Interview with Julia Bialetska, Co-Founder & CEO of S.Lab
Julia, you are the winner of the Green Alley Award 2023 – congratulations! Can you please describe: a challenging moment, a fun moment, and a moment when you felt proud during the event?
When we saw the shortlist for the finals, we were really honoured to be among them, and we did think that it would be a challenge to win the prize. So, I think every startup has an impactful solution and all of them deserve to be winners as well.
I felt really proud during the Q&A session after the pitch as we had answers to almost every judges’ question. We’ve been exhausting all our ideas, strategies and potential risks in the team by communicating all of them, finding solutions and eliminating potential risks, so it was easy for me to have all of the answers ready.
The fun moment probably was the announcement of the winner. We were positively surprised to be the winner and were really, really happy about that, so we shouted in surprise when we heard the name of our startup! And then, when we were on the stage, I was a little bit caught off guard as I didn’t think of any speech, so I said what I was feeling and what was coming from my heart.
Winning an award is an important step for most startups. How do you think this award impacts your company?
Startups that are working in the circular economy have to be drivers of change in the economy, business and even society. It’s not an easy task and every recognition, every opportunity to meet like-minded people, to get advice and the possibility to talk to potential customers have a very high value.
Winning the prize gives us even more validation and recognition, helps build credibility and establish S.Lab as a reputable and innovative player in the circular economy. Winning awards helps promotion and increases visibility. This increased exposure attracts new customers, investors, and potential partners.
Your startup is in a crucial state at this present moment. What will be the next step and how do you see your company evolving? Where do you see your startup in one year?
As we aim to have worldwide exposure for our sustainable packaging, we are focusing on scalable technology, which will allow us to produce packaging in a very efficient way on an industrial scale. Therefore, in one year, we see ourselves producing 1 million packaging units a year and then scaling even further to mini-factories and producing packaging in every location of the world.
With the Award you received €25,000. How will you invest the prize money?
We will invest the prize money into our automated production line where we will be able to produce more sustainable packaging. Further, we want to scale production with the help of decentralized mini-factories. This prize will help us build machines in the production line and we will not need to raise this money from investors.
This is an abridged version of the interview with Julia. Read the full interview here.