As Brandcared, we participated Hello Tomorrow Global Summit 2021 and explored 1000 of the very best startups for developing cutting edge technologies to solve global challenges and showcasing some of their products. One of the most inspiring biosolution in the summit was traceless.  We had the opportunity to experience traceless game-changer biomaterials that have raised a total of $4M in funding over 4 rounds! They have shared their inspirational story with us.

1.First of all, could you please talk us about your start-up story with milestones, your team and your innovations that you are working on? 

traceless is a female-founded circular bioeconomy start-up offering a holistically sustainable alternative to conventional plastics and bioplastics to solve global plastic pollution. Our innovative technology filed for patent for the first time allows us to use food production residues to produce materials that can substitute plastics and bioplastics in products like packaging. traceless materials are are compostable under natural composting conditions, and while bio-based, our materials don’t cause land-use-change, don’t need any hazardous chemicals and have up to 87% lower CO2 emissions. Our materials do no fall under the EU Plastics Directive, are already competitive to conventional plastics and bioplastics in quality, and will on industrial production scale even be competitive in price. All this allows to produce sustainable, affordable products for end-customers in all demographics and income levels to become part of the solution to solve global plastic pollution.

My name is Anne Lamp and together with Johanna Baare I founded traceless materials. I am an environmental scientist by conviction and a tech enthusiast by heart. I have dedicated my post-doctoral scientific research to solving global plastic pollution, guided by the principles of many years of voluntary work at the Cradle-to-Cradle association. I hold a Ph.D in process engineering and I am the inventor of the technology behind traceless. Johanna is complementing the business and strategy development expertise to our female founding team. As former COO at  the start-up Panion and business developer for the strategy consultancy BICG, she combines entrepreneurial and business development knowledge to scale up early ventures and teams.


2. What does “innovation” mean for your start-up? How do you describe the transformation towards a sustainable future?  What is your main goal for this next decade to shape and accelerate this wave of innovation?

To us at traceless, innovation is all about offering the world holistically sustainable solutions. We envision a world in which the materials we use impact positively on the planet, making pollution and waste history. We aim to realise this by engineering advanced biomaterials that integrate into nature’s biological cycle without leaving a trace. We think it is important to consider all impact indicators and provide innovations which impact positively on people and the planet over the whole value-chain. Our materials are an example of a holistically sustainable innovation as they avoid fossil resources, save resources like agricultural land and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all while being home-compostable, avoiding plastic pollution. 

With regard to the transformation towards a sustainable future – the urge for a substantial change in the way we treat and use our raw materials is higher than ever. Over the next decade (and beyond) it is our goal to offer an alternative to plastic on relevant scale to make the biggest possible contribution to solve global plastic pollution as soon as possible. In addition to that, it is important that we join forces, and together pave the way towards a circular economy. There isn’t one solution to solve it all – but together we can become part of the solution, not the pollution!

3. With more than 3,000 visitors, the Global Summit was an opportunity to discover the most promising projects and make a connection between industry leaders and investors. As Brandcared, it was a big pleasure to see the power of deep tech technologies with conferences and networking events in over 10 countries. How was your experience in Hello Tomorrow Global Summit? What kind of networking and/or investment opportunities did you have in the 2 days that at the Summit to showcase your latest innovation?

I myself attended the Hello Tomorrow Summit as traceless was one of the seven finalists for the ‘Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge’ in the Industrial Biotech & New Materials track. This did not only give me the chance to pitch our solution during the Global Summit, but I also had the chance to network with other amazing start-ups and investors. Looking back, it was a very valuable experience! I especially got motivated by seeing the increase in impact startups – all setting out to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. It reminded me once more that by working together we can create a better world for everyone – on all different aspects. 


4. Let’s talk about the industrialization of your innovations. What is on your agenda? Are you planning to expand in fashion sector since it is one of the most polluting industry trying to find solutions?

Our main focus for the next year is to scale-up our production as quickly as possible, to hereby have the biggest possible contribution on solving global plastic pollution. Even though the fashion sector is an important industry to focus on when it comes to plastic pollution, our contribution doesn’t stop there – as our materials are applicable to a wide range of applications, from packaging to single-use products and coating & adhesive solutions. 

Our clear ambitions to bring our materials to market as fast as possible are shown by our projects with first paying customers. Among others we are working with OTTO, a globally leading retail and e-commerce group, and Lufthansa, one of the leading German airlines, with whom we are working on developing holistically sustainable alternatives to their current product solutions, which we will bring to market in first pilots soon. Ultimately, we’ll sell traceless as a drop-in solution to the plastic coating, converting and packaging industries, to further process our granule into products for the Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. 

5. How do you protect your innovations in terms of Intellectual Property Rights? Do you have patents, trademarks or do you sign NDA before meetings? Are you working with advisors for your start-up business and expand strategies?

We are securing our intellectual property and the traceless brand through a mixture of patents, trade secrets, NDAs and trademarks. And of course in this we rely on the support of our professional patent lawyer. So we can safely say intellectual property is very important to us at traceless, as it assures our freedom to operate and to build a long-term profitable and successful business! 



Photo credit: Traceless