VUB start-up BitaGreen wins European Impact Shakers Award

A start-up from VUB has won a European Impact Shakers Award for its work on green infrastructure planning in urban areas. BitaGreen is one of 12 start-ups around Europe to win a prize, and the only one from Belgium. The award was created by Impact Shakers to help impactful start-ups develop into strong and scalable companies, ultimately making the economy more environmentally friendly, social and inclusive.

BitaGreen is a start-up from the VUB research group on hydrology and offers solutions for urban water management and liveability, based on nature. It won the award in the Water category, for developing a method for planning green infrastructure in urban areas. It combines hydrological data such as sewage systems and flood risks with the ecosystem functions of the green infrastructure. By making cities greener, preventing flooding and avoiding urban heat islands, BitaGreen contributes to the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.



"It is an honour to receive this Impact Shakers Award and a nice recognition of our efforts in the field of water and liveability," say Nahad Rezazadeh Helmi and Nora Van Cauwenbergh, the founders of BitaGreen. "This award package also gives our start-up an important boost. We are very excited to work with Quest Design Studio to maximise our impact through creative design."



This is the first edition of the awards, which are part of the broader Impact Shakers programme. The organisation also helps start-ups to raise funding and will launch a micro-investment fund and accelerator this year. The 12 winning start-ups come from Belgium, the UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Portugal, France and Germany. They will each receive an intensive Raise Alternative Funding bootcamp to help them grow further, as well as a prize pool of tools and entrepreneurial workshops worth ¤20,000. They will also join the Impact Shakers ecosystem of impact entrepreneurs from across Europe, where they can participate in networking opportunities with mentors, business angels and other start-up founders. The next region the awards will focus on is North Africa and the Middle East.



Yonca Braeckman, CEO of Impact Shakers: "We base the Impact Shakers Awards on the doughnut economy model, which maps human prosperity according to social and environmental pillars. From this vision, companies look at economic profit as well as their social and environmental impact."



The VUB start-up BitaGreen contributes to the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by making cities greener and preventing flooding and urban heat islands.

ann.van.griensven@vub.be

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Lies Feron Persrelaties Vrije Universiteit Brussel Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it-s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an -urban engaged university-, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.

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