LignoPure is working on making the bio-raw material lignin, which is contained in wood and straw, usable for a wide range of industrial applications - as a substitute for microplastics. The four-member company is based at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), where it works in cooperation with the Institute of Thermal Process Engineering. With the support of TUHH Professor Irina Smirnova, head of the Institute of Thermal Process Engineering, the two TUHH doctoral students Joana Gil and Wienke Reynolds produced 100% bio-based plastics based on lignin, which can be used, for example, instead of plastic in cosmetics, in 3-D printing or as a base material for insulating material. Together with TUUH, LignoPure holds several patents on the production and drying process of lignin.
The Startup Dock supports the team as part of beyourpilot: Since 2018 the startup is "docked". One of the challenges in the development of the company is to develop a business competence in addition to the scientific one. The special focus of the consultancy is to turn top female scientists into top female entrepreneurs. This means preparing them for the skills on which their entrepreneurial future particularly depends. In particular, this involves sales, the prioritisation of topics and the female entrepreneurial personality. "The great thing about working with LignoPure, for example, is their willingness to learn and their absolute determination to make the world a better place with their idea. This rubs off and is a lot of fun when it comes to start-up support," reports Thorsten Ramus, the responsible start-up consultant. In 2019, he was able to successfully support them, among other things, with the application for the Hamburg InnoRampUp funding programme, which is endowed with 150,000 euros.
LignoPure has won several awards in the past: The online platform startus Insights, for example, rated the start-up in mid-January as one of the top 5 solutions for bio-based materials worldwide that influence the packaging sector. In their "Global Startup Heat Map", the innovation analysts highlight five interesting examples from 119 relevant solutions worldwide. In addition, the company now ranks 10th in the TOP 50 ranking of Für-Gründer.de. The environmentally friendly aspect of the founding idea and its awards recently inspired the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine to report on the interesting Hamburg start-up.
Further links and information:
Link to the TOP 50 ranking of Für-Gründer.de:
LignoPure is located with the 10th rank on page 24, here is also a short portrait of the team. Starting on page 50, there is also an overview of all start-up competitions in 2020.