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CIRCULÉIRE’s Venture Innovation & Mentoring Programme 2022 Cohort kicks off

CIRCULÉIRE’s Venture Innovation & Mentoring Programme 2022 Cohort kicks off

Meet the awardees and take a deep dive into their innovative circular business

The five awardees were announced during CIRCULÉIRE’s panel at the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expo on the 25th of May 2022. On May 31st CIRCULÉIRE, in partnership with Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Space, kicked off the 2022 Circular Venture Innovation & Mentoring Programme. In this first meeting, the new cohort had the opportunity to meet their fellow awardees’ peers and take the first step toward this journey of learning and scaling up their business.

This circular venture programme is the first of its kind in Ireland (established in 2020) to target late-stage ventures that demonstrate or enable circular business models. Following a competitive selection process, each awardee will receive a grant of €5k and participate in our bespoke Innovation & Mentoring Programme from May 2022 to September 2022.

Read more about the 5 awardees:

Jiminy Eco Toys

Jiminy retails “sustainably-made new” toys. Now, they are launching “Play”, a line of “proudly pre-loved” toys. In this line, the toys are checked, cleaned, warrantied, and packed in a stylish, branded, gift-able box.

“We’re conscious that re-use is an equally powerful way to make toys sustainable. We know from experiments that there’s a bigger shift in people’s mindsets and behaviour needed to normalise pre-loved toys. So we applied to CIRCULÉIRE’s programme for some expert help getting that started” – Sharon Keilthy, Founder and CEO of Jiminy Eco Toys.

Electric Avenue (Electric Bikes)

A bike-share provider that focuses on the modularity of their bikes and batteries, which enables to re-manufacture them at the end of each lifecycle. Applying this method, they double the life span of a lithium-ion battery pack and keep bikes on the road and out of landfills for longer. 

“We have first-hand experience of the strategic and educational benefits these programmes afford to start-ups and couldn’t miss the opportunity to apply to the CIRCULÉIRE’s programme as the mentoring will be invaluable to our remanufacturing process and company development” – David Harpur, Co-Founder of Electric Avenue.

ReFunk (Furniture)

Refunk is a one-stop eCommerce platform which facilitates the buying, selling and commissioning of pre-loved and upcycled furniture through their marketplace.

“Our mission is to stop virgin materials being used in the furniture sector and to provide a platform to enable furniture pieces to be kept in use for longer. We applied to the CIRCULÉIRE’s programme to gain access to the expertise of the best mentors in the circular economy who will enable us to create the most scalable and circular model that we can optimise here in Ireland, and expand globally” – Ellie Walters, Co-Founder & COO of ReFunk Upcycling.

Returnr (Re-Usable Packaging)

Returnr is eliminating single-use food and beverage packaging in cafes and independent retailers through a B2C deposit return scheme for re-usable food and beverage packaging.

“Returnr Ireland applied to CIRCULÉIRE’s programme to progress it’s mission of eliminating single use food and beverage packaging while impacting and accelerating the national transition to a net-zero carbon circular economy” – David Weitbrecht, Director of Returnr.

KnowCarbon (CE Enabler)

Digital and traceability venture that focuses on providing transparent, actionable data to companies and consumers on carbon. The mission is to accelerate the move to a zero-carbon economy and reduce carbon emissions by 100M tonnes by 2030 (2x the carbon footprint of Ireland).

“We believe we are aligned with CIRCULÉIRE’s objectives to ‘source, test, finance, and scale’, circular manufacturing systems, supply chains and circular business models to deliver significant reductions in both CO2 emissions and waste. We’ll do this by increasing sales revenues for our SME/circular customers and increasing the growth of circular business models by creating network effects for the circular economy” – Eamonn Galvin, CEO and Co-Founder of KnowCarbon.


CIRCULÉIRE is a public-private partnership co-created by Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and three strategic partners: the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EIT Climate-KIC. Together with industry partners CIRCULÉIRE aims to assist manufacturers and their supply chains to switch from linear to circular business models.

Read more about CIRCULÉIRE here.


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