That is the amount the startups Bakkersgrondstof, Biophilica, BlueBlocks, Fairm, Magie Creations and Nature's Principles need to make a serious scale step. The young companies are participants in the Circular Factory programme, set up by Tekkoo, BlueCity and partners such as Invest NL and Renewi. The program supports startups that want to build a factory for their circular or biobased products. In this way, Circular Factory wants to contribute to the realization of twenty circular factories in the coming years.

The start-up to scale-up program Circular Factory started in June 2022. The past year, the startups started working on all the themes with which they remove the greatest risk for financiers: recording contracts from suppliers (feedstock) and customers, a professional plant design with an underlying financial model and finding a location and the right safety measures. The companies are now investor-ready and we desperately need them in the Netherlands to ensure that we use our raw materials in a smarter way. The demo factories to be built cover a wide range of products; from lactic acid to seaweed materials and ingredients based on brewer’s grains and residual bread.
MaGie Creations and BlueBlocks


MaGie Creations and BlueBlocks

Madelein Gielens from MaGie Creations and Marjanne Cuypers from BlueBlocks are two of the participants. MaGie Creations upcycled beer brush (what remains after brewing beer) into an ingredient that can be used for food production: PowerFlour. BlueBlocks develops biomaterials from seaweed. Their main product is SeaWood, a building material made from brown seaweed. This 100% natural, compostable and chemical-free sheet material can be used as a building material and for acoustic wall panels.



Madelein Gielens: “Before the end of this year, the financing of my factory will be completed, construction will start next year and we will open in 2025. A dream come true. The factory is built in a circular manner and is fossil-free. Circular Factory offers pragmatic support in the preparation of the scale-up phase. What I really liked is that they could think along from practical experience about how I could take the next steps needed to grow my business.



Marjanne Cuypers: “Our next step is to secure funding to realize a circular factory to make SeaWood Materials, ultimately to see happy customers and a happy planet. The program gave us more focus in the process of realizing our plans – a mindset set to the implementation phase of the innovation and building the necessary solid foundation. Besides valuable access to knowledge and networks, doing this together with five ambitious awesome circular producers, who shared similar worldviews to make things better, was a great experience.


Twenty factories in 2030


Circular Factory supports young companies during a complicated growth phase of their company. Scaling up to a circular production process is difficult, risky and capital-intensive. As entrepreneurs, Tekkoo and BlueCity know this from their own experience. The program offers participants a mix of expertise and experience on five different themes through expert sessions, networking events, site visits and building an ecosystem with the right partners. At the end of the Circular Factory program, the startups have a realistic roadmap, including a concept validated by experts, an engineering plan and a financial model. The circular factories resulting from the program are badly needed. The Netherlands wants to be 50% circular by 2030. This calls for scalable alternatives. The next round of Circular Factory will start in September 2023. The open call has now closed and the new participants will be introduced in mid-September. Learn more about the program on www.circularfactory.co




The initiators of Circular Factory are BlueCity and Tekkoo. BlueCity is a hub for circular business in Rotterdam, which aims to accelerate the transition from the linear to circular economy through entrepreneurship. Tekkoo is an innovation accelerator and transforms societal challenges into business opportunities. Renewi, Stichting Ondernemersbelangen Rotterdam, the municipality of Rotterdam, Invest-NL and ISPT are affiliated as partners and actively contribute to the content of the programme.


Text: Jeanette Verdonk
Photography: Jacqueline Fuijkschot

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