THE VENTURES

Throughout the years, the Investment Ready Program has come to support 75 ventures aiming to better the world in scaling their activities and guiding them through the process of finding investment.

Alumni IRP Labs – 2016

ALUMNI IRP IV – 2015

ALUMNI IRP III – 2014

ALUMNI IRP II – 2013

COSUL DE LEGUMECOSULDELEGUME

Sector: Agriculture
Country: Romania
Year of Foundation: 2009
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Matei Dumitrescu
Website: http://www.cosuldelegume.ro/magento/

Natural food producers | healthy lifestyle education provider.

  • Establishing organic food as a viable and affordable option in Romania by organizing buying groups, e.g. in Kindergartens, Gyms or Company offices
  • Impact on people facilitated and made easier by way of educational programs
  • 22 million people in Romania are the potential beneficiaries

CO2CUTCO2CUT

Sector: Environment
Country: Croatia
Year of Foundation: 2008
Stage: Start-up initiative
Lead Entrepreneurs: Roman Danko, Mark Gero
Website: http://www.co2cut.org/

Every activity on CO2cut.com is carbon neutral and offered at no extra cost compared to major sites like Expedia or Amazon.

  • Connecting global travel and online retail with carbon balancing projects around the planet
  • Investment in forestry and renewable projects that can balance global travel and trade emissions and support communities that develop such projects

SERWANTESSSERWANTESS

Sector: Communication and Media, Education, Health, Housing and Community Facilities, Inclusion, Technology
Country: Croatia
Year of Foundation: 2009
Stage: Impact scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Miroslav Vrankić
Website: http://www.serwantess.com/

Servus is an electronic assistant for persons with disabilities which enables them to control their home by voice commands.

  • With Servus, a person with a disability can complete the simple tasks of everyday life and even start working again with simple voice commands, thereby regaining independence
  • Our goal is to reach 50 000 users by 2018, significantly increasing their quality of living with Servus voice control

SOCIAL COOPERATIVE HUMANA NOVAHUMANANOVA

Sector: Employment, Environment, Inclusion, Other
Country: Croatia
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Running operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Ivan Božić
Website: http://www.humananova.org/hr/home/

Social cooperative Humana Nova facilitates the employment of persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups through the collection of textile waste and the production and sale of innovative, high quality textile products made from organic and recycled materials.

  • Recovery, reuse, and recycling of 100% of textile waste in our process
  • Less need for landfill space, fabric production, and transport emissions (locally run operations)
  • Provision of more affordable textiles to households
  • Job opportunities and continuous on-the-job education to integrate socially excluded persons (persons with disabilities)

YOUR SMILE IS PRICELESS!!!

Sector: Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Housing and Community Facilities, Inclusion, Poverty
Country: Serbia
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Idea development
Lead Entrepreneur: Goran Momčilović  

Movable Beauty Salon – We help our clients abrogate the cost and obstacle of to-and-fro motion.

  • Employment for former addicts and people with disabilities, thus combatting rising black-market labor
  • We provide services for immobile persons

RASENREICH

RASENREICHSector: Other
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2010
Stage: Running Operations 
Lead Entrepreneur: Mario Sinnhofer
Website: http://www.rasenreich.com/

An innovative training device called CORPUS that increases reaction, coordination & concentration skills. Fair Trade certified products, available in four different versions.

  • In football manufacturing only five Fair Trade manufacturers are certified worldwide, contributing 0.4% to the overall annual production of around 50 million pieces
  • RASENREICH is introducing Fair Trade through the back door: customers are buying our products because of the specific training benefit, not because of the ethical aspect
  • RASENREICH provides a fun and easy-to-use training method with devices that help motivate kids to exercise and foster the development of their motor skills
  • Promotion of exercise and motor skill development, increasingly lacking among children and adolescents in western industrialized countries

COMPURITASCOMPURITAS

Sector: Education, Environment, Inclusion, Poverty, Technology
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2009
Stage: Impact scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Rudi Wetzel
Website: http://www.compuritas.at/ 

Compuritas offers professionally refurbished computer equipment to under-privileged households and the NGO sector to help to close the digital gap.

