Reuse of materials in waste streams for food products and sustainable material from fungi, with the same quality as leather. These are the themes presented by the start-up companies Greencovery and Mylium from Wageningen, who are the winners of the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant. Both startups are based on knowledge developed at Wageningen University & Research. The award ceremony took place on August 19 in the Atlas building on Wageningen Campus and was also streamed online.
The AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant is an initiative of investor Marcel van Poecke and his daughter Heleen van Poecke and was awarded for the first time this year. The winners were given funding as well as the opportunity to make use of their knowledge, experience, and network.
Greencovery – Winner of the Start-up Award
The Start-Up Award supports student entrepreneurs who focus on commercially promising solutions to global food and sustainability challenges. They develop products and services that are scalable and have the potential to grow. The Start-Up Award winner receives, among other things, a sum of 35,000 euros that they can use for the further growth of their company.
Greencovery focuses on the use of waste streams for the production of new ingredients for food products. This will enable the food industry to take a huge step towards making their production processes more sustainable. According to the jury, the idea behind the company has great potential and the founders have worked out their business plan thoroughly. Their pilot also demonstrated that the technology works and that a feasible earnings model has been created. This creates confidence that the investment amount can contribute to the development of a successful company.
Mylium - Winner of the Impact Award
The Impact Award rewards social initiatives of student entrepreneurs that focus on maximum impact on the environment and sustainability. The winner of the Impact Award receives, among other things, a sum of 15,000 euros.
Mylium uses mycelium technology to develop durable materials from fungi that can be used to replace leather. Currently, the company focuses on the handbag industry, but according to the jury, the environmentally friendly material has the potential to be used much more widely and can have a huge impact on the environment. With the granting of the award and the corresponding amount of money, it hopes to create a positive stimulus for the further development of the company.
The AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant is organised by StartHub Wageningen in collaboration with the Wageningen University Fund.
University Fund Wageningen
University Fund Wageningen connects people, ideas, and funds to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). That is why the fund is investing in strengthening contacts between WUR and its alumni, the business community, and relevant social organisations. The UFW rewards and encourages excellent education and research at WUR. Alumnus Marcel van Poecke and Heleen van Poecke set up a registered fund from which the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant originated.
StartHub Wageningen is the startup incubator and supervisor for students, PhD candidates, and recent graduates of Wageningen University & Research. The focus is on developing the entrepreneurial skills of students and student entrepreneurs. To this end, StartHub offers a diverse package of support, ranging from workshops to personal guidance for startups. The AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Challenge is a wonderful addition to this package.