ReNew is the combined vision of Carolina Cinalli, Niclas Roelen and David Isabel, three students who met during their International MBA at IE University. After discovering a shared vision for a sustainable future, they decided to put it into action when they all participated in the Fall 2022 Venture Lab and created this creative startup. Sustainability is one of our core values at IE University, so we caught up with the ReNew team to talk about their startup and where they hope to take it in the future.
What is your startup ReNew about?
At ReNew, we focus on replacing the traditional paper cup by promoting a circular ecosystem of fully reusable and recyclable to-go cups. Eventually, we plan to introduce other innovative products that will replace single-use containers.
What inspired the idea for ReNew?
ReNew is the result of our concerns with the high volumes of waste we witnessed in Madrid during our time in the city. All three of us belonged to different teams during the Startup Lab; however, we decided to join forces for the Venture Lab because we saw the potential of our idea and shared the common goal of promoting sustainable projects. Niclas thought that it would be a great idea to adopt a similar concept that already exists in Germany and implement it in Spain.
What are your main goals and aspirations for ReNew?
We have already started creating our network in Madrid: we are currently working with three partners in Salamanca—DoEat, Makan and Brotes. From there, we intend to expand into several other main cities in Spain. We’re really happy to announce that ReNew already has more than 100 active users and avoided over 400 disposable cups in just two weeks!
How did the Venture Lab at IE University help you out throughout this process?
The Venture Lab has been an excellent opportunity to get to know other entrepreneurs and belong to a community of people that have the energy and desire to make changes that impact people’s lives for the better. Additionally, we have been able to meet a lot of investors that have been super useful in helping us understand the markets and the bigger picture of what people look for when they want to invest in a startup.
How has your experience with the Venture Lab contributed to your startup’s success?
The Venture Lab has contributed to our success by putting us in close contact with leading individuals and businesses in the sector that we are targeting. Thanks to this, we have already received a lot of visibility. We have also been able to expand our understanding of our customers’ main problems and conduct a more in-depth dive into our proposed solutions. The Venture Lab has created a great community of entrepreneurs that are willing to help one another.
What is some advice you’d give to someone who is interested in creating their own sustainable startup?
You will always have to focus on understanding your customers and the issues they are trying to solve. This process should start by narrowing down the exact customer persona you plan to target in order to boost your startup’s chances of success. For most people, it is not enough that your solution is sustainable—they have to relate to your product too. Your customer has to feel that they are going to be part of the solution to the problems the world is facing.
The ReNew team has made our global future part of its core mission. Check out ReNew on campus and participate in the Venture Lab yourself to change the course of our future.