With plastic waste getting into the ocean at a rate of 1 garbage truck per minute and a bleak prediction of more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, the time to act is now. WWF and Impact Hub Amsterdam are joining forces to accelerate startups that develop innovative solutions to reduce plastic pollution and plastic leakage into the ocean.

For this 7-month accelerator – which is part of WWF’s efforts to reduce plastic leakage into the ocean by at least 80 percent before 2050 – a group of 10 startups will collaborate with Impact Hub and WWF's combined network of mentors, experts, corporate partners and investors.

We encourage applications from startups with global ambitions, but do keep in mind that your enterprise should be registered in the Netherlands.

This program is running from 8 January till 5 October 2018, stay tuned for next editions.


We are looking for the best 10 startups that have a product or service, a client base to build on, a strong team in place, and the capacity to execute their newly developed growth strategies upon program completion. Your startup should provide a solution in at least one of these areas:

☐ Preventing or minimising the use of plastics - Developing plastic alternatives, such as sustainable and biodegradable materials
☐ Reusing and recycling – Innovative ways to repurpose plastic waste. These include collecting, sorting, processing and transforming plastic into new products
☐ Consumer activation - Raising public awareness and promote behavioural change with, for instance, campaigns to say 'no' to disposable plastic


Scaling your startup internationally requires a deep understanding of the socio-economic and environmental landscapes of your target markets. Soft landings at more than 100 Impact Hub locations and 60 WWF offices worldwide will set you on the fast track to exciting new markets.

And, by combining Impact Hub’s entrepreneurial knowledge with WWF’s research on the negative effects of plastic on ecosystems and biodiversity, we'll help you amplify your positive impact.

Impact Hub experts will also help you develop a stronger business proposition with training modules that cover 10 key areas: strategy & execution, finance, marketing & sales, partnerships, investment, impact measurement, organisation & leadership, go-to-market, pitching, and systems & processes.

7-Month Program

An intensive program designed to help you grow your innovative startup while changing the plastics industry.


Expert-led sessions covering all growth and scaling fundamentals - from strategy to execution.

Co-working Space

Free desk space on Friday afternoons in a dynamic, collaborative co-working environment and a 20% on discount all room bookings.

Perks & Discounts

Access to all our member events, including organic lunches, community drinks and networking opportunities with Impact Hub and WWF partners.

Personalised Mentorship

Carefully selected experienced business mentors who provide strategic support and valuable introductions.

Global Network

Through our high-tech Community app, you can access a global network of Impact Hub entrepreneurs, corporate partners, mentors and experts in 100+ cities.

Investor Access

Meet the impact investing networks of Impact Hub and WWF, made up of active mainstream and impact investors, including VCs, angel investors and banks.

Demo Day

Celebrate your achievements and pitch your business growth plans to Impact Hub and WWF's networks of investors, corporate partners and experts.


This intensive, 7-month acceleration program costs 995 euro excl. VAT per first participant. A second participant from the same enterprise (i.e. your co-founder) only pays half the fee.

We only accept applications from startups registered in the Netherlands. Program language depends on participants. The application deadline is 14 January 2018. Other dates to mark in your calendar are:

8 Jan 2018, 14:00 - 17:00: Walk-in consultation with our Scouting Lead, Ilse Kwaaitaal
26 Jan, 10:00 - 11:30: Announcement of the 10 selected startups
5 Feb, 18:00 - 22:00: Selection event for the 10 participants
26 Feb, 16:00 - 18:00: Kick-off coffee
21 & 22 Mar / 16 & 17 Apr / 16 & 17 May / 14 & 15 Jun / 6 & 7 Sep / 4 & 5 Oct, 9:30 - 17:00:
Training days, with drinks and talks on 22 Mar, 17 Apr, 17 May, 15 Jun & 7 Sep
6 Apr / 4 May / 1 Jun / 29 Jun / 21 Sep, 9:30 - 17:00: Work on Your Business Friday, individually and with our experts
5 Oct, 13:00 - 19:00 (invitation only): Demo Day, including celebratory drinks

Meet the startups participating in our Plastic Free Ocean Accelerator


Wieke van der ZouwenThis program is headed by Manon Klein, who has a thorough knowledge of impact investing, startups, social enterprises and strategy. She has coordinated various accelerator and training programs in her role as Program Manager at Impact Hub Amsterdam, including the Investment Ready Program in 2017 and 2018, Booking.com Cares’ Booking Booster 2017 and the New Material Award business model challenge. Previously Manon was Program Manager at the DOEN Foundation: an impact investment fund focusing on social enterprises. Manon enjoys connecting people with the purpose of enhancing people’s opportunities while contributing to a better world and developing a more sustainable economy.


carel drijverAfter 12 years' experience with applied science in the field of Environment and Development in various countries, Carel Drijver joined WWF The Netherlands as initiator and manager of a wide range of nature conservation programs worldwide. These include WWF’s Coral Triangle Programme in Asia and the Oceans and Coast Team in the Netherlands. He also developed WWF’s global Plastic Free Ocean strategy in cooperation with Enviu, Impact Hub and 60 WWF Offices.


Wouter Moekotte

Wouter MoekotteWouter launched Bio Futura in 2008 to replace plastics sourced from oil with bio-based alternatives. The scale and urgency of the plastic pollution problem is one of his main motivators. But Wouter is also enthusiastic about the many entrepreneurial opportunities the plastic issue presents. Think of the collection of monetary deposits for plastics, educational projects, the true price of plastic, focusing on reusable alternatives and much more. Thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, Wouter finds himself at home in the startup world.

Jan Willem Slijkoord

Jan Willem SlijkoordJan Willem has more than 20 years of experience in materials science, sustainability and complex business development in high-tech, innovative environments. He is Senior Business Development Manager of Chemicals at TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research. Here he applies and develops innovative clean technologies and business models through new ventures, as well as business cases in close collaboration with the chemical industry. Using his plastics expertise and polymer industry network, Jan Willem founded CiorC, a company that makes innovative filaments from recycled plastic. In collaboration with Dutch filament producer Innofil3D, he launched InnoCircle, a recycled filament product line.

Thom Sijs

Thom Sijs Thom Sijs is a straightforward businessman with a broad experience in development and realization of business plans, coordination and integration of companies and processes including change management. Thom is always looking to get the best out of people and likes to communicate on all levels. Over the years Thom has a track record at all levels in the manufacturing industry especially food and engineering. Beside turnarounds, he has developed new products concept and successfully put to market in Europe, Asia and the Far East. Most recently he developed and introduced an environmental friendly hybrid scissor lift. This new product was awarded “2015 IAPA Product of the Year” in Washington DC.

Carolien Kernkamp

Carolien Kernkamp Carolien is a covestor at Generous Minds and an impact entrepreneur at Just Business & Development. For more than ten years, she has worked with sustainable startups and scaleups in Europe and Africa. Her work spans the development of a plastic social procurement policy, turning plastics into new resources, participating in cleanup campaigns, designing strategies and securing investments.

Silla Scheepens

Silla Scheepens Silla is a business advisor and angel investor with a solid strategy, marketing and sales track record in consumer-driven environments. She supports startups with advisory services on topics such as business definition, strategic analysis, strategy development, business model canvas, go-to-market, consumer target groups, customer journey, validation, branding and communication. Silla has previously worked for large organisations such as Unilever, Bugaboo, Joop van den Ende and WWF.


The Plastic Free Ocean Accelerator is a collaboration of WWF and Impact Hub Amsterdam, supported by partners World Startup Factory and Enviu.
plastic free ocean accelerator partners