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Product, Service & Design Innovation
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Launches Database of Circular Startups

The Foundation invites businesses to discover startups through its Circular Startup Index to help accelerate innovation that facilitates transition to a circular economy.

Today, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation rolled out the full version of its searchable Circular Startup Index — designed to help businesses discover startups to facilitate circular innovation and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

500 startups are already represented across a range of sectors, industries, and geographies, providing unprecedented visibility of the world’s current circular business opportunities.

The Index is searchable by geography and industry, and features startups that are part of the Foundation’s global community. Each has been selected for incorporating one or more principles of a circular economy — ex: eliminating waste and pollution, circulating products and materials, regenerating nature — into its business proposition.

The Foundation created the Index to acknowledge the fundamental role startups play in the circular transition: startups ignite innovation, which fuels a circular economy transformation. But many face challenges when it comes to financing and scaling circular business propositions. The Index will help by facilitating the pairing of innovation with capital.

Creating Demand for New Product Categories that Involve Unfamiliar Behaviors or Experiences

Hear insights from Dr. Bronner's, Vivobarefoot and more on 'easing people in' to new products (ex: 3D-printed shoes) and formats (ex: refillable liquid soap) that are revolutionizing industries and designing out waste — Tuesday, Oct. 17 at SB'23 San Diego.

“Designing a circular future requires radical innovation to rethink how our economy works. Thousands of circular startups are already on the case,” says Ella Hedley, Project Manager, Startups at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “But they need more support and investment. So, we created the Circular Startup Index to create visibility of the breadth of circular startups on the market and help businesses discover suitable circular solutions.”

Thousands of entrepreneurs around the world are already innovating for a future in which waste becomes a resource, products and materials are in continuous circulation, and nature is regenerated. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation hopes more circular startups will apply to be part of the Index and businesses will start searching for their ideal collaboration.

“As a leading provider of sustainable, fiber-based packaging across Europe and the US, we are keen to work with disruptive businesses that can bring exciting and innovative circular solutions to DS Smith — helping us realize our purpose to redefine packaging for a changing world and reach our industry-leading circular economy ambitions,” says Hugh McCann, Senior Circular Growth Manager at DS Smith. “The Circular Startup Index has already expedited our work, bringing us into contact with potential partners — businesses that are leading the way and surfacing hundreds of circular solutions. We have already started working with one of the businesses we found on the Index and are inspired by the ongoing opportunity to engage with some of the most forward-thinking businesses in the circularity space.”


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