Great interest in million-euro idea

Covestro funds best employee start-up team

06-Nov-2017 - Germany

An in-house competition at Covestro to find and fund the best business idea has met with a great response. Employees of the materials manufacturer around the globe have submitted around 600 projects and the top six teams are now preparing for next year’s grand final. The aim of Covestro’s start-up challenge is to encourage an entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit among its just under 16,000-strong workforce.

The Board of Management will decide on the winning business idea in February 2018. The members of the successful team will then be given up to twelve months off from their normal jobs to further develop their idea just like a start-up company, complete with start-up funding of over one million euros.

Encouraging a pioneering spirit

“The start-up challenge further raises our profile as an innovative and sustainable company. We’re also offering exceptional conditions and pushing the boundaries of typical ideas competitions. The aim is for the best business idea to be able to grow as quickly as possible under real-life conditions,” explains Dr. Markus Steilemann, the member of the Covestro Board of Management responsible for Innovation, Sales and Marketing. “As we see it, innovation goes beyond traditional research and development – it’s a matter for each and every employee. Anyone who is able to implement innovative business ideas effectively will also achieve more rapid progress with new ideas in the future,” he adds.

Business ideas for using carbon dioxide

Six business ideas from multi-national teams have made it to the final round of the competition. They were selected by employees in an online vote and by a panel of experts. The ideas include new possibilities for saving petroleum by using the off-gas carbon dioxide as a raw material source for high-quality products. For example, CO2 is to be used to produce a more sustainable cleaning agent with enhanced degradability. The pioneering Covestro team behind this idea is working with several research partners.

Further possibilities include the sustainable production of industrial gas mixtures from renewable energies and carbon dioxide – a breakthrough for the entire chemical industry. Ideas relating to the value-adding use of plastic waste in various sectors of industry and efficient design consulting with the help of artificial intelligence are also in the running for the start-up funding.

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This is what true pioneering spirit looks like: Plenty of innovative start-ups are bringing fresh ideas, lifeblood and entrepreneurial spirit to change tomorrow's world for the better. Immerse yourself in the world of these young companies and take the opportunity to get in touch with the founders.