Indonesian Startup, Mycotech, Won the 2019 SEED Awards
An Indonesian startup, Mycotech, managed to become one of the winners in the world startup competition called the 2019 SEED Awards. This was announced on October 21, with more than 900 registrants. This year the award included nine countries to participate.
2019 SEED Awards is looking for companies that contribute to sustainable development, combating poverty and climate change, especially in nine countries including Ghana, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This year, it opened at least three categories.
The categories include the SEED Low Carbon Awards, the SEED Africa Awards, and the SEED South Africa Climate Adaptation Awards. The SEED Awards chose 14 startups as the winners and 52 as finalists, including 1 winner and 4 finalists from Indonesia in the low-carbon business category.
They are Mycotech as the winners. Meanwhile, Komodo Water, Rahsa Nusantara, FAM Organic, and Puffer Pure Water become the finalists. Mycotech itself is a biotechnology startup from Indonesia that creates eco-friendly and high-performance material innovation as a substitute for leather in the fashion and composite in the furniture industry.
Mycotech Got a Chance to Join the SEED Accelerator Program
Mycotech utilizes renewable raw materials from agricultural wastes such as sawdust, empty fruit bunches of oil palm, sugarcane pulp, and others. These materials are glued together by natural adhesives in the form of mushroom mycelium to produce leather and composite biomaterial.
The company, which was founded by Adi Reza Nugroho and four others in 2012, succeeded in winning the 2019 SEED Awards because it offers innovative products and services that contribute to climate change, as well as social and economic improvement.
Not only that, but Mycotech is also considered good for the impact, scalability, and sustainable company. As the winner, Mycotech received a grant of € 10,000 or around 154 million rupiahs. The company also got a chance to join the SEED Accelerator program.
This is a year-long intensive business mentoring program with experts and periodic inclusive training using a special toolkit for developing business models, finance, and impacts. This way, the company is capable to join a network of more than 240 companies from 38 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
“Toolkits provided in the SEED Accelerator program are very helpful and simple. As a result, they are easy to apply and convey to the team, especially in decision planning. I hope that through this program, we can improve the quality of our products,” Mycotech founder, Adi, said.
Mycotech Founder: It Could Encourage Government to Support Environmentally Friendly Companies
Meanwhile, Adi also wished that the company can also increase its impact on the environment. By participating in the SEED Accelerator program, Adi hoped that it could be a bridge for Mycotech to encourage the Indonesian government to create programs or policies that support environmentally friendly companies.
On the other hand, Mycotech has produced a lot of stylish fashion items that as durable as ones made of animal leather. The company also used natural dyes from plants to create various fashion items, including handbags, purses, and watch straps.
With these products, Mycotech becomes the world’s first company to create watches from mushrooms So far, Mycotech has worked with various local brands to develop products. But, international brands also expressed their interest in using Mylea such as Clark, a British shoe brand.
The 2019 SEED Awards itself was supported by German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety, and the Flanders Government. Whereas the SEED program was formed by the UN Environment (United Nations Environment Program), UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
This program was first developed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development which was held in Johannesburg in 2002. Meanwhile, the awarding of the 2019 SEED Award winners will be given in Thailand in January at the SEED Symposium Bangkok 2020.