Circular Valley News
23.12.2021
Review 2021
Successful launch of the accelerator program: Batch#1
Batch#2
22 Start-ups started in November
Start-ups on tour...
Visiting Circular Valley industry partners
Outlook 2022
Batch#2 and Batch#3
Circular Economy Accelerator
Successful launch of the accelerator program: Batch#1

THE SHORT PRESENCE TIME DUE TO CORONA WAS USED OPTIMALLY
The start-ups worked on their pitches in workshops
At first, it was just an idea - and then it quickly took off: In December 2020, the Circular Economy Accelerator was registered, and in June 2021 the first cohort of 15 international start-ups already started their work.

Even though most of the program had to take place virtually due to Corona, this did not detract from the goal of supporting young companies in their development and at the same time bringing forward ideas of the Circular Economy.

The results of the outstanding efforts were on display on August 30, 2021, at the Demo Day. The pitch event took place in Wuppertal's "Gaskessel", a former gas storage facility, which has been converted into an exhibition space. In front of 200 guests and partners, 14 national and international start-ups presented their business ideas for the Circular Economy. The shortest journey was made by b.fab Gmbh and Plastic Fischer GmbH from Cologne. The b.fab GmbH uses CO2, which is synonymous with climate change, to produce proteins and chemicals. Plastik Fischer already successfully collects plastic waste from rivers using a special device. EcoFoodly (Nice/Sydney) and Pika Diapers (Tel Aviv) had made the longest journey.

Johannes F. Kirchhoff, managing partner of Kirchhoff Group, explained how in a Circular Economy disassembling will gain an importance similar to production today.
Lauren Kjeldsen, member of the Executive Board and President Specialty Additives at Evonik, shared interesting insights into Evonik's activities related to Circular Economy.
Helen Burdett, head of the Circular Economy initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos, emphasized the importance of establishing a hot spot for the topic with Circular Valley®.

The subsequent cross-industry discussions lasted late into the evening. We are very pleased that several start-ups could secure funding as a result of this first acceleration program.
Find out more about the start-ups
... more from the CEA: Cohort #2
22 Start-ups started in November
From a high-caliber field of more than 300 international start-ups, a jury of experts selected the 22 participants who have been taking part in the Circular Economy Accelerator Program since November 15, 2021.

Business ideas range from the use of bio-based feedstocks to circular solutions in construction, alternative packaging materials, recycling solutions for solar panels, food waste reduction, AI solutions for the construction industry to high-quality textile recycling.

The batch with participants from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa spent exciting and informative weeks in Circular Valley. The program included lectures and workshops in various fields as well as a first contact with our partners from industry, business and science.

A first highlight was the official kick-off event on Monday, November 22, 2021, where several partners took the opportunity to get to know and exchange ideas with the start-ups. Due to visa issues, not all start-ups were able to make it to Wuppertal in November, so some greeted via video message.

PRESENCE WEEK
Find out more about the start-ups
Start-ups on tour...
Visiting Circular Valley industry partners
Formerly a mere landfill site - today one of the most modern waste disposal sites in Europe and a reference object for an international audience of experts: Metabolon - Research and Innovation Center for Material Conversion and Environmental Technologies. Pascal Beese-Vasbender guided the interested young entrepreneurs through the extensive grounds and laboratory buildings, climbed with them to the highest point of the facility and explained the work of the company in the exhibition hall.

AWG, Abfallwirtschaftsgesellschaft mbH Wuppertal, is not only the municipal waste collection company in Wuppertal, but also contributes to the city's electricity and heat supply through energy generated by the thermal treatment of waste from primary garbage cans. A hydrogen-powered bus took the start-ups around the site. Managing Director Dipl. Ing. Conrad Tschersich explained the various steps of the sorting processes on site, the "power-to-gas" project for hydrogen production and led them through the interior and onto the roof of the waste incineration plant.

VISIT TO :metabolon
Three questions to…
Natalie Mekelburger, CEO of Coroplast

1. What is special about Circular Valley?
Circular Valley® offers an excellent platform to connect specialist know-how across diverse sectors and industries and form a network of ideas for the circular economy. The companies involved are already showing an unusually high level of commitment and passion. That is truly remarkable.

2. Why are you involved in Circular Valley?
Circular Economy in my view is an important approach to open up further ways of intelligently saving resources in the future. It is therefore relevant for our company to engage in an intense exchange of information and markets with the leading companies in this field - from small start-ups to major global players. Circular Valley is an ideal platform for this.

3. How do you personally live sustainability?
Sustainability should not hang over one's personal lifestyle as a sword of Damocles. It should be positively understood as a great opportunity and be fun. That's how I live sustainability. Giving up on everything is not my defining paradigm. I integrate sustainability into my life in a positive way. This includes, for example, my diet and food consumption. Since I work in a plastics processing company, I know how important the functionality of modern materials is for us in our everyday lives. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid them where they are not necessary or to replace them with even more modern and/or sustainable ones.
Outlook 2022...
Batch #2
Two more on-site attendance blocks are coming up. For this, the start-ups are expected back in Laaken on January 10, 2022 for a two weeks session. The last block is planned for the period from February 21 to march 4, 2022.

On march 3, 2022, the Demo Day will take place in the Stadthalle Wuppertal.

www.stadthalle.de
Batch #3
The application process for the next round will start in spring 2022.