A perfect kick off for the Better World Collective Innovation Summit series, on 10th and 11th November, saw key representatives from Kimberly-Clark and Natura &Co Group meet with a diverse group of innovative startups to explore how their technologies and solutions could help their global companies reach sustainable packaging targets.
Setting the scene was Tristan Kaye, Commercial Director at Notpla, who have created packaging solutions from seaweed. The company is navigating multiple successful commercial partnerships with the likes of PepsiCo, Estee Lauder and Diageo. Tristan delivered insights for the startups with their powerful story as well as pearls of wisdom and reminders for all parties present,
“It has to be a two way relationship. Don’t turn yourself inside out to work with amazing brands. Those who are willing to work with us, they are the ones we should be choosing to spend our time with”.
Building mutually beneficial partnerships to create a better world is the goal. In this platform, corporates pitch their challenge to the group of startups, and on an equal playing field, the startups present their solution to the sustainability and innovation leaders.
“This is the way we need to do disruptive innovation! We recognise that we can’t do this (reaching net zero) alone and partnerships are absolutely critical so we reached out to Better World Collective about how we make connections and network with startups, and it’s fantastic, we are at an event today and we are already seeing a number of startups with interesting offers.” Louise Scott, Chief Scientific Officer at Natura &Co.
Louise also urged startups to get involved with Better World Collective so corporate companies can talk to them directly,
“Use a platform like the Better World Collective Summits to make connections with other startups and have corporates see you in action, because we are all learning together. We won’t solve this alone and we are really keen to make partnerships in this journey”.
Better World Collective allows startups to do what they do best - innovate, and in doing so, corporates can adopt and scale more sustainable practices with ease, speed, whilst building an exciting culture of innovation within the organisation.
Jim Edwards, Digital Innovation Lead at Kimberly-Clark said that speaking to the founders was so valuable, as well as experiencing the diversity and thinking in the room. He said that the energy in the room needs to be injected into their organisation.
Simon Locke, Sustainable Design Innovation Manager at The Body Shop said, “The reason I’m here today is because it’s an amazing opportunity to be in the same room with a group of startups when usually you’d just have a call or meeting with one at a time”.
The value that Kimberly-Clark, Natura &Co and The Body Shop received from being at the event, meeting with the startups and hearing from them directly was echoed by the startups in the room.
“There has been so much value in engaging with the corporates here today. Understanding the mechanics, motivations and drivers behind their decisions and exploring how we can work together to address challenges. It has also been really interesting talking to different people within the same organisation, it’s helpful to learn that there are differing opinions internally.” Insiya Jafferjee, Founder and CEO of Shellworks
Before the corporates had the chance to meet the startup founders individually in the speed-dating session, the startups took centre stage and one by one, with great enthusiasm presented their technology or solution developed to minimise and replace the use of plastics in packaging. Each startup pitch was met with encouraging nods and note taking as the corporates thought about how each solution could be applied in their operations.
The calibre of the corporate representatives and the startups in the room meant that there were hugely valuable conversations were taking place. Both groups invested in the process of exploring open collaboration innovation partnerships.
The first day of the event saw the dynamic group of innovators and entrepreneurs embark on a day of pitch training, IP, legal and funding sessions. Taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge from Mathys & Squire, Sheridans, Innovate UK, CPI, KTN and Pulpex, the startups asked questions ranging from policy to product development.
The startups spent the day discussing their technologies and forming relationships, sparking conversations between them about how they can work together going forward.
“One of the main opportunities we have found in this room is actually exploring working with the other startups.” Lucy Hughes, Founder, MarinaTex
Stanley Mitchell, Business Development Manager at Xampla also felt that the event was an opportunity for the startups to begin to speak with a more unified voice to drive change in legislation. He said that bringing the people in the room together was a great opportunity to do something for the planet.
The partnerships created in the room at Better World Collective’s first Innovation Summit, Packaging Transformed, both startup to startup and startup to corporate, have the potential to impact millions of people around the world and help create a healthier planet and environment for all.
We look forward to sharing the outcomes.
Better World Collective will host six Innovation Summits in 2022 focused on industries such as Food, Fashion, Retail and Construction. We are looking for corporate changemakers and startups with new technologies and solutions created to help make a better world.
Are you a brand or business experiencing challenges in sustainable innovation and looking to connect with innovators?
Or, do you have an innovative, sustainable solution or technology to help minimise environmental impact?
This event is part funded by ERDF and UKRI Research England.
A huge thank you to our venue, Angel Court Bank, for providing us with a fantastic, sustainably minded space.