For 33 startups from all over Switzerland, the three-month funding program “Circular Economy Incubator 2021” will start next week. They all have circular business models – meaning solutions based on the principles of the circular economy such as reuse, repair, resell, and refurbish – and they stand for a future where doing business is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
The recently published report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has once again made it clear that we urgently need to minimize the negative impact of our production and consumption patterns on the climate. The circular economy can take on an important role here – and startups with successful circular business models in particular can make a decisive contribution to the transition from the linear to the circular economy.
Hybrid program implementation for the first time
Already more than 50 startups have gone through the previous two editions of the Circular Economy Incubator program. New this year is the hybrid execution: instead of on-site sessions in the Impact Hubs in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich, the startups participate in mostly virtual Lunch’n’Learn and peer exchange sessions. “The hybrid program format simplifies participation from all parts of the country and increases flexibility for all participants. The central point of interaction is the digital “self-learning tool”, which includes all important program materials and tools, and in which the startups work out important milestones together with their mentors,” says Noora Buser, coordinator at the program organizer Impact Hub Switzerland.
Broad field of participating startups
Although the 33 projects operate in different sectors, the circular economy is embedded in the DNA of all of them. Projects such as Mission Mycelium or Kly, for example, reprocess seemingly useless waste materials for further use, while digital platforms such as Thingsy, WiSort, or 2050 Materials uncover the circular potential of goods and encourage both companies and consumers to produce and consume more sustainably.