The Green Alley Award

The Green Alley Award is Europe's first start-up competition focused on the circular economy.
In association with our core partners Landbell, Seedmatch, ERP Finland, Bethnal Green Ventures, H2 Compliance and R2PI, 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.

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The application period for the Green Alley Award 2017 ended on 25th July. Unfortunately, you cannot apply anymore for this year’s award. Please try again next year.

  • "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 2017

The Green Alley Award is an annual European prize for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the circular 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 recognise 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 sustainable 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
  • addressing the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment
  • closing the materials loop through recycling and refurbishing
  • raising awareness of recycling and sustainability through new services, products or technologies
  • assuring that the risks from Substances of Very High Concern are properly controlled and that these substances are progressively replaced by suitable alternatives
  • protecting humans, animals, materials or articles against harmful organisms, like pests or bacteria, by the action of the active substances contained in biocidal products
  • strengthening producer responsibility and compliance with European waste and chemical 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 based in Europe 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. 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 revolutionise the management of resources
  • a way of raising awareness of recycling and waste challenges


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

Apart from 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 €
  • a one-on-one mentoring from start-up coach Ron Immink
  • dedicated PR support for at least 1/2 year
  • speaker placement
  • free tickets for SLUSH, a start-up event in Helsinki (including travelling costs for up to two persons)
  • a free annual subscription to RECYCLING magazine
  • the possibility to receive crowdfunding, or to take part in a UK accelerator programme
  • a one-on-one mentoring from our partner BGV in their UK premises
  • a desk in the BGV office for up to 1 day whenever visiting London (until May 2018)
  • an invitation to BGVs Tech for Good event in London including a community announcement-slot
  • the possibility to pitch in front of the Green Alley management board for an investment

How it Works


Your application


All you have to do is to apply online as of 25th April) by filling out the start-up profile and uploading 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 2017. Make sure to impress us with all the important details of your business idea. The deadline for your application is the 25th July 2017, 0:00 CET.



The shortlist


Once entries close on 25th July, 0:00 CET, our panel of experts will judge all applications. According to our application guidelines, they will analyse 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 in November. The shortlist will be announced in October. At the beginning of November, all finalists will be invited to our one-day event hosted in Berlin.



The pitch event


Our one-day-event begins with a short presentation of all core partners, followed by an icebreaking task and the very core of the agenda: 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 Dos 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 2017 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 2017 winner. The judges are experts in their field and will scrutinise 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.

Johannes Ranscht

Seedmatch GmbH

Johannes Ranscht is Investment and Dealflow Manager at Seedmatch, the first and leading crowdinvesting platform in Germany. At Seedmatch, he is responsible for the selection of startups and in assisting before, during and after a crowdfunding campaign. With Seedmatch everyone gets access to exciting investment opportunities in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation and can support good ideas while start-ups get a new way of raising equity funding from private investors. Before joining Seedmatch, Johannes gained experience in Business Development and founded a start-up. Johannes was studying Business Administration in Halle (Saale) and Seoul (South Korea) and holds a degree in economics.

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.

Matthew Aubrey

Bethnal Green Ventures

Matthew is the Team Organiser at Bethnal Green Ventures, an early stage investor in start-ups using technology to tackle big social and environmental problem. BGV are best known for their accelerator programme which runs twice a year, and through this have built a great community of tech for good startups. Matthew, amongst other things, leads on the selection process for the accelerator. Prior to joining Bethnal Green Ventures he worked for a social enterprise for two years.

Ron Immink


Ron combines social media, narrative, story telling, dialogue learning, collective wisdom, peer-to-peer and social learning with innovation and strategy and ultimately helping businesses to succeed. He is a CEO of Bookbuzz, entrepreneur-in-residence for Sustainable Nation, one of the founding partners of StrategyCrowd (consulting entrepreneurs) and co-founder of smallbusinesscan.

Alexis Figeac

Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Alexis has been a pioneer throughout his career, whether in Artificial Intelligence, privatisation in East Germany or venture capital. He has been in cleantech VC since 2003, first with Axiom VC then with the Entrepreneurs Fund. Alexis has invested in start-ups such as Apple Wind, Tuzetka, Antac, Future-E and Controlled Power Technologies. A consortium member of past EU projects (PRoRETT, EU-DEEP and INNEON), he is currently the overall coordinator of the EU’s major project consortium on Business Models for Circular Economy.

