Success story: Gelatex joins Techstars startup accelerator

2. Gelatex founders Photo credit  Liisi Sepp
Gelatex is selected as one of 10 startups to join The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars. Its a new US-based startup accelerator focused on reinventing traditional industries. Prototron spotted Gelatex potentiality already in 2017, when we supported the team with 10 000 euros.

3 years of development

“We have developed our technology over the past 3 years. Several global luxury brands are interested in using our textiles. We feel that now is the time to accelerate our activities to bring the product to market faster,” comments Gelatex co-founder Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca. “The US is at the forefront of bringing disruptive innovations to market. We believe that participating in the accelerator will help us to do the same.”

Initial investment of 120 000 USD

Gelatex co-founder and CTO Märt-Erik Martens adds that Gelatex will benefit tremendously from industry connections with The Heritage Group. “Besides gaining the tools to develop sales and attract investment, we hope the program will be able to dramatically accelerate our product development through partnerships via this global company,” says Martens. Finally, the accelerator program also offers Gelatex an initial investment of 120 000 USD to expand product development and operations.

Eco-friendly materials for everyone

Currently Gelatex is tackling the problem that 95% of all leather today is made with toxic chemicals and eco-friendly solutions are not scalable. It has developed the first non-toxic, eco-friendly textile that is chemically identical to leather and easy produce in mass-scale. The material is made from gelatin derived from the waste material from the leather and meat industry, adding value for the an abundant waste material. Material is chemically identical to leather but comes in rolls, it is made using no toxic chemicals and its production is fast and environmentally friendly.

Besides Prototron Gelatex has been supported by Estonian Ministry of Environment, Climate-KIC, Enterprise Estonia, Archimedes, Horizon2020 SME Instrument and others.