”Your sneak preview of the future” is the slogan of Innovation Origins, and that’s just what we will highlight with our Start-up of the Week column. Over the past few days, five start-ups of the day have been featured and on Saturday we will choose the week’s winner.

Innovation Origins presents a Start-up of the Day each weekday

We shall consider various issues such as sustainability, developmental phase, practical application, simplicity, originality and to what extent they are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of UNESCO. They will all pass by here and at the end of the week, the Start-Up of the Week will be announced.

Solarix – Sustainable facade panels as architectural gems

The problem with many solar panels is that they are not exactly a feast for the eyes. Partly because of this, they are frequently hidden away on roofs so no one has to see them. The start-up Solarix shows that there is another way. They came up with a line of facade panels that really look very stylish.

Now wall cladding can be transformed into a sustainable power plant with an extensive range of colors and patterns. And which yields more clean energy. Solarix has been in business for almost four years now and has grown into an innovative architectural firm. Their innovative facade panels should not only generate solar energy, but also make their appearance less bleak by using ‘softer materials.’ And that’s impressive!

Project Cece – Google for clothing with a conscience

Despite the wide range of products on offer to consumers, it is still quite a challenge to find genuinely sustainable products. Almost every company – all the way up to international oil companies – employs a slick marketing spiel whereby they claim to be really committed to sustainability. Project Cece has been around since 2016 in the clothing branch. It’s where you can view all the green fashion labels that are available at the click of a mouse.

It works a bit like Google. You search for a certain term and the platform links you to a sustainable assortment. The creators want to make a fist against the ‘fast fashion’ from chains such as Zalando, H&M and Primark. Needless to say, these kinds of shirts costing just a few euros can never have been produced sustainably. In order to be included in this search engine, a supplier must meet a number of specific requirements. Just labeling yourself ‘sustainable’ is definitely not enough. We have already heard that kind of talk before …

Plugify – Booking a band without a money-hungry agent

When you’re a regular consumer and want to book a music act for an event or wedding, you are often at the mercy of agencies if you don’t know any musicians within your own network. Those booking agencies play the role of an intermediary and usually charge hefty commissions if someone wants to hire them. However, dropping an intermediary party is not particularly practical either. In that case, you wouldn’t have an overview of available musical acts anywhere on hand. Which would make the search feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

This is why Plugify came into being. This is a platform which is equipped with filters where you can find bands by genre, budget and availability – without the middlemen. The commission is 15 percent at Plugify. For the rest, the pricing is left to the artist and the booker. A review feature should also ensure that the quality remains safeguarded. Musicians are happy because they have greater control over their bookings and can be reached without any administrative hassle. Customers are happy because they can find exactly the right artist and have freedom of choice at no extra cost.

Women Entrepreneur College – Zest for women’s entrepreneurship can be learned

When you take a look at the demographic profile of entrepreneurs, one thing immediately stands out. It is primarily a man’s world. And this while the entrepreneurial lifestyle can also be a fantastic adventure for women. Woman Entrepeneur College was founded in order to convince more women of this. An organization that aims to connect, inspire and encourage young women to start their own business.

Why is it actually that men are more likely to go into business for themselves than women are? According to the founder, this has mainly to do with perfectionism. Since women are more inclined to opt for security, they often postpone an entrepreneurial ambition or lack the self-confidence to jump into the deep end. This organization wants to give them that last push so that they dare to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

Suncrafter – Make calls anywhere with mobile solar cells

Ironically, almost nothing very sustainable is done with obsolete solar cells. They end up in the rubbish dump without anyone taking a second look at them. Meanwhile, the demand for mobile power supplies that work anywhere is massive. You really notice this when walking around a festival. Dozens of twenty-somethings are glued to a cable somewhere on the site so they can charge their phones. A great festival experience without a loaded smartphone? Come on – it’s not 2009 anymore …

These solar cells are not merely a sustainable alternative for festivals. But these sustainable and compact solar collectors can also offer a solution for the 1 billion people who currently have no access to electricity in developing countries. This way, someone else’s discarded solar panel becomes an electricity treasure for those who don’t have a power outlet in the vicinity.

Several convenient elements come together with the concept behind Suncrafter. Firstly, it is a form of upcycling because other people’s discarded items are given a proper second life. A finer example of circular economy in practice almost doesn’t exist. Also, the electricity generated from sunlight is 100 percent sustainable, which is better for the planet. And finally, its affordability and compact size make it ideal for developmental aid. This results in a sun-kissed cocktail that has convinced us to declare Suncrafter the Start-up of the Week!

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