Circular Economy start-up wins global green business competition with their innovation for vegetable leather

Delft, 3 November 2022 – Mabe Estudio wins the prestigious Global Grand Final of ClimateLaunchpad – the world’s biggest green business competition powered by Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative, EIT Climate-KIC. With its solution, vegetable leather made from Angico tree pods, the fashion industry can reduce their carbon emissions.

Eighty per cent of the ecological footprint in the fashion industry comes from the materials that are used. There is a high demand for more sustainable products and start-up Mabe has an answer with a plant-based leather that is indistinguishable from the real thing. No animals nor chemical products are needed for production, and it is also much cheaper than real leather. The resource? Pods of the Angico tree, commonly found in South America. The runner-up is WAGA from Tanzania with its idea for producing battery- powered products from recycled laptop batteries. 2D Membranes from Switzerland came in third with its idea that tackles CO2 emissions at the source.

80 teams battled in the Global Grand Final 

These finalists represent the top three ideas out of 1,990 applications submitted worldwide. Their ClimateLaunchpad journey began with intensive coaching and Boot Camps. After their National Final, they advanced to one of four Regional Finals (Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas). There, the teams pitched for the first time on an international stage, competing for a spot at the Global Final and here they are!

Mabe founder Marina Belintani can’t believe she won: “We are the first Brazil start-up that even reached the Global Grand Final of ClimateLaunchpad and we were already so proud of that.” She will use the €10,000 she won to give Mabe a good start. “There is so much potential in the Brazilian circular economy. I hope we can grow big and inspire other start-ups to do the same with their innovations.”

Groundbreaking ideas that can grow into fully-fledged and sustainable businesses

Sourced from across the globe, these teams are the cream of the crop among green start-ups worldwide. These entrepreneurs are unlocking the world’s cleantech potential with breakthrough solutions in emissions reduction and climate adaptation that can revolutionise the way we consume, move and live. In addition to the cash prizes, they get access to one of the 16 spots in a dedicated accelerator programme, providing tailored follow-on support to help turn their idea into a successful business and continue to create positive climate impact.

The Global Grand Final 2022 was organised in the Netherlands by the ClimateLaunchpad team, based out of the Innovation & Impact Centre of TU Delft. The final was broadcasted from The Green Village, field lab for sustainable innovation in the urban environment.

Kirsten Dunlop, CEO EIT Climate-KIC, says:  “Adapting to our changing environment is an invitation to be inspired by the inherent ability of our natural systems to regulate and regenerate. ClimateLaunchpad provides a platform for innovators to accept this invitation and challenge to develop cleantech ideas for adaptation and resilience, blue economy, circular economy, clean energy, food systems, sustainable mobility, and urban transformation solutions.

As we celebrate the winners of these awards, we encourage other change-makers to extend the invitation again and again, connecting ideas and solutions so that together we are building a just, beautiful and climate-resilient society.”

Emilie Bronsing, Programme Lead, ClimateLaunchpad, says: “It is so inspiring to hear all teams talk about their ideas in such an entrepreneurial and convincing way every year. This applies not only to the participating and winning teams, but also to our alumni. To learn with and from each other and to inspire each other in the further development of their ideas, plans and companies.

We trust to have helped the teams develop the necessary skills in recent months and also to provide a network to grow further. We thank all this year’s participants, including all our national leads, trainers and partners, and wish everyone the best of luck with the further development of their business, with which we all contribute to tackling the global climate challenge.”

More detailed information on all 2022 finalists at Climate Launchpad website.

You can find some photos here.

About ClimateLaunchpad
ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business ideas competition. Its mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. A green future demands thousands of innovations challenging the current business models. The competition supports aspiring and promising cleantech entrepreneurs with training, coaching and networking opportunities. ClimateLaunchpad operates on a global scale, currently in 59 countries. ClimateLaunchpad was established in 2014 and is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC.

Since its start ClimateLaunchpad has attracted almost 14,000 ideas that resulted in over 4,300 teams of entrepreneurs trained. The ClimateLaunchpad programme is run in close collaboration with local partners (National Partner Organisations). The Top 3 teams from the Global Grand Final were supported by: Climate Ventures (Mabe), Anza (WAGA) and Start-Up Academy (2d Membranes).

LinkedIn: ClimateLaunchpad
Instagram: ClimateLaunchpad
Twitter: @ClimateLaunch

About EIT Climate-KIC
EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s climate innovation initiative, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon and resilient world by enabling systems transformation. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it operates from 13 hubs across Europe and is active in 39 countries. EIT Climate-KIC was established in 2010 and is predominately funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

As a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), it brings together more than 400 partners from business, academia, the public and non-profit sectors to create networks of expertise, through which innovative products, services and systems are developed, brought to market and scaled-up for impact.

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