- Founders: Hélène Hoogeboom, Eric Petersen & