RÖMERQUELLE: 1MS #greenimpactchallenge

DELIVERABLES Challenge Design&
Startups Scouting
Design Thinking Facilitation

Eight Austrian and European impact startups were working on innovative ideas, addressing urgent challenges related to plastic recycling.


According to the World Bank, annual waste generation is expected to rise from 2.01 billion tons in 2016 to 3.40 billion tons in 2050. That’s an increase of 70 percent.

Startaparat and 1MillionStartaups initiated and organized #greenimpactchallenge in cooperation with Römerquelle. The challenge started at the 1MillionStartups Global Conference 2019, in September, in Vienna.

Through the #greenimpactchallenge competition, eight Austrian and European impact startups were working on innovative ideas that address urgent challenges related to plastic recycling. Furthermore, it sought design approaches aimed at the increase of plastic recycling in Austria. Seven out of ten bottles in Austria is recycled, how can we recycle even more? – was the challenge question.


#greenimpactchallenge started on September 12, 2019, at the 1MillionStartups Global Conference in Vienna with support of Römerquelle. Selected startups went through design thinking workshop sessions in a closed environment at the Impact Hub. Finally, teams continued working for four months.

The winner of the first #greenimpactchallenge is – Saphium Biotechnology, an Austrian startup. Saphium produces bioplastics using microorganisms. Their alternative plastic is an agent that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and 100% compostable. When that plastic comes into contact with the ground, it’s composted by microorganisms within 60 days and leaves no traces.

“All about plastic recycling and plastic alternatives is in our core. It was essential for us to be part of this challenge, and we are very excited than happy to have won.” – says Saphium team.

“In the upcoming weeks, we are starting the mini Accelerator program. We’ll polish the selected concept and bring it into the go-to-market idea. In the accelerator we’ll have Saphium, an expert from Römerquelle, 1MillionStartups, and Startaparat” – says Tanja Skoric, one of the co-founders of Startaparat and 1MillionStartups.



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