Meet Irene Atance, CEO and founder of Go Cirkulär! Inspired by circular business models, Go Cirkulär's products are made with upcycled ingredients that are good for both the skin and the planet.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your company Go Cirkulär!
I was born in Spain and have lived internationally in countries such as UK, Chile, and Sweden for over 10 years. I graduated in Marketing and Public Health, but one of my biggest passions has always been working towards more sustainable food systems, and I have been involved in organizations such as FAO and Malmö Stad.
Today, I am the CEO and solo founder of a startup called Go Cirkulär, where I use circular economy models as an inspiration for the whole organization's structure. Go Cirkulär's goal is to upcycle ingredients that would end up in waste, in order to produce skincare products that are good for the skin and the planet. The startup concept is very rare within the skincare sector.
When did you know that your company idea had to become reality?
I received the Leapfrogs scholarship after graduating with my master's in June 2020 to work with my own project Growit, which consisted of repurposing coffee grounds to grow oyster mushrooms. This was the beginning of my entrepreneurial career.
The scholarship allowed me to explore the real potential of working on repurposing waste generated by the local businesses for several months during the summer. By September 2020 I decided to focus on building an upcycled skincare brand and a concept, because of my personal interest in upcycling and, in making my personal care choices more sustainable.
I started following my passion and soon I realized that there was a real need to create more sustainable brands in the personal care sector. With the help of Drivhuset and Malmö University, I started to focus on my business idea and market validation. By November 2020, I was already a registered company and part of the Startup Labs at Minc.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received lately?
I am grateful for all the advice that I constantly receive from the business advisors at Minc. But one piece of advice that resonates with me is "believe in the process". When you put your body and soul into something, it is difficult to keep yourself motivated when you are not seeing immediate results. However, I try to remind myself that "the process is what takes you there".
What’s the best thing about Minc?
I get very inspired by the startup community. I really feel that as an entrepreneur, I get a lot of energy just by interacting with other founders who are facing similar challenges and opportunities. I have the feeling that you can always reach out to anyone when you need that extra advice or support. Since I joined Startup Labs in October 2020, I have gotten valuable business coaching from my business advisor Tshepiso, who has followed my journey, so I have never felt alone.
We're so glad to have you in the house, Irene! 🌟
Are you also driven, self-motivated, curious, and want to build something bigger than yourself? Apply to Startup Labs!
At Minc, we believe in creating something bigger than yourself. We offer everything an entrepreneur needs to go from concept to market in-house. Our international network of advisors and award-winning programs will help your startup scale faster and smarter. Welcome to the startup house of Malmö.