ENTREPRENEURS AT A CLICK
The startup receives support from Finnova in organizing and preparing the best funding for European projects
The startup Bellejo presented, during the Blockchain Challenge Hackathon 2019, the creation of a new environmentally friendly sunscreen product with Lignin from a by-product of beer, connected to the NGOs involved in the preservation of the marine ecosystem using blockchain. The Finnova Foundation is accelerating this company, which intends to connect its product, through Blockchain, with the NGOs, in order to preserve life in the oceans and restore damaged coral reefs and thus provide an incredible customer experience and create a cultural change in environmental protection.
We talked to Claudia Condulet, Founder & CEO of BELLEJO, who explained to us what her entrepreneurial idea is; how Finnova helps her and why startups are necessary.
-What prize have you won, on which date and through by what means or institution?
I won Best Blockchain-based start-up for our bio-based sunscreen product that connects NGOs involved in the preservation of the marine ecosystem using blockchain, in support with UN SDG 14. Award was obtained during Blockchain Challenge Hackathon organized in Malaga 11th of November 2019.
P-What has Finnova helped you with or is helping you with?
R– I receive support from Finnova in organizing and preparing for best european project funding that suits my start-up, guidance and mentorship and also connecting my business with suitable partners. Looking forward to complete the acceleration of my start-up with Finnova.
P-How did you meet Finnova?
R– I met the representants of Finnova after I won the Start Up Europe Award, as the organization is responsible and involved in the acceleration of the awarded start-ups.
P-Are awards for entrepreneurs or startups important? -What is your project about and how do you differ from the rest?
R– While others see waste, I see beauty. I am confident that BELLEJO will transform wasted biomass into valuable cosmetics products, our goal is to play an important role in bringing sustainable solutions to existing problems in the beauty market by re-defining existing supply chains. Our first product will be a Reef Friendly Sunscreen product with Lignin, a biopolymer extracted from beer saved grains. We also want to connect our product through Blockchain with NGOs, with the purpose of preserving life in the oceans and restore damaged coral reefs and thus providing an amazing Customer Experience and create a cultural change in environmental protection, where the customer can see their direct positive impact in ocean conservation efforts just by scanning our product.
P-Do you think it’s hard to invest in a startup?
R– It is certainly a challenge to get funding for high risk innovative solutions, it takes courage and resilience to keep moving forward, to not give up when you really believe that you are working not only for the present, but for the future.
P- How has your company evolved since you won the acceleration ticket?
R– I met extraordinary people that are involved in the start-up environment, with the same goals and aspirations for a brighter future. Not only that I met my fellow start-up owners, I also found that when I reached out for support and guidance, I received the most touching response and people will help if you just ask.
P- Do you consider that Startups are the future on a global level?
R– Start-ups are usually created by people who can see better solutions to existing problems, who can anticipate and also create a better future. In a start-up environment, we have the liberty to try and fail, to try and succeed, making sure our solutions and products have a faster route from idea to market. In this sense, a start-up is usually the place where you will find unimaginable ideas brought to life and yes, they are the future.
P-Are awards for entrepreneurs or startups important?
R– Awards can give us, start-up owners, the visibility that we need to find partners and funding. And also gives our partners the assurance that our solutions are validated and hence improve the entrepreneur’s chances to get the idea to the market very fast.
P- Do you think there should be more Startup Europe Awards? And what would you say to those entrepreneurs who are thinking of approaching European projects?R
R– To all the entrepreneurs in Europe I would say, go for European Projects, apply for Startup European Awards competitions and events, it will improve your chances in getting your start-up to the next level, meet partners and supporters of your business ideas.