  • Compuritas collects cooperating companies’ hardware, repairs and reconditions it in its own IT workshop and offers it to non-profit organizations and impoverished households along with affordable repair and servicing
  • Up to 550 kg of CO2, 11 kg of chemicals, 120 kg of fossil fuels and 750 liters of water saved for each computer refurbished instead of bought new
  • Educational opportunity for socially disadvantaged people

PRAGULICPRAGULIC

Sector: Employment, Inclusion
Country: Czech Republic
Year of Foundation: 2012
Stage: Running operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Tereza Jurečková
Website: http://pragulic.cz/

We challenge stereotypes and rebrand homelessness by enabling people to experience the world from a homeless perspective.

  • Return meaning and dignity to some of the 15 000 homeless in Prague through a unique employment opportunity that engages them and their skills
  • 10 homeless guides employed, earning financial remuneration and valuable benefits (e.g. public transportation, meal vouchers, clothes, psychologist, education)
  • 5 guides already earning above a living wage; total value generated for the guides in Year 1: 22 500 EUR, in Year 2: 29 000 EUR
  • 1400 customers by June 2013 (perception of homelessness affected for 62%) – Year 1: 5000, Year 2: 8000
  • Raising awareness and understanding (exceptional media coverage, creative marketing campaigns in autumn 2013 and spring 2014)

VISIBLE FUNDSVISIBLEFUNDS

Sector: Education, Financial Services, Inclusion
Country: Switzerland
Year of Foundation: 2012
Stage: Idea development
Lead Entrepreneur: Daniel Protz

VisibleFunds provides an independent software solution that allows employers to compare, select and manage their occupational benefits plans online.

  • Improved pension and occupational benefits for more than 2 million SME employees in Switzerland and more than 80 million throughout Europe
  • VisibleFunds’ personalized software helps employers and individual employees understand their pensions with minimal effort and make more informed long-term savings decisions, supporting lifelong personal financial stability 

MATYODESIGNMATYODESIGN

Sector: Other
Country: Hungary
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Running operations
Lead Entrepreneur: András Kárpáti
Website: http://www.matyodesign.hu/

Transfers a centuries-old part of Hungarian folk art culture to contemporary designer clothing, sustaining and evolving Matyó culture with each product.

  • Employment for 30-40 people at or above the age of 60 in the Matyo region, where unemployment for this group is extremely high and persistent
  • Rejuvenating and thereby saving a little part of world heritage that younger generations otherwise ignore

ANGELLO – ARMENIA (SEF)ANGELLO

Sector: Investment Intermediary
Country: Armenia
Year of Foundation: 2013
Stage: Creating Business Plan
Lead Entrepreneurs: Garegin Gevorgyan, Hayk Minasyan
Website: http://mail.angello.com/index.php/caucasus

A social investment intermediary bridging investors and target companies in Armenia.

  • Investment in up to 500 companies with potential transformational capacity in Armenia, current aim is to invest in 40 enterprises in 5 years, with target portfolio of 20 million USD

ANGELLO – MOLDOVAANGELLO

Sector: Investment Intermediary
Country: Moldova
Year of Foundation: 2013
Stage: Creating Business Plan
Lead Entrepreneur: Ghenadie Russu
Website: http://mail.angello.com/index.php/moldova

We connect entrepreneurs seeking to create positive societal and environmental change in Moldova with impact investors.

