The Green Alley Award, the only start-up competition in Europe recognising new business ideas in the circular economy, is now open to UK companies.
The scheme was originally established in 2014 by Berlin-based green business investor, Green Alley Investment, and Germany’s leading crowdfunding platform, Seedmatch. It recognises start-ups and entrepreneurs that are contributing to building a circular economy with innovative products, services or technologies that recycle waste, conserve resources or raise awareness of recycling.
Following a collaboration with London-based green start-up accelerator programme, Bethnal Green Ventures, and the European Recycling Platform (ERP), the award is now open to applications from across the UK and the rest of Europe.
Jan Patrick Schulz, chief executive of Green Alley Investment and founder of the Green Alley Award, said: “We want to connect start-ups and entrepreneurs with great green ideas. We believe that linking [the UK’s] well-established successful entrepreneurial ecosystem with [Germany’s] rapidly growing young start-up scene creates high potential for significant innovation in Europe.”
Glen Mehn, partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, added: “It’s critically important that we find new ways to make better use of existing resources, with a particular focus on the post-consumer stream.
“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.”
‘Boost business across Europe’
Successful candidates will be invited to Berlin to pitch their business idea to an expert jury, with the winner receiving a prize package worth up to £15,000, including a cash prize of €7,000 (£5,000) and six months rent-free workspace in Berlin.
“The Green Alley 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”, said Scott Butler, regional director at ERP.
Eligible projects must demonstrate a contribution to building a circular economy by:
- Reducing, reusing or recycling industrial or consumer waste streams;
- Replacing non-renewable resources with a recycled or fully recyclable material;
- Repairing, refurbishing or extending the lifecycle of products;
- Improving the reuse and recyclability of products;
- Improving product design and considering environmental impact during the whole product lifecycle;
- Raising awareness of recycling and sustainability, or;
- Strengthening producer responsibility and compliance with waste regulations.
Applications must be submitted before 15 September 2015 for consideration. For more information on how to apply, click here.