"Redefining Progress: The Circular Factory Vision for a Sustainable Future" with Bart van den Heuvel (Tekkoo)

The Circular Industries Talks are organized every second Wednesday at the Circular Industries Hub. In this edition, Bart van den Heuvel, Innovation Manager at Tekkoo explains his company's projects, in his talk, titled: Redefining Progress: The Circular Factory Vision for a Sustainable Future. Curious for more? Take a look at the recording at the bottom of this page.

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Bart van den Heuvel

In this conversation with Bart, a passionate advocate for innovation, he presented his work at Tekkoo, an innovation accelerator dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and corporations in the creation of circular ventures. Tekkoo plays a crucial role in assisting companies like PeelPioneers, a notable example that repurposes orange peels to produce valuable products like essential oils and animal feeds. Bart highlighted PeelPioneers' success in raising 10 million euros for their production plant, while underscoring the challenges faced by Circular Economy startups. Unlike software companies with rapid returns, these ventures must navigate the complexities of building physical infrastructure, progressing from demo to demo-plant to full-scale production. This prolonged timeline presents a unique hurdle, especially when convincing investors, who often prefer familiar sectors with predictable returns.

It's very difficult to build a venture that wants to do actual production, when most people refer to a startup it has something to do with software. Impact is what we need and we need a different economic model.'

The conversation delved into the pivotal role Tekkoo plays in guiding such companies through the intricacies of scaling up their technologies. Bart emphasized the challenge of persuading investors to support Circular Economy startups, given the unfamiliarity and longer timelines associated with building tangible infrastructure. Tekkoo's mission involves not only financial support but also a commitment to understanding the impact of these ventures. This includes helping startups conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to gauge their environmental footprint, emphasizing the importance of aligning financial investments with positive societal and environmental impacts. Overall, the discussion underscored the significance of fostering innovation in circular ventures and the crucial role played by entities like Tekkoo in navigating the unique challenges of this sector.

Curious about the whole story? Listen to Bart van den Heuvel in the Circular Industries talks.

Watch it here

The Circular Industries talks

The goal of the Circular Industries talks is to share knowledge across Leiden, Delft and Erasmus and to complement and deepen the knowledge already available within the Circular Industries Hub. The talks are organized on Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. The talks are online (Microsoft Teams).