  • By mobilising capital for the growth of small and growing businesses with social impact across a range of sectors – sustainable agriculture, resource efficiency & green infrastructure, rural livelihoods, microfinance & access to finance, services – Angello Moldova helps companies to create jobs and communities to thrive, economically, socially and spiritually
  • Angello Moldova is running a proof-of-concept fund, AMTIC, with investments in companies like Postmodern LLC an enterprise improving water and waste infrastructure, especially in poor regions, and looking to provide work for 55 skilled laborers – mostly young men in rural communities
  • Angello Moldova’s activities such as creation of high-quality jobs further has a strong multiplier effect, e.g. through providing resources for the education of workers’ children, capacity building and training of employees, and increased business for local suppliers

HIRED BY SOCIETYHIREDBYSOCIETY

Sector: Capacity Building
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Running Operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Christine Spernbauer
Website: http://www.hiredbysociety.org/

Making social entrepreneurship and impact economy a viable career path for young people by fostering entrepreneurial thinking and acting in a “challenging” way.

  • Hired by Society develops the entrepreneurial skills of selected talents by matching them with “challenges for social impact” provided by companies and offering coaching and support along the way
  • Opportunities to gain professional experience for young graduates
  • Promotes the realization of sustainability oriented action among companies and executives in a way that increases competitive advantage (image, reputation, attractiveness for employees)
  • Bridges the gap between a socially concerned, educated labor force and interested organizations

taliaYsebastianTALIAYSEBASTIAN

Sector: Social Design
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Start-up initiative
Lead Entrepreneur: Talia Radford

taliaYsebastian is an award-winning product design laboratory for social innovation. We make beautiful things with tangible benefits for impact-driven companies, social enterprises and NGOs.

  • The role of product design is shifting: the focus on green design of the past years is being outpaced by an inclusive design approach that fosters social innovation. Designers nowadays are challenged to use their unique design (thinking) skills to develop solutions for the world’s most pressing issues including urban and rural poverty, access to clean drinking water, food security, and many more.
  • taliaYsebastian is based on the belief that design has the capacity to facilitate innovation beyond mere aesthetics. We promote a human-centred design approach that puts the discovery of users’ needs, beliefs and wishes at the heart of the design process. Through a collaborative design process we enable companies, social enterprises and NGOs to develop desirable, feasible and viable products.
  • By cross-financing our services we can provide one third of our activities pro-bono for NGOs, or at cost for social enterprises. taliaYsebastian thus makes design services accessible and affordable for social enterprises and NGOs.

 iDEPARTiDEPART

Sector: Political Participation
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Start-up initiative 
Lead Entrepreneur: Philippe Hoffuri, Bernhard Schreder
Website: http://www.idepart.at/

iDEPART is the place…

…to easily find political initiatives from NGOs, private organizations and individuals,

…to stay updated about their activities and

…to regularly support them.

  • iDEPART is a new concept to improve the visibility and enhance the impact of political initiatives from civil society
  • iDEPART concentrates available information on current political initiatives and activities on one platform in a structured way and, thus, forms a central hub for political participation
  • Personalization of profilesallows citizens to easily follow initiatives of their particular interests, integrating activism in their daily routine
  • Our goal is to foster an active civil society by providing tools that improve democratic participation

UNFOLD

 

Sector: Packaging, Sustainability
Country: Austria
Year of Foundation: 2012
Stage: Start-up initiative
Lead Entrepreneur: Andrea Lunzer, Sandra Kozeschnik
Website: http://www.unfold.or.at/

An initiative to support sustainability in packaging.

  • Packaging accounts for 30% of solid waste streams, with Austria’s contribution at over 7000 tons of plastic bags in the trash every year
  • UNFOLD creates awareness around the environmental problems packaging causes
  • Advise to companies and development of sustainable packaging solutions for their products

RecoBin

Sector: Environment
Country: Hungary
Year of Foundation: 2012
Stage: Start-up initiative
Lead Entrepreneur: Attila Ferenczi 

The eco-friendly recycle bin.

