We are thrilled to announce that we have received 125 applications from 36 different countries, all hoping to become one of the 10 selected innovators for the 2018 LAUNCH Challenge. Thank you all for your help, support, and excitement – and for your applications!
The buzz from our Network and demonstrated need from our partners have validated the value of uncovering new circular business models and rethinking customer engagement, nevertheless we wondered – Are there really enough innovators out there working on solutions to these problems?
Based on the responses we’ve received, the answer is a resounding YES!
The application deadline was September 1st, and in that two and a half month period we’ve seen a big interest and received applications from 125 innovators from 36 countries.
We will be announcing this year’s 10 LAUNCH Circular Innovators on October 15, 2018. To guide the selection, all innovations will be peer-reviewed by LAUNCH partners and external experts based on the following criteria:
- Transformative Potential: How disruptive your innovation can be within its area of focus, including its ability to provide a superior service or value.
- Environmental Impact: The innovation’s potential for impact on environmental sustainability.
- Social Impact: The innovation’s potential for social/economic impact in developing or underserved communities and regions.
- Technical Feasibility: The technical feasibility of bringing the innovation to market.
- Political Feasibility: The political feasibility of bringing the innovation to market.
- Financial Feasibility: Your company or initiative’s ability to demonstrate a pathway to profit or sustained operations, if a non-profit initiative.
- Market Scale: The innovation’s market adoption potential and ability to reach a significant number of customers/users.
Based on the partner and expert scores, we will conduct interviews with the top 20 innovators to better understand the teams behind the innovations. Based on the interviews, the LAUNCH Circular Partners will select this year’s 10 LAUNCH Innovators. The selected innovators will be announced here on October 15.
LAUNCH Innovators will gain access to a world-class network of investors, pioneering companies and mentors from our LAUNCH partners– including IKEA, NIKE, eBay, VF Corp., Novozymes, Kvadrat, and other leading global organizations – who are all ready to help scale the innovations. This is a network of industry professionals who know what it takes for innovations to succeed and achieve sustainable growth.
The selected innovators will be invited to join our LAUNCH community and attend this year’s LAUNCH Circular Forum on December 5-6, 2018. Here they will get the opportunity to present and discuss their solutions with 35 industry executives, circular economy and materials experts, government officials, and investors. These “Council Members” have agreed to contribute their expertise, insight, and guidance to our innovators, making commitments wherever possible. The council members will help in creating access to new markets, networks, testing, or resources that can help grow and scale the innovators’ solutions.
Finally, following the LAUNCH Circular Forum, innovators will take part in an accelerator program to help them bring their innovations to scale. The innovators will receive an action plan tailored for their specific company and needs. This action plan includes each council members’ commitments and suggestions to help our innovators – the progress of each plan is checked on a continuous basis by the LAUNCH team.
In the following video, Natasha Frank (LAUNCH Innovator 2017) explains what she has gained from being part of the LAUNCH community.