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Amazon Sustainability Accelerator Announced the 15 European Start-ups Selected

Amazon has selected 15 European start-ups for its third Amazon Sustainability Accelerator. This four-week program offers workshops, tutoring, and networking to help these companies scale their sustainable business models. For the first time, participants can present technologies for potential pilot projects with Amazon. The program covers circular economy, building energy, and packaging, and includes €10,000 AWS credits.



Amazon Sustainability Accelerator

Amazon presented the 15 European start-ups that will participate in the third edition of the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator, a four-week program designed to help emerging companies overcome the challenges of creating and scaling a business committed to sustainability. That will be done through workshops led by experts, specialized tutoring, a tailored curriculum and access to a network of entrepreneurs in the sustainability sector, among other advantages.

Furthermore, this year, and for the first time, start-ups will have the opportunity to present their technologies to participate in a pilot project in direct collaboration with different Amazon business areas in Europe, which would open the doors to future collaborations and implement its technology at a European level, with a potential investment of up to 2 million euros.

The 15 selected start-ups cover a wide geographical and demographic range, with headquarters in 10 countries and more than 600 employees together. With projects ranging from combating the consequences of “fast fashion” to initiatives related to the reuse of packaging or artificial intelligence, these start-ups will focus on boosting their businesses in one of the three categories of this edition: circular economy , energy in buildings and packaging. 

Since its launch in 2022, the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator has supported more than 25 emerging companies in Europe and the United Kingdom, including two Spanish ones

The Amazon Sustainability Accelerator has provided over $1 million in grants and credit, helping these businesses increase sales by an average of 700% and raise over €18.7 million to date.

One of the start-ups that will participate this year in the Amazon Sustainabilty Accelerator is ACS Clothing , a Glasgow-based clothing “renovation” company that processes six million garments a year for subsequent return, rental or resale through your cleaning and repair service. It is currently the largest circular fashion center in Europe, and works with well-known brands such as Chloé, The North Face, LK Bennett and Timberland, to prolong the useful life of garments and minimize waste.  

“As pioneers in the circular fashion sector for more than 25 years, at ACS Clothing we aim to reconfigure the fashion industry, moving from the traditional “make, wear and throw away” model to a circular model that prolongs the life of materials and prevent garments from becoming waste,” says Andrew Rough, CEO of ACS Clothing . “We have already helped several leading fashion brands join the circular economy and strengthen their sustainability achievements. Participating in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator will give us the resources we need to grow and contribute to the transformation of the global fashion economy. 

In the packaging category, Finland-based company RePack allows sellers to ship their products in packaging that can be returned from anywhere in the world by simply dropping it in a mailbox. RePack has worked with numerous consumer brands and e-commerce companies, including Royal Canin, Zalando and Otto. 

In the building energy category, Austrian start-up Raicoon offers AI-based software that detects errors and automates solar plant operations to optimize and reduce energy waste. This software is capable of increasing the energy production of existing systems by 6% and reducing operating expenses by 30% to 50%. 

Amazon Sustainability Accelerator: Companies were chosen from hundreds of applications

Start-ups participating in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator will work with experts from Amazon’s Sustainability, Climate Pledge Fund and Climate Pledge Friendly teams, attend specialized workshops, and receive advice and €10,000 in AWS Activate credits. 

In addition, and new to this edition, start-ups will also have the opportunity to present their cutting-edge technologies to key decision-makers so that they can be integrated into different areas of Amazon’s business, as part of the first Climate Tech Pilot Challenge. For four weeks, They will receive personalized support that will help them adjust these technologies to Amazon’s specific needs, after which they will present their pilot projects.

Three start-ups will then be selected and participate in an eight- to ten-week program to evaluate their pilot project with the aim of launching it, which could mean a contribution from Amazon to these start-ups of between 50,000 and 2 million euros, depending on the duration and scope of the project. 

“I am delighted to welcome the 15 startups joining this year’s Amazon Sustainability Accelerator, and participating in our first Climate Tech Pilot Challenge,” said Zak Watts, International Director of Sustainability at Amazon . «This year more companies are participating, and this means that we can help more entrepreneurs reach their full potential, in addition to being able to offer them the unique opportunity of testing their technology directly in different areas of Amazon. “We want the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator to become the best program in the world to help entrepreneurs pioneer and develop cutting-edge sustainability solutions.” 

In this third edition, the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator is carried out in collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading center for climate change innovation, and the strategy and innovation consultancy Founders Intelligence, which belongs to Accenture.

The start-ups that will participate in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator have been selected from hundreds of applications, each of them providing innovative solutions, solid sustainability credentials and great growth potential. For their part, the start-ups participating in the advanced phase have passed the prototype tests and are working with the aim of generating their first income and growing their operations, and develop their activity in three key areas: circular economy, energy in buildings and packaging. 

Ezra Konvitz, Director and Head of Accelerators at Founders Intelligence , said: “We love finding ways for large companies to work with leading startups that are designing the future. The incredible start-ups and technologies that will be part of the Climate Tech Pilot Challenge fill us with hope: if we can help them find the best way to work at Amazon’s scale, we will make them have a revolutionary impact. 

The success story of the two Spanish start-ups that participated in the 2023 edition

Infinite Athletic, a Barcelona-based company dedicated to the manufacture of 100% recyclable high-performance tennis clothing from reused racquet strings, was one of the start-ups selected to participate in the 2023 edition. The commitment of the company with sustainability and innovation was reinforced with its participation in the program.

Its co-founder, François Devy, highlights the valuable knowledge acquired thanks to the accelerator, which not only helped refine Infinite Athletic’s communication strategies, including a marketing collaboration with a major tennis brand, but also facilitated its rapid expansion in different countries. Thanks to process optimization and a precise approach, the company has managed to successfully position itself among certain demographic groups and consolidate its presence worldwide. 

FUNQ ‘, a soft drink company based in Spain and Germany, also participated in the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator in 2023. After passing through the accelerator, the company managed to introduce its range of beverages in 1,600 stores of the main retail chain in Germany (Rossman ), and raise around 2 million euros in financing.

“Participating in the 2023 Amazon Sustainability Accelerator transformed FUNQ’ and fueled our growth, connecting us with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors who are experts in developing sustainable products. The program fostered innovation in a diverse ecosystem, helping us shape our products and enter a community that values ​​environmentally friendly practices. For us, the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator was not just a program, but a catalyst for valuable connections and positive changes in the startup landscape,” said Michael Schwarz, co-founder of FUNQ’. 


(Featured image by Daniel Holland via Unsplash)

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Jeremy Whannell loves writing about the great outdoors, business ventures and tech giants, cryptocurrencies, marijuana stocks, and other investment topics. His proficiency in internet culture rivals his obsession with artificial intelligence and gaming developments. A biker and nature enthusiast, he prefers working and writing out in the wild over an afternoon in a coffee shop.