  • The largest municipal waste producers are institution buildings (schools, universities, offices) – most of them lacking functioning indoor recycling systems
  • RecoBin is an affordable (10 EUR/item) and recyclable eco-friendly solution for indoor recycling
  • We offer RecoBins for corporations as a CSR deal – corporations pay for the bins and the design they want, while those schools that can’t afford one get a RecoBin waste recycling system for free

ALUMNI IRP II – CLIMBIZ CHALLENGE (2013)

The United Nations Development Program’s Climbiz Challenge has selected 12 high potential ventures for a customized edition of  the Investment Ready Program. These ventures began the program in June 2013.
S.R.L. AgroBioBrichetagrobriochet
 
Sector: Agriculture, Energy, Waste Management
Country: Moldova (expanded to Romania and Ukraine)
Year of Foundation: 2011
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Pascal Serghei
Websitewww.biobriket.md

Production of solid fuels from biomass (briquettes/ pellets) using agricultural residues (cereal straw, corn stalks, sunflowers, etc.) as raw materials.

  • These biofuels are a real alternative to traditional fossil fuels, as 60% savings can be generated for consumers compared with traditional fuels
  • Partners include agricultural enterprises which deliver the raw materials, and companies which process household waste
  • 24 jobs created
  • Involved in the design and construction of biomass heating plants, production of briquettes/pellets and consulting on waste collection from agriculture and biofuel production

Balyolubaylolu

Sector: Tourism, Agriculture, Green household and Consumer Products
Country: Turkey (Georgia and Armenia)
Year of Foundation: 2012
Stage: Running Operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Catherine Jaffee
Website: www.balyolu.com

Rural incubator for food entrepreneurs, funded by tasting tours and socially conscious consumers.

  • Partnership with rural women to ethically produce traditional foods and lead tasting trips
  • Aiming to turn food into a catalyst for women-fueled rural development and traveler-driven systems change worldwide
  • 16 pilot trips offered in 2012 in collaboration with 8 villages and 28 beekeepers
  • Currently implementing a Beekeeping Pilot in Ardahan (Kalecik)

Biological Farming Association Elkanaelkana logoN

Sector: Agriculture, Tourism, Education and Training
Country: Georgia
Year of Foundation: Organization – 1994; Venture – 2004
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Mariam Jorjadze
Website: www.elkana.org.ge
 
“Elkana” is an NGO that unites farmers across Georgia to preserve and commercialize indigenous crop and breed varieties.
  • Our ground work on the preservation of indigenous crop varieties triggered the creation of a replicable model for the commercialization of indigenous crop and breed varieties in Georgia
  • Arrangement with a local company “Begeli” developed to market the crops produced by participating farmers
  • A recipe book was published and widely distributed as well as food tastings implemented to raise consumer awareness

Brite Hellas SA (BriteGreen)brite solar technics

Sector: Renewable Energy
Country: Greece
Year of Foundation: 2009
Stage: Running Operations (BriteGreen – piloting phase)
Lead Entrepreneur: Nick Kanopoulos
Website: www.britesolar.com

Brite focuses on enabling the mass production of transparent photovoltaic panels, which can be integrated as windows in buildings.

  • We developed  BriteGreen, an energy autonomous greenhouse run entirely on solar energy using the innovative Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) technology for its glass shell
  • We hold multiple international patents and have received several innovation awards
  • The company has successfully tested small BriteGreen installations

Çöp(m)adamcopmadam

Sector: Arts, Crafts, Culture; Waste Management; Women Empowerment
Country: Turkey (and Moldova)
Year of Foundation: 2008
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Melih Özsöz & Tara Hopkins
Website: www.copmadam.com

Çöp(m)adam uses waste to make original lifestyle products, addressing women’s employment and the importance of recycling and re-using.

  • We aim to utilize waste in a creative, aesthetically pleasing and unique way.
  • Employment of more than 500 women in the last 4.5 years in 3 workshops located in different parts of Turkey and in Chisinau, Moldova
  • The main raw materials are selected from the trash – more than 20 tons of wrapper trash utilized thus far for bags
  • Thousands of handbags and other accessories already produced and sold across the country

Ecovolisecovolis_logo

Sector: Renewable Energy, Green Household and Consumer Products
Country: Albania
Year of Foundation: Ecovolis – 2001, Solar Enterprise – 2013
Stage: Start-Up Venture (Solar Enterprise)
Lead Entrepreneur: Ened Mato
Website: www.ecovolis.com

Our spin-off Solar Enterprise promotes renewable energy by providing practical possibilities in solar energy deployment for lighting.

