Demo Day Batch#6
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Demo Day Batch#6
May 28th, 2024 I Wuppertal
May 28th, 2024
DemoDay Batch#6
How 13 start-ups promote sustainability with joy instead of a bad conscience
At Circular Valley's DemoDay, young companies from all over the world presented their ideas for the circular economy. They develop green trucks, produce wood without cutting down trees and prevent plastics from ending up in a landfill.

Mitulkumar Suthar begins his presentation with a photo of himself and a huge turbine. The engineer spent many years helping to develop such engines for major aircraft manufacturers - until he decided to use his inventive spirit in a different way. Instead of causing CO2 emissions, he now prevents them. He developed a technology that captures the exhaust fumes of trucks from inside the vehicle, converts and makes them re-usable. Suthar founded the start-up Quaptis, beating off several hundred applicants to win over the jury of the Circular Valley initiative's funding program in the extended Rhine-Ruhr region.

Twelve other founders from all over the world had the same experience as the engineer from India. In NRW, they received funding and have now presented their business models to more than 200 representatives from business, politics, and civil society at the Circular Valley DemoDay. For weeks, they met with numerous managing directors, visited industrial companies, and worked with top-class coaches. Thanks to Circular Valley, more than 100 start-ups have already made decisive progress with their ideas for the circular economy.

One of the driving forces of the event was Dr. Thomas Stoffmehl, CEO of Vorwerk. In his opening speech on DemoDay, he gave the start-ups an important message: No matter how good and sustainable a product may be, the key to its success is to get people excited about it - in your own company and among consumers. Sustainable products need to get out of their “negative corner”. You need to concentrate on their positive effects and how they bring joy, said Stoffmehl.

The start-ups' presentations showed that his words have already become reality. And in all three areas of focus for this round of Circular Valley funding: alternative raw materials, orchestration of the value chain and chemical recycling.

Irene Purasachit, for example, has recaptured her joy of nature and flowers. As a florist, she learned that 40 percent of flowers end up in the bin without ever being in the hands of a customer. That is why she and her company Flower Matter are developing a bio-foam from this waste that replaces plastics. Other ideas for alternative raw materials were bio-based wooden panels and plastic-free packaging made from agricultural waste.

As a child, Elisa Alonso learned that food should not be thrown away. As an adult, she realized that tons of food were spoiled while being transported around the world in containers because correct information was missing. That is why her start-up CL Circular created sensors and programs that provide all the important data. Companies now always know exactly where their goods are and how the prevailing conditions are on location. Other founders in Circular Valley showed how AI can be used for the circular economy, so that one company's waste may be turned into another company's recyclable material.

In addition to mechanical reprocessing, chemical recycling is getting increasingly important for a successful circular economy. High prices have so far been a crucial point. At DemoDay, three founders showed that this need no longer be an obstacle. Gonzalo Izquierdo from Blueplasma Power explained how green hydrogen and recyclable carbon products can be produced from household waste. Bernadita Jose Diaz Soto demonstrated how her start-up takes graphite out of old tires and reuses it in batteries.

One of the speakers was Mitulkumar Suthar, who reported on how CO2 never leaves a truck. This technology should be transferable to generators and ships in the future. The engineer will soon have a new photo in his presentation showing him next to an impressive invention.
Further information on the startups in the sixth funding round can be found at
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