The Green Alley Award

The Green Alley Award is Europe's first start-up competition focused on the circular economy.
In association with our partners Seedmatch, ERP Finland and Bethnal Green Ventures, Green Alley is looking for great green ideas, new services, products and technologies that can turn waste into a resource. In return we offer strategic support, networking opportunities and expertise in entering the circular economy across Europe.

Apply now

Send us your application (start-up profile & pitch deck) - deadline 27th July

Are you a green start-up or eco-entrepreneur with a brilliant idea in the green and circular economy sector? Then apply now for the Green Alley Award 2016 and become one of Europe's leading sustainable start-ups! All you need to do is to

  • fill out a short start-up profile 
    Please give us the most important facts about you and your start-up
  • send us your pitch deck, introducing your business idea in a more detailed manner

A friendly advice: have a look at our application guidelines Green Alley Award 2016  before you continue; it will help you to really convince us!

Any questions or problems? Contact us:
Deadline for all applications is the 27th July!

Send Your Application

  • "From obligation to added value" is the motto of Green Alley.
    We believe that the time has come to try new approaches.

    Jan Patrick Schulz, Managing Director

Green Alley Award 2016

The Green Alley Award is an annual european prize for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the green economy, initiated in 2014 by a group of strong partners in Germany’s entrepreneurial eco-system. We are proud to be the first start-up award to recognize promising business ideas that contribute to building a circular economy and improving the waste and recycling industry as we know it today. Our aim is to find creative people with innovative ideas about how to turn waste into a sutainable business model. 

What's it all about?

The natural resources on our earth are limited, but despite their finite nature we consume and dispose of them as if we have another earth to go to next. The linear model of economic growth has also increased the amount of waste produced by each person. Instead of continuing this trend, we need to change the way we consume our limited resources. To achieve this we need ideas that can help build a circular economy and turn waste into a resource.
This can be done by


  • reducing, reusing or recycling industrial or consumer waste streams like packaging waste, WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), batteries, used photovoltaic modules, commercial and industrial waste, plastics, etc.
  • replacing non-renewable resources with recycled or fully recyclable material
  • repairing and refurbishing, as well as extending the lifecycle of products
  • improving the reuse and recyclability of products and materials
  • improving product design and considering environmental impacts during the whole lifecycle
  • closing the materials loop through recycling and refurbishing
  • raising awareness of recycling and sustainability through new services, products or technologies
  • strengthening producer responsibility and compliance with European waste regulations


Let’s make a difference and make the world a greener place!

Who can participate?

Are you an eco-entrepreneur or green start-up who wants to tackle the global waste challenge? You can apply for the Green Alley Award no matter what stage of development your business has reached, whether you are a founder with a rough idea or a small business just starting to grow, we are open to new concepts and look forward to your application. Even national boundaries are irrelevant: we are looking for start-ups from all around the world interested in entering the European market. There is only one must-have: Your business idea must be related to waste. Not sure if you fit in? Then check out our section “What’s it all about?”

If you have found

  • a product, service or technology to help avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle or transform waste, or to revolutionize the management of resources
  • a way of raising awareness of recycling and waste challenges

then take your chance and apply today!

What's in store for me?

Being part of the Green Alley Award helps your business idea to gain visibility in the green and circular economy sector all around Europe. As a finalist we invite you to a one-day event with workshops and live pitches in Berlin where you will meet our circular economy experts and benefit from unique networking and learning opportunities. Use the event to get inspired and exchange ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs – including the award judges and mentors! The people you meet at the Green Alley Award could bring your business helpful contacts and partnerships as well as important sales and distribution channels in the German, UK market and beyond.

There is no such thing as losing. All our finalists:

  • are invited to the final in Berlin
  • will receive advice from our experts and experienced start-ups during our workshop in Berlin
  • will get networking opportunities and new business contacts in the environmental industry
  • will pitch in front of our Jury and international audience

Beside our beautifully upcycled award trophy, the one and only Green Alley Award winner receives up to 30,000 Euros in cash and services:

  • a cash prize of 7000 €
  • rent-free space in our coworking space in Berlin for six months
  • customized one-day workshop with a topic to choose (E-Commerce/Online-Marketing and -Strategies or Organizational development)
  • the possibility to receive crowdfunding, or to take part in a UK accelerator programme
  • the possibility to pitch in front of the Green Alley management board for an investment

Apply today and meet our green economy experts in Berlin!

