sera has been supporting the promotion Nordhessen business plan competition for many years. In this way, we support young start-ups and companies in the process of being founded on their way to realising innovative ideas in the field of environmental technology.
This year’s Environmental Award went to Elephant Biotech.

The nationwide business plan competition promotion Nordhessen entered its 23rd edition this year, making it one of the longest-running business plan competitions in the whole of Germany. One advantage for founders: those who use the service of promotion Nordhessen benefit in several ways. Founders and young companies are offered comprehensive, individual and free advice and are supported in all strategic and organisational matters relating to setting up a company. At the centre of all our consulting services: your own business plan for setting up a company. If this is complete, it is in the running for the best competition entry and has the chance to win attractive prizes. In each round of the competition, the participating companies are supported by an active and experienced project team and a strong network of around one hundred volunteer coaches and assessors. They can also draw on the valuable experience of alumni.
The sera Environmental Award is a category in the competition and has been awarded by us since 2015. It is aimed at founders who deal with environmental issues and environmental technology in particular. This year, the award was in line with other categories from the field of sustainability. This is also proof that we have anticipated a trend with our long-standing commitment.

Environmental Award Winner 2023
The winner of this year’s Environmental Award is Green Elephant Biotech. Green Elephant Biotech develops and distributes sustainable laboratory consumables made from bioplastics, which have a significantly better carbon footprint than products made from petroleum-based plastics. A particular focus is on cell culture supplies and bioreactors for the production of advanced cell-based therapeutics. The use of non-renewable plastics is widespread in scientific research and the biopharmaceutical industry. In laboratories, however, all materials are usually destroyed directly after a single use. This represents a significant environmental burden for our society, as the production and subsequent incineration of these petroleum-based plastics releases millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Green Elephant Biotech is tackling this challenge by becoming the world’s first company to produce sustainable disposable laboratory materials from plant-based raw materials.

Founded in 2021 by Felix Wollenhaupt and Dr. Joel Eichmann and based in Germany (Giessen and Berlin), the company is a pioneer in the production of sustainable laboratory consumables made from bioplastics. It develops and distributes laboratory materials made from polylactic acid (PLA), a bioplastic derived from sustainable and renewable organic sources such as corn starch. PLA is synthesised from plants that bind CO2 from the atmosphere. Compared to conventional polystyrene systems, the use of PLA for laboratory consumables reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 %. Green Elephant’s first product, the CellScrew®, is a new type of cell culture bottle made from PLA using a 3D printer. Its internal structure consists of an Archimedean screw and concentrically arranged cylinders, which provide an enlarged growth surface for cell cultures. With the CellScrew®, cell and gene therapies, for example, can be produced more efficiently and therefore more cheaply. The aim is to make vital therapies more easily accessible while protecting the environment. Green Elephant Biotech aims to help make the industry more sustainable by developing and commercialising further innovative solutions that allow research and biopharmaceutical manufacturing to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. We have therefore honoured Green Elephants Biotech with our Environmental Award. With their products, Green Elephant Biotech combine sustainability, resource efficiency and, above all, technical innovation and enable researchers and the biopharmaceutical industry to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Further information can be found at:

The next round of the competition is already in preparation and we will again be supporting young companies setting up in the field of environmental technology. The overall competition is currently undergoing a conceptual overhaul and, like its young participants, will reinvent itself in order to provide founders with the best possible support on their path to commercial success. It will be exciting.

promotion Nordhessen

  • Currently the 23rd round
  • 580 companies have already been created through the North Hesse initiative
  • 335 of them in North Hesse
  • Over 2,380 jobs have been created by the new companies
  • Around 4,230 founders have been supported so far
  • of which 150 in the current round
  • 43 business plans have been submitted

Advantages of Green Elephant Biotech

  • Material savings of 80 to 85 % with the same growth surface
  • 90 % less CO2 emissions compared to conventional systems (due to reduced material consumption and the use of PLA).