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What 4 sustainability startups learned from our first circular economy accelerator

Three people sitting on stage with a camera crew recording them and the wall behind them reads: "Google for Startups Accelerator: Circular Economy"

From using AI to sort out waste materials and reduce food waste to creating upcycled reusable packaging for sustainable shipping, the 11 startups selected to join our inaugural Accelerator: Circular Economy represented a wide range of solutions for sustainability — in particular, the circular economy.

The circular economy is based on the principles of reducing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling materials and products. And today, these startups from Asia Pacific and North America graduated from the program.

Over the course of six months, the 11 teams participated in over 160 workshops and mentoring sessions from Google and industry mentors, to develop and scale their circular economy solutions. The startups also had the chance to meet and collaborate with a range of industry partners, including venture capital firm Closed Loop Partners, fashion conglomerate H&M, and NGO World Wide Fund for Nature.

We spoke with four startups about their greatest takeaways from the program, and how Google has helped them improve their product and business strategy.

Employees of Korea-based startup Nuvilab wearing masks and standing outside a shop

Nuvilab, a Korea-based startup that uses AI to sort and reduce food waste, says: "We were able to enhance product development, and we learnt a lot about the international circular economy market."

Employees from Taiwan-based startup Package posing after having a meal together.

PackAge+, a startup from Taiwan that designs and provides sustainable packaging solutions to companies, says: "The global program gave us an international view of the circular economy, and valuable insights on how to reduce plastic in packaging."

Eight employees from US-based startup Beni standing and smiling

Beni, a startup in the US that helps shoppers buy second hand products, says: “We crafted an AI strategy with help from the program's mentors and were able to tangibly improve our product."

Three employees from US-based startup Supercircle standing in a row

Finally, Supercircle, a startup from the US whose goal is to eliminate clothing waste, says: “The 1:1 mentoring and Ask-Me-Anything sessions shed light on many questions we had on growing our product and expanding globally."

To learn more about each of these startups, register to watch our virtual Demo Day sessions on September 8 (North America startups) and September 15 (Asia Pacific startups).

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