Circularity Tales: Accelerating green impact in Barcelona
The inaugural edition of “Raíz,” organised by Impact Hub Barcelona, showcased a diverse cohort of innovative startups committed to integrating circularity principles into their business models. The five participating startups of the programme were provided valuable training and facilitated meaningful connections, contributing to the overall success and impact of these ventures.
In June 2022, Impact Hub Barcelona successfully concluded the first edition of “Raíz,” a programme dedicated to supporting and incubating startups and new companies aspiring to integrate circularity principles into their business models and value propositions.
Over a span of three months, Impact Hub Barcelona facilitated training on various pertinent topics such as circular economy, impact measurement and management, systems thinking, marketing, and sales. Collaborating closely with a team of over thirty mentors, the program worked alongside five participating entrepreneurs, fostering the development of their skills, connections, and confidence as they prepared to enter the market.
Meet the 5 participating startups of Raíz’s first edition
The standout project of Raíz’s first edition was Sustein Material, a startup led by Simon Gonzalez that focuses on repurposing healthcare waste for construction materials. Simon’s project addresses the alarming fact that 100% of sanitary waste from hospitals and health centers ends up in landfills or incinerators. Through Sustein Material, Simon aims to extend the typically brief lifespan of these materials, transforming them into valuable resources for housing construction.
As the winner, Simon was awarded a membership to Impact Hub Barcelona’s space for the upcoming months. He expresses the significance of being part of the community, emphasising the invaluable synergies and new social circles that Impact Hub has provided during the programme.
Another notable participant, Ston Agona, presented an urban sneaker made from recycled and vegan materials, spearheaded by Sergio Muñoz Fernández. Although the product is not yet on the market, Sergio acknowledges the programme’s contribution to shaping a narrative around the circularity of their sneakers.
Arova Arquitectura, led by architect Adriana Rodríguez, is an architecture and interior design studio that gives a second life to construction waste. Impact Hub Barcelona highlights a success story, as Adriana secured a collaboration agreement with Fundació Roure shortly after completing the programme.
This is Ours is a clothing rental platform for major brands, promoting circular fashion and luxury clothing while prioritising environmental care. Created by Vanessa Filippa Teixeira and accompanied by Eva María Mendoza Díez, the project aligns with the programme’s ethos.
Lastly, Midori, a gamification app created by Alejandro Ponce, participated in the programme to encourage a more circular lifestyle by discouraging throwaway practices. With a commendable track record and work history, Midori has already been recognised in El Periódico.
Impact Hub Barcelona’s circular economy insights
Throughout the programme, Impact Hub Barcelona organised various events under the leadership of Marina Medina Camps, the main coordinator of Raíz. These events aimed to support the selected startups and disseminate content related to the circular economy.
One noteworthy event was a round-table discussion titled “Consumption and Activism,” moderated by Gisela Ibáñez, an activist for sustainability and chief operations manager at Go Zero Waste. The discussion involved participants such as Sònia Flotats, a journalist specialising in fashion sustainability trends magazine; So Good So Cute, Anna Badia, a promoter of regenerative agriculture; and Llorenç Witty, a workshop leader and educator on the ecosocial transition.
The participants reflected on challenges such as the lack of information, transparency, and mislabeling by major brands, hindering consumers from making sustainable and responsible purchases. Governments offer policy solutions, but the event emphasised the individual challenge of practising critical consumption with ethical, social, and solidarity values. Impact Hub Barcelona aims to support entrepreneurs driving positive change, and Raíz stands as a testament to their success in that endeavour.
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