Meet the accelerator programme that boosts the environmental and social impact of growing startups (sponsored)

Maze X is a 4-month impact startup accelerator that works with European entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in partnership with corporates and investors. If you want to make it to the 2021 cohort, learn how the alumni succeeded before you.

Here are four growing impact businesses that were accelerated by the Maze X Startup Programme

Last year we posted an article with 4 recommendations to help you get into Maze X. Today, we share four success stories of four Maze X alumni, why they were chosen and how the programme helped them boost their impact.

Vytal, a smart reusable packaging-as-a-service for takeaway

Convenient food consumption, despite being a global mega trend, leads to a tremendous amount of disposable packaging waste. Every year food packaging worth €259 billion ends up as waste in the ocean or is burnt at landfill. Vytal, founded in 2019 in Germany, is focused on separating to-go-food consumption from producing packaging waste, a market opportunity worth €600 billion.

Maze X chose Vytal because of their scalable solution and their ambitious team that presented a strong and concrete implementation plan for growth. After testing the German market, we expect to see Vytal in the major European markets (soon). Overall, Maze X helped Vytal with their operational expansion in Germany, fundraising support, and leadership coaching.

“Maze X is a special accelerator programme not because it has an impact focus but because the smart team is on its feet ready to challenge the founders. They have a great network of partners and care to find solutions to the individual startup’s challenges. One thing I took away from the accelerator is clarity: not to overthink but to choose the simple solution, e.g. for financial modelling and communication,” said Dr. Tim Breker, co-founder of Vytal​.

Eco Wave Power, a wave and ocean energy production technology

According to the UN, energy use and production is the dominant contributor to climate change – accounting for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to our global dependence on fossil fuel-based power generation. In addition, energy demand is set to grow by more than 25% to 2040, requiring more than 2 trillion a year of investment in new energy supply. In order to meet these rising demands, we need to adopt new and clean sources of electricity production worldwide, such as wave energy.

Maze X chose Eco Wave Power, who were founded in 2011 in Tel Aviv, because of their disruptive technology and the fact that when they applied, they had just signed a letter of intent with a Portuguese port. If the company succeeds in Portugal, it will be an important case study to the wave energy sector in Europe and beyond.

Maze X helped Eco Wave Power have a dedicated team of lawyers with experience in the energy field who are advising them entirely probono throughout the whole process of implementing the project in the North of Portugal. The support is being provided by Maze X’s partner, PLMJ, to set up a company in Portugal, and map licensing process and requisites and negotiations with project partners.

imagiLabs, a mobile platform to teach coding to young girls

If technology is the future, that means that the people driving innovation in tech are essentially the ones shaping the future. imagiLabs believes that women deserve at least a 50% say in what our world is going to look like. But today, women make up less than 20% of the tech workforce, and this all starts during pre-teen and teen years: while at age 11 girls and boys have a similar interest in tech, by the age of 16 only 36% of girls are interested in the field.

Maze X chose imagiLabs because they are successfully tackling a very complex problem in a very simple and actionable way. imagiLabs was founded in Stockholm in 2018, by three ambitious co-founders with a clear vision for growth supported by a thriving and active community as well as promising sales figures. If they succeed, the whole tech-related ecosystems will benefit from having a more diverse talent pool designing our future.

Maze X helped imagiLabs improving their internal sales processes, pricing strategy, team culture and dynamics and leadership coaching to the CEO.

sepiia, smart clothes that minimize environmental impact

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Fashion is traditionally attached to design and creativity, but not connected with technology. However, the new customer is more demanding and more environmentally aware. We buy 60% more clothes today than in 2000.

Maze X chose sepiia, which was founded in Madrid in 2016, because the company optimises technology and sustainability in an increasingly conscious market: fashion. Their traction is promising and has been supported by the team’s cohesion, ambition, capacity to execute and culture.

Maze X helped sepiia to reflect the company’s strategy, to kick-off its internationalisation process in Europe, team culture and fundraising. If sepiia succeeds, they will prove a new way to support consumer preferences while protecting our planet.

Why join Maze X startup accelerator?

Maze X is a 4-month accelerator programme that supports impact entrepreneurs who are solving the world’s most pressing problems with the capital, skills and networks they need to achieve their vision. Their 2021 cohort kicks-off on April 12th, and you can apply here before Monday 21st December 2020. 

The last cohort of Maze X included impact startups developing corporate pilot projects with Maze X partners in areas that range from electric mobility (ElectricFeel with BNP Paribas), corporate culture (Mystery Minds with PLMJ), to cancer treatment (NU RISE with Hospital da Luz Learning Health), and many others.

MAZE is leveraging its experience accelerating +90 impact startups and its impact VC fund, in partnership with Mustard Seed, to attract the most promising entrepreneurs from across Europe to position Portugal as a European hub for high growth impact investing and entrepreneurship.

The founding partners of Maze X are the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations. The corporate partners are PLMJ, BNP Paribas, and Hospital da Luz Learning Health. Maze X is hosted by Casa do Impacto, the main impact entrepreneurial hub in Lisbon. Maze X is a member of the Global Accelerator Network.