H&M Foundation and Social Alpha announce top startups with innovative waste management and processing solutions


Phool, Zeroplast Labs, Loopworm, Swachha Ecosolutions and MuddleArt  have been announced as the top five winning startups of ‘Techtonic Innovations in Waste Management’, a joint initiative of Social Alpha and the H&M Foundation. This program is part of the Saamuhika Shakti initiative by H&M Foundation in India. The program envisions creating an enabling ecosystem stack for innovators and entrepreneurs developing solutions to accelerate waste management, processing and improve the overall quality of life of the informal sector in India. 

The top five winning startups are focused on developing technology innovations to move the needle towards a circular economy and enhance the lives and livelihoods of the informal sector.

Maria Bystedt, Strategy Lead, H&M Foundation said, “We are so happy to support these winning innovations and are excited to follow the entrepreneurs on their journey. Innovation is fundamental to improve the waste management system, but it is also crucial to improve the life of waste pickers. By reducing the amounts of waste that end up in landfills waste pickers are true heroes, and new technologies can increase their income opportunities as well as highlighting the recognition they deserve.”

Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO, Social Alpha said, “The need to usher innovations all along the value chain is crucial to solve the complexities of waste management problems. The winning innovations have demonstrated the potential to create impact and scale across geographies. Our waste innovations accelerator has been designed to help these startups overcome barriers of entering into new markets by convening cross-sectoral collaboration with urban local bodies, private institutions and civil society.” 

The winners were selected from over 100 applications, based on a set of criteria with the focus being broadly on technology innovation, impact, operational scalability, and business sustainability. The applications went through multiple rounds of evaluations by an external expert committee and a jury panel. The top 10 finalists then presented to a jury of experts from across different disciplines, with a waste management background leading to the selection of winners.


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