SEIF Awards honour four impact-driven startups

The 11th edition of the SEIF Awards focusing on ‘Tech for Impact’ for the third time took place virtually, awarding the four outstanding startups: Oxyle, Oorja Development Solutions, NaturLoop and rrreefs.

Applicants from all over Europe that participated in this year’s SEIF awards introduced their competitive impact tech solutions from Switzerland, France, Norway, Turkey, and the UK. From the 339 candidates, ten had the chance to pitch to the audience comprising key representatives from the impact investing sector, the corporate world, and the startup community and academia.

The jury for each of the four categories chose a winner honouring them with a cash prize of CHF 10’000. The winners in their respective categories are:

Oxyle (Zurich) | SEIF Award for Social Innovation, supported by UBS
With the vision of eliminating a wide range of toxic substances from water bodies, Oxyle has developed a catalyst that removes various pollutants from wastewater. Oxyle’s solution is small in size, has a high purification rate, and allows companies to operate more sustainably and per regulations. As the catalyst, it allows for real-time monitoring of the water quality and is easy to install and maintain. The jury members believe that Oxyle will certainly help preserve water resources for future generations.

Oorja Development Solutions (UK) | SEIF Award for Scalable Solution, supported by SEIF
In rural areas (of India), millions of farmers still lack a connection to the electricity grid and thus rely on expensive and polluting diesel pumps for irrigation purposes and electricity production. By removing the cost barrier of solar technology, Oorja Development Solutions give people access to power their operations with a cheaper and cleaner power source, improving their livelihoods significantly. Therefore, with its measurable impact and significant potential markets in rural areas, Oorja was granted the SEIF Award for Scalable Solution.

NaturLoop (Biel / Bienne)| SEIF Award for Responsible Business, supported by PwC
NaturLoop developed Cocoboard, a sustainable alternative to wood-based panels made of coconut husk and a tannin-based adhesive. The product can be used for wall cladding and crafting. The jury was impressed by the low ecological footprint of the Cocoboards and the solution, as it addresses several urgent problems: they reduce the risk of deforestation, foster biodiversity, enable the upcycling of domestically available agricultural waste, and support local communities. Furthermore, with its circular approach, NaturLoop presented a perfect example of a responsible business.

rrreefs (Zurich)| SEIF Award for Future Impact Trend, supported by Julius Bär
In recent decades, coral reefs have been bleaching and dying worldwide at a fast pace due to climate change, pollution, and overfishing, triggering severe biodiversity losses. Rrreefs has developed a 3D-printable modular reef system that counteracts this process and serves as a basis for new coral reefs to develop. With their potentially massive impact on marine wildlife and the livelihoods that depend on it, rrreefs greatly impressed the jury. Moreover, their significant implications for a wide range of beneficiaries convinced the jury to grant them the SEIF Award for Future Impact Trend.

The SEIF Audience Award also went to Rrreefs after scoring 40 percent of the votes. In Addition to its cash prize, the startup will receive support from the SEIF team in conducting an extensive impact assessment of their solution.

(Press release/RAN)