by Nick Purser

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This year’s Green Alley Award has launched! In addition to sponsoring the award, ERP UK’s Managing Director, John Redmayne, will also join the panel of experts who provide support and advice to the finalists.

The 2018 competition is now open for circular economy entrepreneurs to submit their business ideas. With the Green Alley Award, Landbell Group created the first European startup award for the circular economy in 2014. Innovators and startups are asked to submit their ground-breaking projects online via the website www.green-alley-award.com by 1st July 2018. The winner will be announced at the finals in Berlin in October.

The Green Alley Award 2018 is aimed at all startups and entrepreneurs who have developed a business model in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention. The award is looking for companies that are about to launch their products or services or that are already in the growth phase. The award also welcomes startups that want to expand into other European markets. The sole condition is that the business idea must help recycle resources.

From many ideas comes a common goal: a circular economy
“We are delighted that the Green Alley Award is entering its fifth round this year,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group. The international company based in Mainz, Germany is one of the leading providers of services and consulting for environmental and chemical compliance. “In recent years, we have discovered many exciting and innovative business ideas that all show in a special way how we can establish a circular economy in Europe.”

“ERP UK is very proud to be part of this year’s award,” added John Redmayne, Managing Director of ERP UK. “We have had many discussions with our customers about the potential of the circular economy. Supporting this award shows our commitment to innovation around this major economic and environmental opportunity.”

Whether it’s the avoidance of plastics, the development of sustainable materials or the multiple use of products, the circular economy holds enormous business potential for entrepreneurs and startups. In 2017, the Finnish start-up Sulapac won over the jury with their sustainable alternative to plastic packaging. The two scientists behind Sulapac, Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, have developed a packaging material made of wood, which is biodegradable but still maintains the impermeable qualities of plastic. Other winners from previous years include Breathaboard from Adaptavate, a breathable and recyclable alternative to conventional plasterboard, as well as reusable shipping packaging from the Finnish start-up RePack.

The goal of the Green Alley Award is to bring together circular economy pioneers, to work with them on their business model and, ideally, to introduce them to potential customers. “We want to give these pioneers a platform to present their ideas and develop them together with us,” says Jan Patrick Schulz. “The finalists have the opportunity to develop an intensive exchange of ideas with our experts at the workshops that we run.”

What are the next steps?
Entrepreneurs and startups from all over Europe can submit their ideas by 1st July 2018. In September, six finalists will be selected from the applications and invited to take part in the finals in Berlin on 18th October. There, they will work on their business models in individual rounds of talks with specialists from Landbell Group, as well as external experts from the circular economy and startup industries. At the end of the day, the finalists will be given a five-minute pitch to present their projects on stage in front of an expert jury and an international audience. The jury is made up of representatives from Landbell Group as well as industry experts including Alexis Figeac, founder of the R2Pi project on circular economy business models, and Suvi Haimi, CEO and co-founder of the start-up Sulapac, which won the 2017 Green Alley Award.

The winner of the Green Alley Award 2018 will receive €25,000 in prize money.