Alver World and reNature became the first-ever winners of the Get in the Ring Impact Competition. The competition featured the 20 most promising startups offering solutions in the food, water, and energy segments. These 20 startups were selected out of 7,500 participating startups and the winners were selected at the ImpactFest, Europe’s biggest impact meetup held on 4th November in The Hague.
What is the Impact Competition?
The Impact Competition was born as an idea at the 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 competition travelled through Europe’s leading impact ecosystems such as Berlin, Lisbon, Geneva, Oslo and Copenhagen.
There were two winners selected from each national event for the European final and they were then joined by 8 wildcards from a pan-European public voting campaign. Interestingly, the pan-European public voting campaign received over 5,000 votes and thus allowed startups from across the continent to compete in the Impact Competition.
The platform acts as a testbed for these startups to scale and prove the impact of their solution via dealmaking with leading corporates, investors and ecosystem players. While the Impact Competition is a great platform for impactful startups to showcase their idea, the competition goes beyond that mission. It starts with identification and scaling promising innovations that will solve 21st century challenges faced in the domains of food, water and energy.
Impact Competition: pitch battle and dealmaking
The Impact Finals was attended by impact investors from around the world and it thus delivered on the promise of tangible dealmaking. There were 60 high-level investors from the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). Unknown Group, an early-stage VC, business development firm and main partner of ImpactFest, said that they are in extensive investment talks with five of the twenty impact inventures.
The first pitch battle saw Germany’s Wasser 3.0 take on the Dutch startup reNature. Wasser 3.0 has developed a technology that takes microplastics out of the drinking water. reNature, based out of The Netherlands, supports farmers and corporates transition to regenerative agriculture. The intense pitch battle saw reNature emerge victorious and make the champion jury’s work difficult.
The second pitch battle saw Switzerland’s Alver World take on Spain’s Bioo. Alver World is the maker of the world’s most sustainable protein called Golden Chlorella. Bioo, on the other hand, has developed an ingenious method of generating electricity from nature. Alver World’s sustainable protein was declared by the jury comprising Carol Gribnau, Executive Director of Stichting DOEN, Lisa Jordan, Managing Director of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and Hendrik Halbe, Partner and CEO of Unknown Group.
“Congratulations to the winners of the European finals of the Get in the Ring – Impact Competition: reNature and Alver World. What a thrilling ending to the 6th edition of ImpactFest. It is great to see what innovative solutions are being developed by impact entrepreneurs in the field of food, water and new energy. Themes that we, as ImpactCity The Hague, are also working hard on to enable a sustainable future for our residents and the city, together with the entrepreneurs who prove that ‘Doing good & Doing business’ go together,” says Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.
Director of Get in the Ring and partner at Unknown Group, Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen says: “Get in the Ring is all about shining a spotlight on the unconventional solutions and founders who are working to create a better future. The pan-European Impact Competition is a perfect example of this – in each of the six cities we traveled to, we’ve been extremely impressed with the quality and impact potential of the startups.” He concluded by congratulating the 20 impact startups that made it to the Impact Finals and the winners of the Impact Competition.