Meet the first cohort of Maze X - MAZE - Decoding Impact

Meet the first cohort of Maze X

maze x first cohort

9 innovative solutions that range from water- and energy-saving, sustainable fashion, sharing economy and the inclusion of migrants and refugees.

Maze X received 138 applications from 32 countries and 15 different sectors primarily in sustainability, circular economy and education. All applications underwent a thorough assessment process that ended with the final selection committee comprised of MAZE, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, PLMJ and BNP Paribas.

The 9 impact startups of this inaugural edition are:

  1. Canguru Foods: Urban Food Box a systemic solution for the future of food using bio-circular economy principles in indoor farming to allow the storage of energy in food production.
  2. Chatterbox a smart online language learning service for professionals that combines AI-powered self-study courses and native language coaches from the refugee community.
  3. Goodbag a smart reusable shopping bag that connects the customer’s phone and rewards them with exclusive discounts while allowing users to plant trees every time they bring their bag.
  4. MyPolis a digital mobile and web app that brings civic engagement to the 21st century where users submit and vote proposals while decision-makers get a new channel of civic interaction
  5. RNTERS a renting marketplace for everyday items that allow users to obtain access to any item they need while simultaneously enabling others to profit from items of their own.
  6. SitEinander the first sharing economy app for childcare in Europe where parents can meet other parents nearby, plan playdates and trade free, spontaneous babysitting among trusted friends.
  7. Springkode a platform that offers exclusive high-quality capsule collections made of industrial textile that would otherwise go to waste thus upending the ‘fast fashion’ trend.
  8. Trigger systems an irrigation system that automatically recommends the best irrigation plan depending on the crop and environment with proven significant water and energy consumption.
  9. Tuki Today (Tuki) a people management platform for the food service and hospitality community that facilitates staffing to solve the volatility in managing casual labour and high staff turnover.


Maze X is a 3-month accelerator programme that provides impact entrepreneurs who are solving the worlds’ most pressing problems with the capital, skills and networks they need to achieve their vision. It focuses on developing corporate pilot testing opportunities, so that startups use large corporations as a testbed for their products, providing invaluable customer feedback and market traction. Maze X was conceived and initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and MAZE, with the law firm PLMJ joining as a founding corporate partner. Maze X is also supported by BNP Paribas, and Casa do Impacto as acceleration partners.

MAZE is leveraging its experience accelerating over 50 impact startups and its impact VC fund, in partnership with Mustard Seed, to attract the most promising entrepreneurs from across Europe to position Portugal as a European hub for high growth impact investing and entrepreneurship.


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