  • Aiming to produce and assemble solar panels for lighting and promote solar energy in smart ways
  • Ecovolis bike-sharing stations spread in central areas of Tirana; stations will be lit and bicycles powered with Solar Enterprise produced panels
  • Jal Camping, a summer camp visited by more than 15 000 youth every year, will be powered by solar energy
  • Businesses will have the opportunity to become shareholders of Solar Enterprise in return for solar energy

Eko BaG logo_eko_bag_vektorski

Sector: Arts, Crafts, Culture; Waste Management
Country: Serbia
Year of Foundation: 2010
Stage: Running Operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Miodrag Nedeljkovic
Website: sites.google.com/site/ekobagserbia/

Eko BaG employs unemployed women above 50 to produce bags, wallets and other fashionable items for companies using the companies’ own PVC foil waste.

  • Initiation of many campaigns to promote ecology, CSR and social entrepreneurship in Serbia over the last 3 years
  • Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding with the largest car recycling company was signed to enable the use of safety belts, thereby decreasing expenses and increasing the waste-to-product ratio to 90%
  • Recycling of printed PVC banners for monthly production between 10 – 20.000m2 is not enforced by law, leaving an abundance of PVC foil waste larger than we could potentially process – raw materials are essentially free

EcoSfera (Green Gala)Ekosfera

Sector: Arts, Crafts, Culture; Biodiversity; Tourism; Education and Training
Country: Azerbaijan
Year of Foundation: EcoSfera – 1999; Green Gala – 2006
Stage: Scaling Impact
Lead Entrepreneur: Firuza Sultan-Zade
Website: www.ekosfera.az

EkoSfera launched a replicable model to promote green rural tourism and eco-farming in the village of Gala in the Absheron peninsula.

  • We are an NGO focusing on education, ecotourism, health care and environmental protection
  • We have established the first ecological-ethnographic center in Azerbaijan, including an ecological organic demonstration farm (sheep breeding, plantation of cereals, fruit trees), traditional craft workshops (carpet making and felt), and organic and craft eco-product shops
  • The center in Gala is leading the project for the establishment of a pure blood gene-pool of a local Gala sheep breed, the restoration and reproduction of the seeds of local (ancient) cereal varieties, as well as the restoration of traditional products such as cheese and bread

Green Tours Ukrainegreentours

Sector: Tourism, Education and Training
Country: Ukraine
Year of Foundation: 2010
Stage: Running Operations
Lead Entrepreneur: Alex Brzhezytskyy
Website: www.greentours.com.ua 

Green Tours Ukraine trains Ukrainians to become successful tour guide entrepreneurs and enhance sustainable green tourism in the Ukraine.

  • We have organized over 10 tours with more than 165 national and international clients
  • The company has created a team of four strong tour-guide entrepreneurs and is projected to grow by 25% by 2014
  • Green Tours Ukraine aims to reach 300 customers annually by 2016 and staff 8 people

MiKo, LLClogo_MiKo

Sector: Green Household and Consumer Products; Water and Sanitation
Country: Russian Federation (Belarus)
Year of Foundation: 2009
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Matanceva Ekaterina
Website: www.mi-ko.org

Miko produces all-natural, eco-friendly detergents and cosmetics with waste-free technology, safe for workers and the environment.

  • Our 13 employees work to advance the ideas of a healthy lifestyle and care for the environment
  • Miko organizes an “Aromatic club” free of charge for women (especially pregnant women and young mothers)
  • We invite school classes to the production facilities and are actively engaged in lobbying for improvements in environmental legislation

PlasticaLogo1

Sector: Waste Management; Green Household and Consumer Products
Country: Russian Federation
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Roman Sebekin
Website: www.юфопереработка.рф

Plastica recycles plastic into useful products and is pioneering the recycling of expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) into building material.