How it Works


Your application


All you have to do is to apply online, fill out the start-up profile and send your pitch deck.

For the pitch deck, we accept all formats from power point to a pitch video as long as you follow the structure of our application guidelines Green Alley Award 2016.  Make sure to impress us with all the important details of your business idea. The deadline for your application is the 27th July 2016.


The shortlist


Once entries close on 27th July our panel of experts will judge all applications. According to our application guidelines they will analyze your business ideas and, if necessary, call in other experts or get back to you for further information.

The panel will then shortlist the finalists to join us at our pitch event at the end of October. The shortlist will be announced in September. At the end of October, all finalists will be invited to our one-day event hosted in the Green Alley coworking space in Berlin. 


The pitch event


Our one-day-event begins with both general and individually designed coaching sessions led by different mentors and experienced start-ups who will be happy to answer questions regarding your business idea and of course give you advice about the Do’s and Dont’s of a pitch.

Next you will compete in our pitch final and present your idea in five minutes live to an expert jury and guests from the circular and green economy, the media and the start-up sector. After the jury has selected and announced the Green Alley Award Winner 2016 we will all have a big party together!

Our Jury

As a finalist of the Green Alley Award you will pitch to our jury who will then select the Green Alley Award 2016 winner. The judges are experts in their field and will scrutinize your pitch with eagle eyes, so they are the ones you need to impress. Let’s have a closer look at them:

Jan Patrick Schulz

Green Alley Investment GmbH

Jan Patrick Schulz is the founder and CEO of Green Alley as well as the chairman of the board of the Landbell Group, a specialist in compliance schemes and waste management services worldwide and the mother company of Green Alley. Before his responsibilities at Landbell and Green Alley several leading positions within the OTTO-Group led him to Hong Kong and Switzerland and shaped his entrepreneurial skills. His expertise is business strategy with a focus on how companies can expand and improve through the powerful forces of competition and innovation. His international experience in different business areas makes him a perfect partner for your business development.

Jens-Uwe Sauer

Seedmatch GmbH

Jens-Uwe Sauer is the founder and CEO of Seedmatch, the crowdfunding pioneer for start-ups in Germany. Due to the lack of equity, even for excellent business ideas in Germany, he started building Seedmatch as an innovative way to fund start-ups. With Seedmatch he realized his vision for entrepreneurship and innovation: everyone gets access to exciting investment opportunities and can support good ideas while start-ups get a new way of raising equity funding from private investors. In 2013 Sauer founded Econeers aswell, the crowdfunding pioneer for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Umberto Raiteri

European Recycling Platform

Umberto Raiteri is the President and CEO of European Recycling Platform (ERP). Raiteri has 28 years of leadership experience in the European business environment, covering different responsibilities at local and European level within the Electrolux Group, where he held various senior managerial positions before his position at ERP. In eight years he has driven the growth of ERP to reach 100M€ turnover, 2500 member Companies and operations in 15 countries. He works closely with ERP’s local management teams to develop and enhance ERP’s position as the key player in the WEEE compliance market in Europe.

Tom Szaky

TerraCycle Inc.

Tom Szaky is the Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, an international leader in the collection and repurposing of difficult-to-recycle post-consumer and post-industrial waste. Across 21 countries, TerraCycle collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste, creating millions of dollars of donations for schools and charities in the process. Many of the world’s largest consumer products companies contract with TerraCycle to collect and recycle the products and packaging they produce. Through TerraCycle, Tom has pioneered a process, involving manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, to create circular solutions for waste that otherwise would go to landfill or be incinerated.

Jessica Stacey

Bethnal Green Ventures

Jessica Stacey is a Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, an accelerator programme for early stage start-ups using technology to tackle big social and environmental problems. She leads on BGV’s communications, investor network and alumni events. Prior to joining BGV Jess worked at Nesta, the UK's innovation foundation, providing research and support to a number of accelerator programmes across Europe. She has also worked for six years in PR and communications with a focus on investment and social innovation.


