We’ve seen many incubators and accelerators popping up in Berlin. Green Alley differentiates itself from the others not only in the supportive roles but also in its focus on recycling and sustainability. Together with the founder competition InnoWASTEon– green start-ups wanted!, Green Alley offers startups a space for development, long-term partnerships, and strategic support in the service and waste management industry.
“Green Alley is about supporting founders and helping them enter into the market,” Miriam Kehl, Director at Green Alley says. “It’s not about super fast growth and an exit.”
Landbell, a waste management company from Mainz, Germany, has moved its project Green Alley to Berlin. In cooperation with Seedmatch, a meeting point for green startups will be made.
“We want to connect people with the same mindset to get the best out of their ideas,” says Kehl.
InnoWASTEon, green start-ups wanted!
Green Alley is looking for founders with ideas, projects, or startups that want to improve or disrupt the closed loop recycling management, waste, and recycling industry as we know it today.
“Whether it’s an idea, a proven concept or a startup with or without funding, we want to hear about it and support them with connecting them to the industry,” Kehl goes on. “The project doesn’t need to have a business plan yet. Sometimes it is easier, when you’re close to the industry to see what is possible and where e.g. technology or legal boundaries are.”
The current competition application for InnoWASTEon is open until June 3rd 2014. After that, 6-8 ideas or projects will be invited to pitch in Berlin.
The three winners will receive a €5000 cash prize and six months of rent-free working space at the Green Alley space in Berlin.
Connecting to the industry
While we know from incubators and accelerators that they have a strong focus on mentoring in the financial, business, legal and marketing sector, this is not the case at Green Alley.
Young entrepreneurs should stand on their own feet while developing their business. Nevertheless, Green Alley will provide not only financial support but also expertise.
“Most important though”, explains Kehl, “is the network to the industry we provide. With our insights we can support the ideas, help to find a proof of concept and finally take it to the next step by entering the market.”
Though management meetings will take place, startups are mostly work independently to develop on their own.
The first company located in the renovated factory building in Berlin Wedding is TerraCycle that recycles waste that hasn’t been recycled before. The company provides free waste collection programs for hard to recycle materials like used pens or tooth care products in cooperation with manufacturers like Colgate or BiC.
Such waste is being collected and recycled or upcycled into new products with the aim to reduce the amount of waste. The collection programs exist only through the engagement of consumers who send their waste to TerraCycle for free. For each item sent to TerraCycle, a two cent donation to a charity organization of the collector’s choice will be made.
Images: Green Alley