Innovation for a greener tomorrow: entrepreneurs shine at Mysteryland and ITGWO

Photography by Calluna Denkers.

At the crossroads of innovation, entertainment, music and togetherness, Mysteryland and Into The Great Wide Open provided a platform for a total of twelve (!)  innovative startups this summer. They showcased their groundbreaking ideas and products, all aimed at fostering sustainability and positive environmental impact. Engaging directly with the festival attendees, the entrepreneurs conducted tests and sought feedback from the festival crowd on their game-changing innovations.

Two of these organisations, Toopi and ChefChain, were selected via the ‘Test Like the Best’ workshop curated by Festival Sustainability Lab. We spoke to the two entrepreneurs behind the innovation, to find out about their learnings and conclusions.

Testing the Vegan Blockchain Burger

Through blockchain technology, ChefChain provides information about the origin of your food, nutritional value, and CO2 emissions. Chef Damien Taylor, in collaboration with Café Soigner, Mosselnet, and Fortuna Vlieland, examined a number of dishes and drinks, revealing the story behind each ingredient during ITGWO. ‘This weekend, we made some very valuable contacts, but we also encountered challenges. Convincing people to scan QR codes proved difficult, especially as they didn’t see the importance or associated them with Covid. So, we need to carefully consider how to make the QR codes more appealing, both in appearance and in the storytelling behind them. Although I initially had doubts about using our technology at festivals, I discovered during discussions with the festival organizers that it is actually essential. Food plays a crucial role in their pursuit of CO2 neutrality.”

Testing collection tanks to turn urine into fertilizer

French startup Toopi embarked on a trailblazing journey to transform human urine into a treasure trove for agriculture. By harnessing the nutrient-rich potential of urine, Toopi seeks to create biostimulants that enrich soil fertility and reduce the reliance on chemical fertilizers. Mysteryland provided the perfect backdrop for testing their collection tanks, placed at the camping area restrooms. Festival attendees had the chance to contribute to a greener earth simply by answering nature’s call.

François Gerard, Project Lead of Toopi Belgium: “We aimed to gather 10,000 liters of urine, and within 2.5 days, we successfully achieved this milestone. The collected urine will now undergo fermentation and conversion into biostimulants. This benefits the environment by nurturing 400 hectares of crops ecologically, thereby enabling farmers to reduce their reliance on chemical fertilizers.”

More tests at Mysteryland and ITGWO

Of course, these two tests are but a small percentage of the total amount of tests that Innofest curated this summer at these two festivals. Mysteryland tests included the following start-ups (read all about it here):

The tests at Into the Great Wide Open simultaneously posed as the final tests of the 2023 festival summer – you can read about the following entrepreneurs here (Dutch only):

Driving environmental & social change in the event industry