Zhengliang Wu

Green City Solutions

Liang studied media information technology at the Technical University of Dresden and business administration at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Working in Europe and China, he gained understanding of both markets and cultures. His focus area is the development of smart IT infrastructures.

About us

The Green Alley Award was initiated in 2014 by Green Alley Investment GmbH in cooperation with Germany’s crowdfunding pioneer – Seedmatch. After three successful competitions, we look forward to getting to know as many green ideas as possible. Young entrepreneurs across Europe are called upon 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 2017, we aim to get even more partners on board in order to change the world into a more sustainable place.

We can’t wait to meet Europe's finest!

Green Alley Investment GmbH

Green Alley is a circular economy investor based 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.

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.

Seedmatch GmbH

Seedmatch is Germany's crowdfunding pioneer for start-up investments. 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 95 financing rounds on Seedmatch since the launch in 2011 – whilst collecting over 29 million Euros. Seedmatch is always looking for new, exciting and trendsetting businesses with capital needs.

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 52 WEEE and Battery producers ranging from small innovative companies 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. ERP Finland has partnered with Green Alley since 2016.

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.

H2 Compliance

H2 Compliance provides chemical and environmental regulatory sustainability services that support company compliance, market access and competitive advantage goals. These services are underpinned with leading expertise, programme management techniques and targeted software solutions that are all highly integrated with the client's requirements. Our core areas of expertise are chemical regulations, namely REACH, RoHS, GHS and CLP, and product disposal / safe-use evaluation, including Waste, WEEE and Emissions. The company has been involved in the development of the European regulatory process first hand, both politically and technically.

The diverse customers base has its origin in the pharmaceutical, chemical, petroleum, mining and medical device sectors. The company’s network of partners and associates are based in the USA, Europe, China and Canada. H2 Compliance thus offers both a local and global support to its customers with the goal to provide leading chemical regulatory compliance service and stewardship solutions worldwide.


R2π – a Horizon 2020 project – will highlight sustainable business models for circular economy and propose "Policy Packages" that will support such business models. Under the coordination of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, within 36 months 15 partners from 9 member states and associated countries are forming a consortium that is built on a wide range of expertise, knowledge and tools. It represents three sets of partner organisations, including experts from the business sector, public bodies as well as think tanks and research institutes.

R2π examines ways to shift from the broad concept of a Circular Economy to one of Circular Economy Business Models (CEBM) while searching for both market failures and policy failure that hinder the broad implementation, use, and acceptance of CEBMs. The uniqueness of the R2π project is in having a strong business orientation that goes beyond environmental goals and in examining the role of (innovative) business tools and policy packages on the diffusion of CEBMs.


Get to know the strongest partners from different sectors
supporting the Green Alley Award 2017.


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.


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.


home&smart is a producer-independent information portal on the topics Smart Home, Internet of Things (IoT), Energy and E-Mobility on the German-language web. The platform offers comprehensive and practical information as well as advice on products, trends and innovations in this field.


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.


Tbd* 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, tbd* 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.


The Centre for Sustainable Design ® was established in 1995 in Farnham, Surrey, UK at what is now the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). The Centre has led and participated in a range of high quality research. CfSD works with partners in Europe, North America and Asia to deliver high quality results by focusing on sustainable innovation and product sustainability.


EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency), an internationally active scientific research and consultancy institute, works with actors and companies from economy, politics and science and support them for the introduction of circular processes. The company’s core competencies include product development, optimization and evaluation of materials. EPEA´s scientific basis is the Cradle to Cradle® design concept: Integrate the value chain from production of raw materials to their use in the next cycle.


The European Startup Network (ESN) was launched in September 2016. With a total of 21 democratically organized, non-profit, and independent startup associations from Europe join forces into the ESN, the ESN constitutes the European umbrella organisation representing startups. The ESN’s main goal is to harmonise and empower the European startup ecosystems with respect to the entrepreneurial culture, market access, and the legal environment. is the one-stop-shop for Belgian tech entrepreneurs with a global ambition. They help them by providing easy and qualitative access to investors, customers and experts. As a non-profit organisation, connects the dots in the tech ecosystem and is the voice of the startups in Belgium. The organisation has quickly grown to represent more than 1500 startups, and over 180 Belgian organisations working for entrepreneurs.


