GoB2B Circular Economy Impact Journey

What a journey!

We have known for decades that we – as consumers, citizens, manufacturers, decision-makers or entire economies – are using many more resources than our planet can reasonably provide. Transitioning towards a Circular Economy is long overdue! And solutions exist. They simply (or not so simply) need to replace old ways of producing, consuming and disposing the numerous things we consider as vital for our wellbeing.

Thanks to the Innovation Center Denmark for enabling us at Studio Nima to co-organize the GoB2B Circular Economy Impact Journey end of June 2022 to bring Danish innovators together with stakeholders that can help scale their solutions in the German market.

With an inspiring opening session at Alte Utting – as an example for creative re-using of a product that had supposedly reached its end of life – we started the journey by exchanging on the specific solutions of the Danish start-ups and gaining an overview on the Circular Economy Ecosystem in Munich thanks to Circular Munich.

The afternoon of Day 1 was representative for fruitful multi-stakeholder collaboration. We joined forces with MCube, TU München, UnternehmerTUM and CirculaTUM for a working session on circular solutions in last mile delivery and water management. The subsequent networking event was kindly opened by the Danish Consul General Jess Møller Knudsen and the second mayor of Munich Katrin Habenschaden. A panel discussion with Dr. Ursula Triebwetter (City of Munich), Christian Dworak (BSH), Felix Hilti (Ananda Impact Ventures), Lotte Christina Breengard (BLOXHUB) and Sonali Müller Kamble (Innovation Center Denmark) and moderated by our Founder Leonhard Nima carved out the challenges of moving circular solutions beyond being pilot projects but rather part of mainstream business, production and consumption. The relevance of legislations, directives, or resolutions at global, national and city levels was stressed as it helps players to orchestrate their ambitions and actions.

What makes a good leader in a circular economy? Does being a leader for sustainability differ from conventional business leadership? With its strong focus and expertise on Responsible Leadership, BMW Foundation kindly hosted us with the delegation of Danish Start-ups. Time for introspection and a walk along the Isar river gave entrepreneurs a glimpse into the methodology of BMW Foundation and its work with sustainable leaders in the RESPOND Accelerator. Lunch with delicious food from Organic Garden was complemented by informal impulses from EIT Food and Vsquared, thereby turning the break into a productive and energizing experience.

Time for a home run for the Danes! Before heading to Berlin, Innovation Center Denmark kindly opened its doors for exclusive sessions with AWS and BSH to learn about the dos and don’ts when seeking to collaborate with a corporate as a start-up. Specific programs for such collaborations were presented and the start-ups got the chance to pitch their solutions and receive valuable feedback.

A few days before the official opening of Impact Hub Berlin, we got the chance to organize a matchmaking session between our Danish start-ups and Impact Hub’s Circular Together cohort of entrepreneurs. World Fund was also there to present their approach to impact investing.

Construction material made of fungi, customizable circular shoes or fertilizer made of fish excrements – circularity is a strong focus in the innovative technologies and solutions featured at FUTURIUM Berlin. A guided tour through the impressive architecture and exhibition provided inspiration for the start-ups.

How do we get from single to multi-transactional business models? Product as a Service business models are one way of prolonging the life cycle of products while at the same time creating new revenue streams for companies. Based on the methodology of warm data labs, the start-ups entered into a co-creation process with H&M’s innovation lab and sustainability department.

For the closing session of the 3-days journey, we had the chance to organize a pitching session and a panel discussion with subsequent networking event at the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin. Insights from Invest in Denmark, Planet A, World Fund and Agora Energiewende and pitching opportunities for the Danish Start-ups made this evening a great final of the Circular Economy Impact Journey!