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The Hague, November 15, 2022. At the final event of ImpactFest, Europe’s largest impact meetup, CyanoCapture and Aquacycl were crowned the winners of the Get in the Ring global startup competition 2022. Selected out of 10,000 applications from over 100 countries, the founders pitched their impact solutions in a boxing ring to a packed house of investors, industry leaders and governments.  

The first pitch battle consisted of two solutions fueling crucial transitions: Costa Rica’s Sibö, which makes insect proteins functional for food production, takes on United Kingdom’s CyanoCapture, which uses bacteria to capture CO2 from industrial processes while using no energy. 

In the second battle, Denmark’s Cellugy, which has developed bioplastics for personal care products that keep microplastics out of the ocean and our bodies, competed against USA’s Aquacycl, whose solution is helping industries to transition to sustainable water management. 

“It was pretty nerve wrecking before getting in the ring, quite a different way to do pitching compared to standard PowerPoint presentation. But once I got in the ring, it was a hugely enjoyable experience . It’s tough to decide a winner, because all the companies participating are doing really great things!” – David Evans, CyanoCapture

“Thank you Unknown Group, thank you Get in the Ring and Cartier Woman’s Initiative for bringing me to The Hague. What an amazing experience, an incredible audience, fantastic judges and wonderful companies that we all need to scale for massive impact” – Orianna Bretschger

Founder-driven impact solutions like CyanoCapture and Aquacycl are key to solving global challenges. Fueling these founders is the most effective way to fix the future. With Get in the Ring, these founders are given a global podium to test, prove and scale their impact solutions with the support of investors, governments and the business community. 


The Global Meetup is a three-day retreat by Dutch impact investor Unknown Group, where 105 startups from the Get in the Ring global startup competition are invited to test, prove and scale their unconventional solutions with industry leaders and investors. 

Following editions in Medellin, Singapore, Cascais and Berlin, this year, the annual Global Meetup took place in the impact city of The Hague. The founders are selected through the year-round Get in the Ring competition with activities in 100+ countries, all coming together to the heart of Europe’s impact economy The Hague, from Benin to Brazil and Costa Rica to Japan.

Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, Director Get in the Ring said: “The great thing about Get in the Ring is that it is so much more than just networking. This is where founders get investments, are inspired, and perhaps most importantly: where so many smart and enthusiastic people from various cultures meet, so that impact is made with a common goal and we can make the world a little more beautiful”. 


Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, Director of Get in the Ring: “Climate change is an urgent topic. While the world leaders gather in Egypt for COP27, founders with solutions against climate change gather in The Hague. Congratulations to CyanoCapture and Aquacycl. We’re big believers in their potential and are delighted to support their impact. With all these startups interacting with The Hague’s ecosystem at the Global Meetup and ImpactFest, we see how The Hague is putting itself on the international map as the epicentre for impact startups”. 

Get in the Ring is organised by the Unknown Group team. Hendrik Halbe – CEO and founder of Unknown Group – is proud that the event took place in The Hague: “It makes me proud to have Get in the Ring take place on a large scale in the Netherlands this year. Now that the Hague is increasingly profiling itself as a progressive city for the global energy and food transition, we believe it is the time to bring more than 100 startups to the Netherlands. We strongly support the ambition of The Hague as a leading impact ecosystem and for this reason, open our newest 13.000m2 innovation hub, Titaan, in The Hague early next year.” 

“The Get in the Ring show was a thrilling close to the 7th edition of ImpactFest. It is great to see over 100 impact founders from around the world visit The Hague for dealmaking to grow their impact solutions and come together to bring the future of impact to the forefront. I’m proud that a Hague-based startup, Sibö made it to the final. Innovative solutions like these succeeding in The Hague prove that ‘doing good & doing business’ go hand-in-hand.”  – Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague

About Get in the Ring

Get in the Ring is a global startup competition that has been running since 2012. Local event winners gather annually at the Global Meetup, where they meet and learn from inspiring leaders from government, NGOs and businesses. More information about the Global Meetup, Get in the Ring and the participating companies can be found in the attached media pack.

Former global winners are amongst others: 

2013 EyeVerify/Zoloz acquired 2016 for $100M by Ant Financials
2014 eFishery (Indonesia) raised $143M, grew to 200+ FTE. Market leader in South East Asia
2016 DOT (South Korea) raised $13M funding (2019). Scaled to 30+ countries
2017 Lifesense Group: “By winning the Get in the Ring competition LifeSense Group has transformed the largest women’s health secret, into the largest spoken solution.” Julia van Zanten, Co-founder & Chief Product Lifesense Group. 
2019 Spotdraft (India): “If I were to write a biography on my journey of entrepreneurship, I’d write a very long chapter on Get in the Ring” – Shashank Bijapur – Founder Spotdraft (video)

 About Unknown Group

Unknown Group fuels founders to fix the future. As an impact investor, Unknown finds and funds the most promising ventures globally and brings their solutions to scale through collaborations with industry leaders via their Venture Engine® methodology. In early 2023, Unknown Group will launch its newest 13.000 m2 innovation hub for impact companies, Titaan, in The Hague.


For Get in the Ring we have press cards available and can facilitate interviews with the startups. For this you can contact Rayhaan Imam: or +316 3347 7292.