A sustainability platform for the textile industry, a biodegradable packaging made of hemp and mycelium, an independent sourcing platform for sustainable packaging, a digital marketplace for used electrical and electronic equipment, a technology-driven platform to connect informal waste pickers to the recycled plastic market and a technological machine to analyse plastic composition – these are the ideas developed by the six Green Alley Award finalists of 2023. Let’s continue with introducing Simby from Portugal.
The winner of our public voting and therefore the first startup to enter the finals was Simby. A Portuguese startup that developed a digital platform and marketplace for used electrical and electronic equipment. With their solution the startup aims to not only reduce the amount of discarded electronics, but also create a platform where recyclers and electronic equipment owners can interact. Read more about this series public voting winner Simby and their greatest successes!
First of all, congratulations on your victory! It seems like you have great supporters already. Did you expect these results or were you surprised?
Thank you very much! We are incredibly grateful for the support we received from everyone who voted for us. We were hopeful that our idea would resonate with most people, but we were also pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response and support we received. Winning the public vote has given us even more motivation to continue working hard towards our mission of creating a sustainable marketplace for EEE waste.
Your idea is going to provide a great solution to the WEEE dismantling problem that is already addressed by the EU. When did you realize that there is a need for such a platform?
Our team has always been passionate about creating a more sustainable future, and we noticed that there was a significant gap in the market when it came to managing EEE waste. We have a lot of experience in handling end of life electronic equipment, which has helped to realize that there was a clear business opportunity based on a solution with a strong environmental and social impact.
We also did complementary research and found that even with the EU regulations in place for the dismantling of WEEE, many producers and recyclers struggle to effectively manage their waste streams. We saw that as an opportunity to create a platform that could connect producers and recyclers and make the process of managing EEE waste more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. By providing a marketplace for EEE waste management, we hope to address this issue and contribute to a more sustainable circular economy.
What is the Portuguese circular economy startup scene like, where do you see current trends, maybe especially regarding your WEEE solution?
Portugal, and as we know, all of Europe have a growing and dynamic Startup scene that is also increasing their focus on sustainable and circular business models. There are many exciting companies and initiatives in Portugal that are driving innovation in the circular economy space, and we are proud to join that community.
In the last years in Portugal, we saw a lot of new companies and ideas on how to design, produce, and distribute clothing in a sustainable and circular manner, allowing for the materials to be reused and repurposed at the end of their lifecycle. Others promote sustainable tourism by offering electric tours of Portugal’s cities and countryside, promoting low-carbon transportation and eco-tourism. Even in the waste management we saw a lot of good ideas, mainly by helping businesses and municipalities to find waste management solutions that are tailored to their specific needs and provide tools for tracking and monitoring waste.
Although there are a lot of good projects, we realized that there was a platform missing focusing on enhancing e-waste recycling in the European market.
What has been your last greatest success (apart from making it to the Green Alley Award finals)?
We believe that our greatest success so far, was the incredible support and enthusiasm we gathered from e-waste producers and recyclers about the platform who have already expressed interest in registering and using it and the significant progress on the development of our platform. Additionally, we recently have received contacts from VC companies that can enable us to accelerate our growth and expand our impact, and to establish partnerships with other companies that work in the circular economy ecosystem.
We are also excited about receptivity and enthusiasm on the part of the public entities with whom we have spoken.
Please complete our sentence: The world needs a circular economy because…
…the existing linear economic model, which is built on take-make-waste and has detrimental effects on the environment and society, is outmoded, and the world needs a circular economy focused on waste reduction, resource conservation, and climate change mitigation, as well as opening new business opportunities and fostering social inclusion. We all need to realize that resources are finite and interconnected, and therefore require a systemic and collaborative approach to design, produce, use, and recover products and materials.
Would you like to meet Simby and experience the award ceremony live in Berlin? Register now for the event: https://green-alley-award.com/event-registration/