augustus 28, 2023

Innovation for a greener tomorrow: entrepreneurs shine at Mysteryland

At the crossroads of innovation and entertainment, Mysteryland – the worlds longest running electronic music festival – provided a platform for six innovative startups last weekend. They showcased their groundbreaking ideas and products, all aimed at fostering sustainability and positive environmental impact. Engaging directly with the festival attendees, the entrepreneurs conducted tests and sought feedback from the festival crowd on their game-changing innovations.

StatieHeld: recycling made effortless

Picture this: you’re standing in line for the festival entrance, and you realize you’ve still got a few drink cans in your bag. Enter StatieHeld, their recycling bins offer festival-goers a swift and seamless way to recycle bottles and cans, while also receiving their deposit back digitally. The festival played host to these ingenious bins, allowing the entrepreneurs behind StatieHeld to assess user-friendliness and functionality.

Valerie van Zuijlen, Creative Director at StatieHeld: “We positioned two bins at the entrances of the festival and within the first day alone, we managed to fill three 240-liter bags. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, people are happy to have a convenient means to discard their cans and bottles while also getting their deposits back. However, we’ve also noticed a significant number of international visitors, who unfortunately can’t avail deposit returns due to our collaboration with Tikkie (a Dutch company that only works with the Dutch banking system). I see enormous potential in this venture because since April, deposit systems for cans have been in place, but they’re only functional at supermarkets. We’ve pioneered a sort of pop-up approach that simplifies and streamlines the process.”

Toopi: from waste to resource

French startup Toopi embarked on a trailblazing journey to transform human urine into a treasure trove for agriculture. By harnessing the nutrient-rich potential of urine, Toopi seeks to create biostimulants that enrich soil fertility and reduce the reliance on chemical fertilizers. Mysteryland provided the perfect backdrop for testing their collection tanks, placed at the camping area restrooms. Festival attendees had the chance to contribute to a greener earth simply by answering nature’s call.

François Gerard, Project Lead of Toopi Belgium: “We aimed to gather 10,000 liters of urine, and within 2.5 days, we successfully achieved this milestone. The collected urine will now undergo fermentation and conversion into biostimulants. This benefits the environment by nurturing 400 hectares of crops ecologically, thereby enabling farmers to reduce their reliance on chemical fertilizers.”

Roua Atelier: vibrant colors from nature

Fast fashion’s ecological toll is no secret, and Roua Atelier stands as a beacon of sustainable fashion innovation. By harnessing the power of natural dyes extracted from leftover fruits and vegetables, they empowered festival-goers to create eco-friendly masterpieces. Their dye workshop on the festival’s camping site was a hub of creativity, as attendees learned to add a splash of vibrancy to their clothes while nurturing the environment.

“We demonstrated the transformative power of leftover festival food through engaging workshops, showcasing vibrant colors, and engaging in thought-provoking discussions about forging a sustainable clothing industry,” says Roua ALHalabi, founder of Roua Atelier. “The attendees were pleasantly amazed by the stunning hues derived from waste materials and their potential for usefulness. Many expressed surprise at the impact of their clothing choices on our environment and health, with some committing to scrutinize clothing labels more closely. This success propels us towards our next milestone: utilizing this as a case study for future festivals and expanding our reach.”

DRIFTY: navigating waters sustainably

DRIFTY set sail at Mysteryland with a mission to promote sustainable boating. Their 3D-printed boat, crafted from recycled PET bottles, promises a future where waterways are traversed with minimal ecological impact. The festival waters doubled as a testing ground, with the DRIFTY team ferrying artists backstage, showcasing their innovation’s user-friendliness. DRIFTY also engaged attendees in discussions about their preferences concerning subscriptions. This is part of their forward-looking vision to potentially transition their business model towards a subscription-based approach.

Louden Jansen, the visionary behind DRIFTY, shared his insights: “People truly appreciate the recycling aspect of the boat. The testing phase proved to be incredibly valuable, so in our upcoming design, we’re creating a larger version, incorporating benches as well. Conventional boats lack recyclability. Polyester boats, for instance, typically end up as scrap. The beauty of our boats lies in their end-of-life cycle – they can be effortlessly recycled through shredding, paving the way for a new boat to emerge from a 3d-printer.”

RENSET: powering a green festival

In the realm of portable energy, RENSET’s mobile Powerstation emerged as a beacon of green power. Equipped with interchangeable battery units, their innovation supplied energy to our Innofest stand at the camp site.

Teun van ‘t Veer, Renset’s founder: “We conducted a range of assessments involving diverse stakeholders within the festival. We engaged end-users to evaluate ergonomics and collaborated with infrastructural management to ascertain whether the product’s capacity aligned with practical festival applications. The insights gained proved incredibly valuable. We discovered that our product, originally designed for construction contexts, could seamlessly transition to festival environments, albeit with a few nuanced differences. Primarily, we identified the need to fine-tune the product’s ergonomics for a flawless fit. For instance, mobility requirements during festival setup differ from those during the event itself, influenced by spatial constraints and transportation logistics. We’re incorporating all these findings into the final design, which is anticipated to be available for purchase from early next year.”

Spore: cultivating sustainability

Amsterdam-based startup Spore took on the task of transforming festival waste management. Their waste bins, equipped with AI-driven sensors, accelerates the fermentation process of organic waste, curbing food contamination and fostering on-site composting. Behind the scenes in the crew kitchen, Spore’s technology was put to the test, aiming to revolutionize waste management practices at festivals and mitigate environmental impact.

Guy Vincent, co-founder of Spore, highlighted the trial’s achievement: “Surpassing our 10,000-image target, we amassed over 20,000 images, which will be used to train our AI models to detect contaminants in waste streams. We focused on identifying plastics in catering bins at the backstage crew area of Mysteryland. The test underscored the necessity for autofocus cameras to address challenges related to focus, height, and distance. While waste separation issues emerged in catering, we gained valuable insights into contamination management. Our intent to assist major waste companies in their AI endeavors, reducing the need for internal system development, is backed by the knowledge gained from this test. We are also exploring an open-source model and the possiblity to automate waste audits through our AI-equipped cameras. Current manual and infrequent waste audits could benefit from real-time insights, enhancing efficiency and accuracy.”

The tests at Mysteryland were made possible by StartupAmsterdam, the Urban Innovation Team of the City of Amsterdam, Goeie Grutten, LiveGreen, One Resilient Earth, Green Events, the EU and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

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