About us

The Green Alley Award was initiated in 2014 by Green Alley Investment GmbH in cooperation with Germany’s crowdfunding pioneer – Seedmatch. After two successful competitions, we look forward to get to know as many green ideas as possible. Young entrepreneurs across Europe are engaged to share their innovative insight into the circular economy. So far, we have already built a strong alliance of European partnerships with extensive experience. In 2016, we aim to get more partners on board in order to change the world into a more sustainable place.

We can’t wait to meet Europes finest!

Green Alley Investment GmbH

Green Alley is a green economy investor hosting a co-working space in Berlin and was founded by the recycling specialist Landbell as a fully owned subsidiary in 2013. We support and finance start-ups and eco-entrepreneurs in the circular economy who have developed innovative business models dealing with resource efficiency, the collection and recycling of waste streams such as WEEE or packaging, and similar green ideas. In addition to seed capital, through long-term shareholding we also help young green start-ups with their overall strategy and support them with our expertise in the circular economy. Our coworking office in Berlin provides space for green start-ups to work with like-minded people and connects them with other green start-ups and eco-entrepreneurs.

Landbell Group

The Landbell Group with its subsidiary companies offers a broad range of compliance and waste management services. As a full-service provider throughout Europe our areas of expertise are the collection of various materials and recyclables as well as the development of customer-specific waste disposal solutions online and offline.

In strong national units we work closely with our customers and cover the areas of system operation, innovation, specialist businesses and IT across country borders. With our various compliance and take-back systems, the Landbell Group oversees the disposal of packaging, electrical and electronic equipment as well as batteries across national borders – an ideal service for nationally and internationally active companies that enables them to fulfil their legal producer responsibilities. In 2013 we founded Green Alley Investment GmbH as fully-owned subsidiary to advance our innovation branch.

European Recycling Platform Finland

ERP Services Finland oy is part of ERP SAS, a pan-European customer oriented service provider of compliance, sustainability and consulting who strives for making Circular Economy work through providing customized sustainability & compliance solutions to our customers and sharing knowledge and consulting.

In Finland the ERP Finland Association has 42 WEEE and battery producers ranging from small innovative producers to dynamic multi-nationals. By working together to collect and treat WEEE, waste batteries and packaging we deliver benefits for people and minimize the environmental impact. Seeing how an important role green and innovative ideas play in shaping the countries Circular Economy, we met Finland’s brightest and innovative entrepreneurs in 2015 by joining the biggest start-up event in the Nordics: Slush. As a main theme, WEEE-recycling served not only to raise awareness of green business ideas but also to engage young start-uppers to get involved.

Seedmatch GmbH

Seedmatch is the first and biggest equity-based crowdfunding platform for start-up investments in Germany. Crowdfunding for start-ups is a financing model for venture capital, where a multitude of private persons and companies can invest in young businesses, starting from 250 Euros. Unfortunately, these investments are currently restricted to German account holders and residents. To date there have already been 79 financing rounds on Seedmatch since the launch in 2011 – whilst collecting over 23 million Euros. Seedmatch is always looking for new, exciting and trendsetting businesses with capital needs.

Bethnal Green Ventures

Bethnal Green Ventures is an accelerator programme for people who want to change the world using technology. We invest in and support great teams with new ideas to help build solutions to social and environmental problems through an intensive three-month programme. Our aim is to not only to launch a set of new ventures, but to build an alumni community that will go on to create and run even more social startups in the future.


Meet our partners! We are lucky to have a strong network of partners from different sectors
supporting the Green Alley Award 2016.


Für-Grü wants to contribute to creating more successful entrepreneurial companies and start-ups in Germany. The platform was created in autumn 2010 and is now one of the leading sites for entrepreneurs looking for any information about starting a business.


Live Circular is a global Circular Economy resource platform with one core mission: to encourage and promote the adoption of Circular Economy principles, accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future by providing the latest resources from industry news, videos, study material and sustainable shopping helping the world to Live Circular.


Spotfolio is a business matching platform for innovative high-tech companies and strategically active industrial enterprises, providing social media functions as well as financial and economic data on the German high-tech market. F.A.Z. subsidiary FRANKFURT BUSINESS MEDIA is the co-initiator of the platform.


Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) - Good for Berlin: Disposal and recycling, cleaning up the city and road safety - these are the tasks of the round about 5,300 employees of BSR. Good service, low fees as well as ecological and social responsibility map out the strategy of an innovative and sustainable enterprise.