  • Plastica recycles otherwise useless plastic waste at a cost much lower than when using raw materials
  • Capacity to recycle 10% of the monthly plastic waste in home city (about 30 out of 300 tons)
  • The technology to recycle 100% of the plastic waste is available but requires improved collection mechanisms
  • 100 baskets set up so far for the collection of plastic waste and wide-reaching awareness raising campaigns conducted to improve collection
  • Plastica has developed patented processing technology for transforming plastic waste into building materials

 

ViitorPlus – asociatia pentru dezvoltare durabilalogo VIITORPLUS-nou
 
Sector: Waste Management; Education and Training
Country: Romania
Year of Foundation: ViitorPlus – 2006;RICICLETA – 2010
Stage: Impact Scaling
Lead Entrepreneur: Teia Gavrilescu
Website: www.viitorplus.ro

We started RECICLETA, employing socially disadvantaged persons to collect paper waste for recycling with carbon-free cargo-tricycles.

  • Income is generated by the value of the paper, a fee paid by companies for the pick-up service offered and advertising space on the bikes.
  • The service is offered to companies that generate small amounts of waste (25kg-100kg) that would otherwise end on up in the landfill in the northern area of Bucharest and to individuals in Bucharest’s District 2
  • Every year each cargo-bike covers almost 16 000km to the benefit of over 200 small and medium sized companies and 2500 individuals

Data according to time of participation in IRP Academy! It is very likely that it has changed since then!

ALUMNI IRP I – 2012

Alterniity

Sector: Education, Health, Technology
Country: Greece
Year of foundation: 2009
Stage: Start-up Initiative (Starting first activities and building structures)

Alterniity is a standard PC-based Virtual Reality software for cost effective early diagnosis and slow-down of dementia.


Three Coins

Sector: Education, Financial Services
Country: Austria
Year of foundation: 2011
Stage: Start-up Initiative (Starting first activities and building structures)

Three Coins develops innovative learning tools for financial literacy education: its first product is an interactive Facebook game technology that will train teenagers to take smart financial decisions through a fun experience based on gamification trends.


Soulbottles

Sector: Lifestyle, Environment, Water
Country: Austria
Year of foundation: 2012
Stage: Start-up Initiative (First activities and building structures)

soulbottles / soulwater make tap water sexy. They sell plastic free drinking bottles with custom prints and fundraise for clean water projects in developing countries through selling tap water in restaurants.

read about soulbottles on inventures.eu!


CROS

Sector: Youth, Education
Country: Romania
Year of foundation: 2007
Stage: Running Operations

CROS is the initiator of Romania’s first alternative university, seeking to be at the core of a strong movement for redesigning education in the country.


Schrebermeister

Sector: Employment, Environment
Country: Austria
Year of foundation: 2011
Stage: Start-up Initiative (Starting first activities and building structures)

Schrebermeister provides meaningful jobs and career opportunities through urban gardening and art.


Gebrüder Stitch

Sector: Clothing, Services
Country: Austria
Year of foundation: 2010
Stage: Impact Scaling (Expanding to grow in size and impact)

Gebrüder Stitch make Ecofair Jeans and Streetwear that reinvents the denim business and turns around consumer behaviour and lifestyle patterns.


Round-Up

Sector: Cross Sector, Financial
Country: Slovenia
Year of foundation: 2010
Stage: Start-up Initiative (Starting first activities and building structures)

Round-Up is a fundraiser for NGOs, offering a simple, innovative mechanism that gives customers the opportunity for donation, by rounding their purchases to the nearest integer value of the euro.


Harvesthink

Sector: Agriculture, Education, Tourism
Country: Croatia
Year of foundation: 2009
Stage: Start-up Initiative (Starting first activities and building structures)

Harvesthink is a company offering responsible, authentic and customized off-season trips in Croatia to generate revenues, resources and support for the local development of community and economy.


Data according to time of participation in IRP Academy! It is very likely that it has changed since then!