Impact. “People who feel like their careers truly matter are more satisfied with their working lives, and they’re also more resistant to the strain of hard work.“ said Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown University and an author of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”.

We can all relate, to some degree. Often when you ask a person “what do you want to get out of your job?” or “what’s the primary goal of your business?” an altruistic statement is likely to follow. For a good reason too: who doesn’t want a direct message on their Instagram saying “Thank you. You changed my life.”? There is a frequent disconnect between our altruistic tendencies and our financial realities, though.

It is difficult to build a business that combines social impact and financial viability. Often practicality of our day-to-day, feeding our kids or paying our college loans, leads us to forget our dreams of solving world hunger.

Social impact and financial viability DO NOT have to be mutually exclusive.

Your financial viability is in direct correlation with the number of people you serve and how well you serve them. For this reason, you should not discount your altruistic goals. How about you look at them instead and see where you could build a business around them? Or how about you make sustainability and recycling a fundamental part of your business model? You can even build a business around recycling, waste reduction, reuse or some other foundation of the circular economy. If that appeals to you, you are on your way to pursuing a business based around the health of our planet. If so, the Green Alley Award might be of interest to you.

What is Green Alley Award?

The Green Alley Award is an annual award for European startups working in the circular economy, which is a type of economy based on minimizing waste and the reuse of unwanted materials or products.

Who Should Apply?

European Startups who are looking to help solve the global waste challenge with one of the following solutions:

  • Digital Circular Economy: the use of digital technologies and solutions to drastically minimize the need for raw and nonrenewable resources
  • Recycling Solutions
  • Ideas for Waste Prevention

How Do We Apply?

Fill out the application form here. This form will ask you a series of questions including your personal information, the name of your business, the waste stream your startup solves for, etc. The final part of the application is to submit your pitch deck, which we would STRONGLY suggest you customize for the award.

How Do We Customize Our Pitch Deck?

Use the Green Alley Award Guideline which tells you to submit your deck with the following information, and in this order:

  1. Summary: Tell them the story of your business, who it serves, and how it relates to the circular economy.
  2. Product/Service/Technology: Communicate what your product is and how it’s special amidst all of the other solutions to this problem.
  3. Customers and Market: Discuss your target group, as well as your competitors. This is also the section where you communicate the risks and opportunities your product/service faces, whether they be legal barriers, cultural norms, scalability or anything else.
  4. Business Model: Show the judges how you plan to make money. If you’re already making profit, explain your sales and marketing channels, and how you intend to scale.
  5. Team: Tell the judges who you are (founders, the team, advisors) and the backgrounds of each member. This is also an opportunity to express what resources or expertise your team still needs; your experience with professional support, accelerator, and coaching programmes should also be described.
  6. Financials: This is the part where you break down how much money your startup needs and will need in the future. Also discuss your history (if any) with investors, grants, or subsidies.
  7. Targets & Milestones: Communicate the biggest success your startup has had so far and the KPI(s) you figured out as a result of it. Also discuss the obstacles you have faced and are facing or expect to face. If you have any objectives which you are unable to fulfill alone, here is the time to discuss what resources or advice you need to meet them.
  8. Current Status: Tell the judges about your current seed stage and legal status and the date on which your startup was founded.
  9. Contact Details: Provide the details of how you can be reached if the judges have any questions.

Once you have covered all of these points, your pitch deck is complete. Make sure the deck is no more than 10 Mbyte and that it is in one of the following formats: .ppt, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx. Lastly, just note that Green Alley wants no more than two slides per section, so stay concise when making your deck.

What Happens if We Win?

Six finalists will receive feedback from circular economy experts and startup mentors, as well as an opportunity to pitch their startups to the media and investors. The winner will receive €25,000 in cash.

What’s the Deadline?

Submit your information and pitch deck by midnight of June 25th, 2019. After that,await for the judges to make their decision and select six finalists  who will be contacted in September.