BlueCity Circular Challenge - September 2020

The BlueCity Circular Challenge offers you the opportunity to join the circular economy. We challenge you to develop a circular business case and a tangible proof of concept within six weeks. During these six weeks you will be guided by circular frontrunners, designers and financial experts. You will work in a small, multidisciplinary team of high potentials and get the opportunity to transform a waste stream into a circular product for one of our participating companies. The most promising teams are guided towards a setting up a real startup.

So far, the confirmed waste streams are provided by:

Ludvig Svensson (climate screens)

Ludvig Sevensson is a Swedish multinational that produces climate solutions for greenhouses. The waste stream they bring to the challenge are climate screens (curtains). These come in three different types, each with different properties. The challenge is to develop a new product with these climate screens that has economic added value and, preferably, can be used in the agro/greenhouse sector again.

Province of South-Holland (duckweed)

Duckweed is a plant that floats freely on water, it's one of the fastest growing plants in the world and often causes problems for life under water. That's why it's removed and either composted or incinerated. However, in theory, this waste stream has a lot of potential because it's a protein rich crop that grows quickly. The challenge is to develop a new product with Duckweed that has economic added value and is scalable.

Food bank Haaglanden and Rotterdam (fruit and vegetables)

The food bank obtains food from companies and institutions for free in order to distribute this among people in need. However, also the food bank is left with some leftover food. The challenge is to develop a high-quality economically viable product with the leftover fruit and vegetables.

Previous Circular Challenges

Previous Circular Challenges have resulted in a wide variety of circular concepts, products and services. For example, mobile playgrounds made from old plastic fishing nets provided by the Port of Rotterdam or water-permeable tiles, made from a waste stream of dredge.

What’s in it for you?

The BlueCity Circular Challenge offers you a great experience and a serious network in the circular economy. Furthermore, you’ll be given the opportunity to develop your circular business case in a real life startup. In addition you’ll be able to make a name for yourself. In the past, the products designed during the BlueCity Circular Challenge have been presented at the Dutch Design Week, the International Water Week and the salon del Mobile in Milan. Lastly, a way to socialize with like minded people – Corona proof style!


Everyone is welcome to participate, your educational background or age does not matter!

This edition will start on September 14th and ends on November the 2nd.

The challenge will take up 8 to 16 hours of your time on a weekly basis.

Meetings, lectures and workshops are on Mondays.

You enroll individually and when you’re selected we will discuss which of the teams suits you best.

COVID-19 protocol

BlueCity and its partners are committed to the health and safety of all participants, organizers and other stakeholders. A limited amount of smaller and carefully curated sessions may take place offline. These sessions are organized according to the Dutch Government and RIVM guidelines. Any developments around the Coronavirus and the guidelines are closely monitored and adequate measures (adjustments or cancellation) will be taken if the circumstances so require.

So enroll now by filling out the form below!

Sign up for the Circular Challenge

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Meedoen als partner

De Circular Challenge is een accelerator-programma dat zich richt op het creëren van waardevolle producten uit bedrijfsafval, met een parallelle focus op een valide business model achter de opgeleverde prototypes.

De challenge duurt ongeveer 6 weken. Tijdens deze pressure cooker periode zullen teams – bestaande uit junior experts met multidisciplinaire achtergronden, van bedrijfsontwikkeling tot chemische technologie tot productontwerp – een haalbare bedrijfscase voor die afvalstromen ontwerpen, ontwikkelen en prototypen, waardoor afval in waarde wordt omgezet voor de partners. Voorbeelden van partners eerder die hebben deelgenomen zijn PwC, Sodexo, Gemeente Rotterdam, Gemeente Amsterdam Havenbedrijf Rotterdam, Woonstad, Achmea, Nationale Nederlanden, Waternet, Eigen Haard en Forbo.

Ervaring van deze partners uit de vorige vier edities leert dat deelname aan de Circular Challenge verschillende voordelen biedt:
• Tijdens de challenge komt uw bedrijf in contact met veelbelovende jonge high potentials.
• Gezamenlijk staan jullie aan de wieg van kansrijke startups en veelbelovende innovaties. Die zijn vaak economisch interessant voor uw en bijzonder mediageniek.
• De Challenge creëert intern draagvlak voor de circulaire economie en zorgt extern voor PR, bijvoorbeeld naar klanten.
• Bovendien zien we soms mooie en zelfs onverwachte connecties plaatsvinden met andere partners of potentiële afnemers/partners in de keten.

De Circular Challenge biedt u de kans om kennis te maken met de circulaire economie van de toekomst. Door binnen zes weken een product te ontwikkelen bewijzen ambitieuze studenten en young professionals dat het begrip afval bij het vuilnis kan. Wij zorgen dat het beste idee wordt doorontwikkeld tot een zelfstandige startup. De challenge wordt begeleid door circulaire pioniers, designers en financieel experts.

Meedoen? Mail met

Partners of this Circular Challenge