Record-breaking number of applications for the Green Alley Award 2023

7 December 2022

Christmas came early this year – at least for the Green Alley Award team who was overwhelmed by a record number of 226 applications for Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy!

Now, it is time to unwrap these 226 presents, look at each business idea and dig deeper into the data. Here are some insights we would like to share.

Circular startups on the rise

The number of applications for the Green Alley Award 2023, with an increase of 26% compared to last year, clearly shows: Circular startups are on the rise!

Our 2023 applicants come from 23 different European countries, covering a vast geographical spectrum. From Finland to Turkey and from Ireland to Ukraine, almost every region is represented.

Most applications came from Germany – making up 30% of all applications, followed by Italy (15%) and the UK (12%). Even though Berlin is still the number one startup hub, closely followed by London, smaller cities are on the rise: German startups come from 31 different cities this year.

Hotbed for circular economy solutions

Europe with its ambitious circular economy policy seems to be a hotbed for innovative startup solutions: Most of the business ideas fall into the category of waste prevention (40%), followed by digital circular economy solutions (33%) and recycling (27%).

Packaging waste and alternatives to single-use plastic are of greatest concern with 47 applications in this field. Once again, textile waste with 17% of all applications is a waste stream that is gaining awareness.

Other frequently represented resources for a circular economy come from municipal waste, food waste and critical raw materials. Looking at what our applicants have to offer, products make up half of the applications, while 28% offer a service and 22% a technology.

The Fantastic Six

226 business ideas with the potential to transform our linear economic system into a carbon-neutral and truly circular one, is a glimpse of hope for our planet.

All 226 startups now have the chance to be selected for the Top 20 that will participate in a public vote next year. Next year, you can make your voice count and vote for your favourite Top 20 startup. The winning startup will directly become one of the six finalists; the remaining five will be nominated by a selection committee.

Finally, save the date for the pitch event and award ceremony on 27th April 2023 live in Berlin – we will inform you as soon as registration is open.

The Green Alley Award team would like to thank all the applicants and all our supporters who spread the word about the award! We will now take a close look at the ideas that reached us and be back to let you know who made it to the finals.