Updated: Jan 3, 2020
First of all, we hope you had a very Merry Christmas and 2019 treated you well. It has been an important year for Gelatex Technologies and that's why we decided to sum it up in a review of the year.
1. Product improvements
We have improved the durability and flexibility of Gelatex and tested different textures and colours of the material. And you know what? We can colour the material just by adding natural pigments before we make the fibers. This means that there are no extra steps needed for colouring, there is no wastewater created in the process and the colour does not fade off so easily as it is locked inside the fiber.
2. Pilot Production
We came out of the lab and have our own garage now in Tallinn, Estonia where to build our mini-factory for stable continuous pilot production. It quite feels like a rock band, but instead of playing guitars we are spinning gelatin nanofibers in a harmonic way.
3. Team expansion
We have worked on Gelatex for over 3 years doing that part-time with a small team, mainly our co-founders Mari-Ann and Märt-Erik working project-based with University of Tartu. In summer we made finally a strong commitment of focusing on Gelatex full-time. Now we have a team of 5, soon to be 6. We are excited and extremely glad to have a strong and motivated team and are expecting to grow even more in 2020.
4. Green Alley Award
We won a prestigious award: the Green Alley Award. It is the first startup prize in circular economy in Europe. Getting the first prize means a lot to us and gives a boost of confidence that we are on the right path. Thanks to all folks in Germany. You are terrific! ;)
5. Collaborations with designers
Thanks to increased capacity we got the opportunity to send out samples and are thankful for everyone who gave us feedback and spent their time to test the material on real products. We are especially glad to work together with Estonian sustainable bags and accessories brand Stella Soomlais and Belgium-based Finnish high-end bag brand NO/AN. Exciting news also for 2020 already: in the framework of Worth Partnership Project we are working on a collection with NO/AN that will be exhibited at Milan Design Weeks in April 2020! More news already in new year.
6. Increase of interest
We were excited to see an increase in interest, especially from many worldwide famous brands from fashion to automotive. That's exactly what we want - make an easily scalable eco-friendly material that could be easily implemented in mass-production and used also by bigger brands. We are dreaming of a future where sustainability is not something niche, special, expensive and inaccessible. It is time to make sustainability a norm! Can't wait to see you all implementing Gelatex in your products in the future. Get in touch if you want to collaborate in 2020.
7. New website
We have a new website. Our fabric can have an extremely positive impact on the textile industry. Give a second chance is our motto. We upcycle a material that otherwise would be downcycled and make something beautiful out of this. Our website now explains also more the technology behind our material. Check it in here.
8. Our supporters
We are really grateful for our supporters - we could not do this without you!
- Archimedes "Smart specialization" funding scheme helped us to continue research at the University of Tartu that has had an important role as a development partner since the beginning.
- We received Horizon2020 SME Instrument phase 1 funding. Getting this is pretty challenging and we are grateful for our partners at Talenther for the support! Working hard now on next phase.
- And the cherry on the cake - Techstars. From September to early December part of our team was in Indianapolis, US participating at The Heritage Group accelerator powered by Techstars. It was just amazing. We learned a lot, improved a lot and are glad to be part of Techstars worldwide network. Check out our CEO Mari-Ann pitching at the Demo Day.
We have a lot of reasons to celebrate this year and we are confident that in one year our list will be even bigger. Thank you all! Be safe and have a nice festive season! See you in 2020!