Carl Von Drais and the first Laufmaschine (bicycle) in 1817. Charles F. Brush and the first wind turbine in 1888. Henry Ford and his Ford-T in 1908 (the first mass-produced car). They all have one characteristic in common: their conviction to transform revolutionary ideas into viable and functional projects.
Two centuries after the invention of the bicycle, entrepreneurs continue to need platforms that give them a voice and allow them to contact the agents interested in turning these revolutionary ideas into something more than a utopia. And that is the reason for the birth of GreenWeekend, an event structured throughout a weekend in which it is intended to promote the culture of environmental entrepreneurship and improve capacities, abilities and skills based on shared knowledge and practical cases.
GreenWeekend, organized by the green employment portal Enviroo, began this business adventure in March 2013 in Madrid with 65 entrepreneurs from all over Spain. Since then and with a total of 12 previous editions, a wide variety of sustainable projects have been disseminated and promoted, thanks to the participation of all the participants and the collaborating companies.
The 13th edition was held in the second week of June, with the enthusiasm and involvement of those who represented and defended their innovative sustainability projects. A total of 14 projects were submitted, of which seven of them were finalists.
Since Friday and throughout the weekend, the environmental, economic and social viability of all these projects was deepened, by giving technical talks by the mentors. In the same way, two training talks were held on innovation and financial potential.
The seven finalist projects were the following:
- La Central Verde: a platform for hiring sustainability professionals, putting in contact the demanding companies and potential employees.
- Universal Hostel: social integration plan in the Lozoya City Council, by carrying out various sports activities and promoting local development.
- iCiudadanos : installation of QR codes in garbage containers with the aim of establishing another communication channel between citizens, Administration and waste managers.
- Circulating Market : reduction of plastic in the packaging distributed in supermarkets, by selling products according to quantities demanded.
- Envirodron: revolution in forest management through the use of drones for data collection.
- Sponsor an Olive Tree : forest conservation of the town of Oliete through the acquisition of olive trees that would give the right to have two liters of oil per year per olive tree.
- B20 battery : revolutionizing the concept of cycling, transforming the current electric battery into one capable of storing generated energy for later use.
After two intense days in which an attempt was made to erase the question of all these projects, the event led to the final evaluations by the jury, made up of: Bruno Ruiz Jiménez (Fundación Biodiversidad), Almudena Seco Martínez (Técnicas Reunidas Initec), Pedro González Torroba (General Director of Trade and Economic Development “Madrid Emprende”), Emiliano López (Francisco de Vitoria University), Gema Gaspar (Vice President of IPS), Santiago Losada Suárez (Operational Control at Urbaser), May López Díaz (Responsible for CSR at SEUR), Sharam Yalda (Finnova Foundation).
Finally, Apadrina un olivo, by Adrián Martín, won the award for the best innovative environmental idea and may have the opportunity to develop the project in Brussels through the grant offered by Finnova in the EU Startup Accelerator. Similarly, Envirodron, by Borja Terán, and Embalaje cero, by Mario Bamba, won second and third places, respectively, at GreenWeekend Madrid 2015, formalizing another series of grants from partner companies and sponsors.
In short, GreenWeekend has earned the right to be qualified as a fruitful, complete and valuable event for all those who have critical and innovative thinking in the environmental area, thus becoming a benchmark scenario for green innovation, granting the communication channel for future Henry Ford, Carl Von Drais or Charles F. Brush.
Author: Diego Vilela Herranz. Graduated in Business Administration and Management, I consider myself a person involved in the sustainability and interrelation of all the actions taken by humanity and their different repercussions beyond economic returns.