About the Startup:
At Green Panels, we develop universal green roof modules to retrofit houses and buildings. The Green Panels cool down the houses and entire cities during summer while making the urban landscapes greener.
The Founder and CEO, Aurélio Wijnands, has worked with green roofs since 2016 with an NGO that installed green roofs in communities of Rio de Janeiro. Those green roofs helped residents withstand the extreme heat during summer which was potentialized by the lack of vegetation in some areas. From then on, Aurélio saw how much nature can have a positive impact not only on thermal comfort and life quality but also on energy savings and helping the environment. Together with his father and Co-Founder, Eric Wijnands, which has extensive experience developing businesses internationally, they decided to develop reliable, modular, and retrofit green roof solutions to integrate nature in houses and buildings with an easy-to-install system. Complementing the team, Jelmer Veenstra, a passionate hands-on industrial design engineer, and Sophia Geissler, a student of Business, IT, and Sustainability, with work experience and knowledge in Marketing.
Problem and Opportunity:
Gas and electricity prices are skyrocketing. Extreme hot summers and cold winters. Who is to blame? Wars, global warming, resource depletion, big corporations, ourselves? Well, a bit of everything. We are facing a socio-environmental problem represented by a few numbers:
The average household in the Netherlands spends a painful amount of €290,00 per month on gas and electricity.
The heat wave in week 30 of 2019 caused 2,964 deaths. How to prevent this to happen again? Spending on Aircos and fans doesn’t sound like a cheap solution. How about using the cheapest and most efficient technology? Nature.
Only 0.5% of the roofs are covered with vegetation. The rest is concrete and roof tiles that make buildings very hot during summer and contribute to the Heat Island Effect, impermeability of urban city areas, and pollution. The Green Panels are a retrofit green roof system that will lower the temperature of houses and entire neighborhoods. It consists of a recycled plastic tray, resistant plant species, and a lightweight substrate. Green Panels use the same installation principle as solar panels and can be installed on top of any kind of roof. They can be installed on the least sunny side of the roof where it’s not efficient to place solar panels or put them next to solar panels.
What makes our startup unique?
We have a unique concept that can break the bottlenecks of the green roof industry due to its immense applicability and flexibility. Besides, our team is passionate about solving socio-environmental issues and has the technical capacity to iterate and innovate in every challenge of product and business development. We want to articulate different sectors of society to guarantee that green roofs will be part of smarter cities and a sustainable future.
Our go-to-market plan:
We will develop pilots with early adopters that have keen on sustainability and want to help the environment. The first customers will be also pleased by the aesthetic value of a green roof on their houses. With the first clients, we will perform tests and if needed, improve our design so that a large-scale production can be launched, in partnership with corporates, for example, housing corporations and solar panels companies.
Traction & Milestones:
We spoke with interested partner companies, such as Wonion, a housing corporation willing to develop a pilot on their houses. As well as an institute that promotes biodiversity, The Pollinators, interested in having a pilot in their boat office in Amsterdam. Not only that, SIGHT, a landscaping company has demonstrated interest in making tests and research with different plants and substrates in their facilities, as a potential product for their landscaping solutions. We interviewed homeowners and have more than 10 Leads, learning that most people would like to own a green roof together with solar panels, and that is exactly what our Green Panels offer.
15k from Startupbootcamp
Beginning of 2023: 100K.