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4 November


The Hague, Thursday 4 November. In an eventful evening featuring two hotly-contested pitch battles and tangible dealmaking to scale promising impact startups, Alver World and reNature were crowned the first-ever winners of the Get in the Ring Impact Competition. Selected out of 7500 startups, the 20 most promising solutions in food, water and energy converged in The Hague for Europe’s biggest impact meetup, ImpactFest on November 4. 

Kicking off in The Hague at ImpactFest 2020, the Impact Competition travelled through Europe’s leading impact ecosystems – Berlin, Lisbon, Geneva, Oslo and Copenhagen. For the European final, two winners from each national event were joined by 8 wildcards from a pan-European public voting campaign that received over 5000 votes, which comprised startups from across the continent. 

The Impact Competition was created to identify Europe’s most promising startups in the domains of food, water and energy and to test, scale and prove their impact solution via dealmaking with leading corporates, investors and ecosystem players. The competition is an initiative of Unknown Group and ImpactCity The Hague, one of Europe’s leading impact ecosystems. Both organizations identify and scale promising innovations able to solve 21st century challenges in the domains of food, water and energy. 

The Impact Finals delivered on its promise of tangible dealmaking – it was attended by impact investors from around the world, including 60 high-level investors from the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). Early-stage VC and business development firm, Unknown Group, the main partner of ImpactFest, also shared that they are in extensive investment talks with five of the twenty impact ventures that made it to the Impact Finals.

The Champion Jury, comprising Carol Gribnau (Executive Director – Stichting DOEN), Lisa Jordan (Managing Director – Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation) and Hendrik Halbe (Partner & CEO – Unknown Group) had a tough time deciding on the final winners. 

In the first pitch battle, Germany’s Wasser 3.0, who have developed a technology to take microplastics out of drinking water took on reNature, who are based out of The Netherlands, supporting farmers and corporates transition to regenerative agriculture.

In the second pitch battle, Switzerland’s Alver World, who make Golden Chlorella, the world’s most sustainable protein squared up against Spain’s Bioo, who developed an ingenious method of generating electricity from nature.

Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Saskia Bruines said: “Congratulations to the winners of the European finals of the Get in the Ring – Impact Competition: reNature and Alver World What a thrilling ending to the 6th edition of ImpactFest. It is great to see what innovative solutions are being developed by impact entrepreneurs in the field of food, water and new energy. Themes that we, as ImpactCity The Hague, are also working hard on to enable a sustainable future for our residents and the city, together with the entrepreneurs who prove that ‘Doing good & Doing business’ go together.”

Director of Get in the Ring and partner at Unknown Group, Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen said: “Get in the Ring is all about shining a spotlight on the unconventional solutions and founders who are working to create a better future. The pan-European Impact Competition is a perfect example of this – in each of the six cities we traveled to, we’ve been extremely impressed with the quality and impact potential of the startups”. He concludes: “Congratulations to the 20 impact startups that made it to The Impact Finals and of course to Alver World and reNature, for being the first-ever winners of the Impact Competition”.

About Unknown Group 

Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm, supporting founders and industry leaders to successfully bring innovations to the market: a “Venture Engine®”. With a fresh approach delivering venture success, lining up the industry and creating a pool of solutions ready to be adopted by the market. Through Unknown Group, Get in the Ring was created as a global startup competition to find and support promising startups from all corners of the world to test and scale their solutions with governments and industry leaders.-up ook een briljant idee op techgebied ontwikkeld?

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