Marilu Valente is an architect by training and designer by trade. She invents with the environment in mind, trying to imagine how her inventions would fit in a circular economy. Her path led to holding the vice presidency of the EIT Raw Materials’ Alumni board and becoming a co-founder of an EIT RawMaterials-supported start-up. But how did her path lead to a long-term relationship with the EIT Community?
Marilu first met the EIT by participating at one of their annual CONNECT events. There, she met her future cofounder and together they developed her first start-up, Binee, which marketed a smart recycling system that offered easily accessible collection points as well as a digital platform that would reward users for their recycling actions.
EIT RawMaterial’s help was instrumental: not only did it help Marilu meet her people and form her team, she was able to find her first customers too and find the space she needed to perfect the Binee system and business model. A whole community of like-minded people was there to offer feedback and advice. And the EIT RawMaterials family eventually provided the financial support Marilu and her team needed to finish their first prototype.
The experience within the EIT Community was extremely diverse and gave me the chance to be a part of and interact with a network of amazing people that I will never forget. I firmly believe that the EIT Alumni community has a great infrastructure to make things happen and create opportunities for whoever would like to make a positive impact for the environment and the society.
-- Marilu Valente
Through this new network and newfound confidence in her abilities as an entrepreneur, Marilu set off on her second project, Cyclic Design. She commercialised refillable packaging for personal care products produced with 100% recyclable and climate neutral bio-based material. It is already sold at 4 000 locations in Germany today!
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Our bi-weekly EIT Alumni stories spotlight the incredible journeys and achievements of our learners. We’ll let them show you what’s possible through the EIT Alumni Community.