Good Impact is an online platform consisting of a constructive magazine, a job board, an event calendar and a travel portal. It informs about new ideas and solutions to social challenges and presents job offers with a social purpose, events with a social impact as well as sustainable travel destinations.


FinDe Connect is the expert for active key account management with established business partners as well as the acquisition of new customers on the German market. It offers practical methods for contacting the appropriate target groups, hints for successful networking and establishing business relations, support for trade fair appearances, and intercultural competence. 


StartUs is Europe’s leading startup and innovation network. It connects leading startups and organizations and offers the largest collection of European startup jobs. StartUs is the perfect platform for like-minded startup enthusiasts to connect and to build their own entrepreneurial network


UPRISE Festival, a tech festival born in Amsterdam, puts people first, technology second. UPRISE Festival Europe started in Amsterdam in 2015 and runs now its fifth edition (20th of April, Amsterdam). Previously, it hosted over 16,000 attendees and over 277 Startup companies. UPRISE just finished its first Dublin edition with great success and a sweet promise to return in November 2017.


Finpro helps Finnish SMEs go international, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes travel to Finland. Finpro is a public organization consisting of Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. Our almost 300 professionals work in 36 Trade Centers in 31 countries and 6 offices in Finland. is an online magazine for entrepreneurs, founders & startups with information about marketing, law, taxes & more. In addition, there are event announcements for founders and interviews with entrepreneurs.


Enterprise Ireland is the government agency responsible for supporting Irish businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors. We partner with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. The ultimate objective is increased exports, employment, and prosperity in Ireland.


11 different Fraunhofer institutes, 15 cities of varying sizes and 22 companies have come together to create the innovation network »Morgenstadt: City Insights« in order to collaboratively conceptualise and realise the future of an integrated, sustainable, liveable and resilient city of tomorrow. 


The combination of online-magazine, listing and data platform makes startablish the leading platform for entrepreneurs, founders & startups in Austria. In addition, startablish provides startup scouting and data analysis about the Austrian startup- scene for corporates, consultancies and public institutions.


Irish Tech News is an award winning online publication aimed at keeping you informed of all the latest news from the world of Technology. With the main focus on Irish based news, we cover a wide range of topics from social media and smartphones to Start Ups and SMEs. 


The Irish Social Enterprise Network is the largest network for social enterprises, social entrepreneurs and social innovators in Ireland. We work with profit seeking organisations with a defined social and/ or environmental mission. We work on education and training, advocacy and networking. 


At RESET our world revolves around digital-green and social innovations for sustainable development. Our focus is on ideas and organisations that use smart solutions to create positive change. We showcase trends and case studies, provide background information and actively support ecopreneurs and social entrepreneurs with our expertise.


Berlin Valley offers the best access to the German startup ecosystem. Berlin Valley stands for in-depth analysis, independent reportages, financing reports, statistics and interviews with the stars of the German and international startup scene.


For the Green Alley Award 2017, we are working together with all kinds of organisations, institutions and companies - both on a national and Europe-wide level. Amongst them are several universities, chambers of industry and commerce, governmental institutions, just to name a few. Contact us now if you want to help spread the word as well.


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

Sulapac wins Green Alley Award 2017

With their packaging solution made of wood and natural adhesives, the two Finnish natives Suvi and Laura offer a stylish, but eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. Read more...

Our six finalists for the Green Alley Award Pitch Event 2017

The finalists of the Green Alley Award 2017 hail from Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, France, and Germany; on 9 November, they’ll meet in Berlin to live pitch their business models. Read more...

Adaptavate's secret recipe for winning the Award

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...


Want to spread the word about the Green Alley Award 2017?

Please download press material and photos here:


This is what winning looks like - 2017!

Green Alley Award winner Sulapac



  Sulapac from Finnland with its sustainable packaging made of wood

This is what winning looks like - 2016!

Green Alley Award winner Green City Solutions



  Green City Solutions from Dresden with its "CityTree" - a moss installation combined with IoT technology to absorb CO2 in cities

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, 2015 and 2016,
please visit our website:


Green Alley Investment GmbH
Oudenarder Str. 16
13347 Berlin

Christina Drechsel

Phone: +49 (0) 6131 - 235652 483
Fax: +49 (0) 6131 - 235652 95 483

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