Beko’s “Hack the Normal Sustainability” hackathon winners announced

Hosted by Beko and organised by media partners TNW and FT Talent, Hack the Normal Sustainability empowered innovators to develop new technologies and sustainable living solutions. The event also featured high-flying industry leaders, entrepreneurs, academicians, and thought leaders including from WWF and UNDP, who shared their learnings and valuable insight as part of the three-day hackathon.

Open to entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers from across Europe, the event attracted over five hundred participants from 70 countries who developed unique and practical solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges relating to climate change, water management, and circular economy.

This year’s top winners include:

  • Circular Economy winner: Team Salubata
    The team aims to provide a solution to the global issue of plastic waste by converting PET waste into desirable, practical footwear. Using patented technology, the team developed a prototype and business pathway to help divert almost 6 billion tonnes of plastic waste from landfills.
  • Climate Change winner: Team 52
    Team 52 tackled the issue of energy waste and carbon emissions produced by household appliances left on standby. The team developed an innovative smart plug with user-friendly modes to enable consumers to turn off appliances and reduce energy waste when not in use, driving financial savings for consumer and helping prevent emissions.
  • Water Management winner: Koalas
    The Koalas developed an innovative new washing machine technology which uses oxygen and cold water to clean garments more efficiently than ever before. The new process which is proposed to be used in a future line of Beko washing machines, reduces the need for high levels of detergent and hot water, thus helping conserve water and energy.

Beko will now work in collaboration with the nine challenge winners as well as with the Beko Special Award winners to commercialise their products with the top tier European accelerator, Startup Wise Guys. This is on top of the €50,000 prize pool, that has been paid out to the winners. 

hackathon hack
Photo: David Troeger / Unsplash

Utku Barış Pazar, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Arçelik, said: “Building upon the experience from the previous two hackathons, we are proud to conclude Europe’s largest sustainability hackathon, as well as the first-ever carbon-neutral one, with the participation of over five hundred attendees.

“This year, our mission for the event focused on the growing climate crisis and the risks posed by every tenth of a degree of additional warming to people, species, and ecosystems, making it urgent that we find effective ways to decarbonise and  reduce emissions.

“As such, it has been inspiring to see some of the brightest minds and forward thinkers coming together to create solutions for issues that affect us all. We are proud to get over 700 applicants with 51 early-stage startups and bring 94 teams from over 70 countries together to act for the same purpose: to create ideas for a positive impact on people and the planet.

“Congratulations to all fourteen winners and all the participants for showing what we can achieve when we come together and collaborate. We believe a culture of collaboration and innovation is the most effective way to tackle some of today’s urgent environmental challenges, and this event has gone some way to achieving this.”

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