The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Berlin is a mouthpiece for many companies, actively promoting Berlin as a place to do business. As a critical partner of political institutions, the CCI Berlin campaigns for entrepreneurial freedom with increased help from the state and promotes fair competition among businesses.


Startup Germany is a network of entrepreneurs dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and startup communities in Germany. We achieve our goals by educating, connecting and empowering (upcoming) entrepreneurs across Germany.


enorm is Germany’s No.1 magazine on sustainability and social innovation focusing on a solution-based journalistic approach. Enorm offers insights into the strategies of modern corporations, family, social enterprises and provides readers with inspiring ideas for sustainable lifestyle and conscious consumption.


merged media AG  is a successful operator of own online-shops. We offer our know-how as a "full-service e-commerce agency" and support our customers in all online disciplines.


The business start initiative BEST EXCELLENCE by FBM – The F.A.Z.-Fachverlag encourages and promotes innovative entrepreneurs. It provides a platform for startups and assists company founders through integral corporate management from the initial idea to the successful establishment on the market.


The RECYCLING magazine has been reporting on the latest developments in the field of recycling and waste management for 70 years. It examines each of the various groups of materials and analyses events in the world of business, politics and technology. The magazine is published in English and German.


The Leuphana Entrepreneurship Hub links the diverse activities of the University of Lüneburg with the subject of entrepreneurship . It is the central contact point for all faculties, linking research, teaching, counseling and start-up projects.


UnternehmensGrün (UG) is a nonpartisan, non-profit and financially independent entrepreneurs association. Representing more than 170 members UG campaigns for the protection of the environment and a sustainable economy.


The Changer is Germany’s leading platform for sustainable and social impact careers. We provide job offers, articles and events that help make doing good easier. Whether you’re looking to start your own social business, or just want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, The Changer is your resource for effective social change.


ArcticStartup is at the heart of building startup communities using media, events & consulting. Throughout its history, ArcticStartup reached over one million people in readership and over 7,000 attendees through events. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, it is ArcticStartup goal to help build communities with uncapped opportunities.


Enviu builds multinational social enterprises as drivers for system change. Our ventures provide access to an improved quality of life & habitat for large groups of marginalised people. Enviu initiates its own innovation programs and ventures. Over the past 12 years we have co-founded 13 social ventures and collaborated with over 30,000 people worldwide.


GreenBuzz Berlin e.V. supports sustainability on a regional and international level through research, education and networking. The non-profit association holds regular events in Berlin, e.g. "Sustainability Drinks" and "Sustainability Panels" to connect people and make Berlin and the world a better place.



Stay tuned! You will find all the updates on our start-up competition here!
Or register for the Green Alley newsletter now!

Adaptavate's secret recipe for winning the Award 2016

How do I prep for a start-up competition? And what kind of tips should I keep in mind? Adaptavate, last year’s winner of the Green Alley Award tells us its secret recipe. Read more...

Adaptavate wins Green Alley Award 2015

With its innovative approach of replacing conventional plasterboards with breathable and recyclable panels, the start-up Adaptavate won over the 2015 Green Alley Award jury. Read more...

4 tips for a convincing pitch deck

A convincing pitch deck is your ticket to awards and investment talks. Green Alley has tips on how to create a convincing presentation, so you can be fully equipped to apply for the Green Alley Award 2015! Read more...


Want to spread the word about the Green Alley Award 2016?

Please download press material and photos here:


This is what winning looks like - 2015!

Green Alley Award winner Adaptavate


  Adaptavate from London with a biodegradable and sustainable alternative to plasterboards


This is what winning looks like - 2014!

Green Alley Award winner Repack, FoodLoop, GreenLab Berlin


  RePack from Helsinki with a reusable packaging system for e-commerce


  FoodLoop from Cologne with a mobile app against food waste


  GreenLab Berlin with a vegan and organic fertilizer made of waste from cocoa production


If you want to read more about the Green Alley Award 2014 and last year’s finalists,
please visit our website:


Green Alley Investment GmbH
Oudenarder Str. 16
13347 Berlin

Christina Drechsel

Phone: +49 (0)30 200062-0
Fax: +49 (0)30 200062-110

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