for the UK. We need to find new ways to power society, reduce carbon emissions, deal with waste and adapt to climate change, in a way that will help make communities more resilient. There are some great start-ups in the UK applying technology to solve these issues – such as Winnow, which helps to dramatically cut food waste, or Open Utility, which has created a new market for renewable energy. The Green Alley Award is a great opportunity for UK start-ups to connect with green ideas in Berlin and Helsinki, and to receive the support needed to help them grow and scale across Europe,” says Jessica Stacey, partner at Bethnal Green Ventures.

Jens-Uwe Sauer, founder and CEO of Seedmatch also shared this excitement: “We have been partners with Green Alley since the very beginning. In the last rounds, young entrepreneurs showed us that the circular economy lies close to their heart. And all of them approach the topic entirely differently. That kind of variety of ideas is exactly what we wish to see again. We are looking forward to the third year of the award and many applications from all over Europe.”

The most persuasive applicants will be invited to our pitch in Berlin at the end of October 2016. All finalists will receive valuable advice on how to establish successful business models and how to enter the market through individual workshops with experts in the circular economy. As with last year, the chosen start-ups will present their ideas in a live-pitch to a broad audience of industry specialists. The final winner of the Green Alley Award 2016 will be selected by a jury of experts from the start-up and circular economy sector and will receive a prize package of cash and services worth up to €30,000. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to raise funds through crowdfunding or investments and to participate in an accelerator-programme.

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