CyanoCapture and Aquacycl have been announced the champions of the Get in the Ring global startup competition 2022 at ImpactFest, the largest impact meeting in Europe. The event was held on November 15.
The startups pitched their impact solutions to an audience of investors, business executives, and government officials in a boxing ring after being chosen from 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries.
The Impact Competition was born as an idea at ImpactFest 2020 in The Hague to identify Europe’s most promising startups in the domains of food, water, and energy. The Impact Competition is an initiative of Unknown Group and ImpactCity The Hague, one of Europe’s leading impact ecosystems.
The first pitch battle featured two products enabling key transitions: Sibö from Costa Rica and CyanoCapture from the UK. Sibö turns insect proteins into food-grade proteins, while CyanoCapture uses bacteria to capture CO2 from industrial processes with no energy.
In the second match, US-based Aquacycl played against Denmark’s Cellugy, which has created bioplastics for personal care items that prevent microplastics from entering the ocean and our bodies. Aquacycl’s solution aids companies in making the switch to sustainable water management.
David Evans of CyanoCapture, says, “It was pretty nerve-racking before getting in the ring, quite a different way to do pitching compared to standard PowerPoint presentation. But once I got in the ring, it was a hugely enjoyable experience. It’s tough to decide a winner because all the companies participating are doing really great things!”
According to a statement from Unknown Group, CyanoCapture and Aquacycl are examples of founder-driven impact solutions that are essential to addressing global issues. The best approach to change the future is to support these founders. These startups now have a platform on which to test, validate, and grow their impact solutions with the help of financiers, governments, and the business world, thanks to Get in the Ring.
The Global Meetup
105 entrepreneurs from the Get in the Ring global startup competition are invited to the Global Meetup, a three-day retreat hosted by Dutch impact investor Unknown Group, where they may test, validate, and grow their unorthodox ideas with investors and industry experts.
The annual Global Meetup was held in The Hague this year, following editions in Medellin, Singapore, Cascais, and Berlin. The founders are chosen through the annual Get in the Ring competition, which takes place in over 100 nations and brings participants from Benin to Brazil, Costa Rica to Japan, and the rest of the world to The Hague.
Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, Director of Get in the Ring, says, “The great thing about Get in the Ring is that it is so much more than just networking. This is where founders get investments, are inspired, and perhaps most importantly: where so many smart and enthusiastic people from various cultures meet, so that impact is made with a common goal and we can make the world a little more beautiful.”
Brief about Get in the Ring and Unknown Group
Founded in 2012, Get in the Ring is a worldwide startup competition. Annually, local event champions come together at the Global Meetup to network with and learn from inspirational figures from industry, government, and NGOs. Get in the Ring is organised by the Unknown Group team.
Hendrik Halbe, CEO and founder of Unknown Group, says, “It makes me proud to have Get in the Ring take place on a large scale in the Netherlands this year. Now that the Hague is increasingly profiling itself as a progressive city for the global energy and food transition, we believe it is time to bring more than 100 startups to the Netherlands. We strongly support the ambition of The Hague as a leading impact ecosystem and for this reason, open our newest innovation hub, Titaan, in The Hague early next year.”
As an impact investor, Unknown Group identifies and finances the world’s most promising businesses, enabling them to expand their solutions through partnerships with top business players using their Venture Engine methodology. Titaan, a new 13.000 m2 innovation hub for impact firms, will open in The Hague at the beginning of 2023.