Beesharing-Gründer Otmar Trenk, Nils Gerber und Wolfgang Reuter © BEEsharing

Start-ups and sustainability in Hamburg

Sustainability tops agenda for start-ups across Hamburg

More and more start-ups in Hamburg are keen on producing sustainable products and associated services. Sustainability is a major, overarching topic, which can be implemented and applied in a variety of ways in many areas and industries. Hamburg News presents some of the start-ups focusing on sustainability:

Energie-Bo focusing on sustainable energy consumption

The Energie-Bo start-up is keen on making the energy sector easier, fairer, cheaper and more sustainable for the end customer with its Wechsel-Bo service. The independent service for electricity and gas, which reminds customers to switch suppliers every year, is the start-up’s first product. Energie-Bo also wants to sensitize end consumers to sustainability and motivate them to switch to environment-friendly electricity. To this end, the start-up also offers a comparison portal for electrical appliances and a shop for energy-efficient products.


Bees are essential for pollination, increase the harvest and vegetable growers’ yields of fruit as well as improving quality. The BEEsharing start-up provides an online platform that brings beekeepers and farmers together. Beekeepers can offer their bee colonies for pollination, while farmers and gardeners buy the service for their plants. BEEsharing takes charge of mediation and logistics.

Cleaner air with Breeze

The Hamburg-based start-up Breeze is developing the future of environmental sensor technology and analytical software. The miniature air quality sensors measure pollutants e.g. soot, nitrogen oxides, ozone and fine dust. The special feature of the “Breeze” measuring system is its cloud link with a catalogue containing around 3,500 measures to improve the quality of air using algae walls, an air quality-dependent traffic management system or pollutant-filtering wall paints. Following successful indoor pilot phases, the founders’ major goal is now to spread their technology in cities to optimize pollutant management there.

Digital forwarding agency

The Hamburg-based Cargonexx won the the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch during the recently ended Reeperbahn Festival. The digital freight forwarder uses intelligent algorithms to reduce empty truck runs. Rolf-Dieter Lafrenz, founder and CEO of Cargonexx, explained the company’s goal: “If you like open roads and good air, you should vote for us.” The final saw five young start-ups from all over Germany vie against each other in seven minutes for a ticket to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas and a media budget of EUR 150,000 from Die WELT daily. The award-winning start-up recently won the Hamburger Gründerpreis 2018 (Hamburg Founder Prize 2018).

Hydrophil and the love of water

The Hamburg-based start-up Hydrophil produces vegan, fair and “water-friendly” good. The word “hydrophilic” is composed of the Greek words hydor (water) and philos (loving). So it is by no means coincidental that Christoph Laudon, Wanja Johannes Weskott and Sebastian Bensmann gave their newly founded start-up in 2013 exactly this name. The three Hamburg residents got to know each other through their commitment to Viva con Agua, a non-profit association that works worldwide for unrestricted access to clean drinking water. Hydrophil now specialises in hygiene and body care products.

Social Impact Lab Hamburg

The Social Impact Lab Hamburg offers a wealth of information about social projects and also lends its support. The lab opened its doors in 2013 and has been supporting Hanseatic social entrepreneurs ever since. Scholarship holders of various support programmes can avail of coaching and consulting services as well as support setting up a social enterprise. The lab also hosts events for all those interested in (social) entrepreneurship.

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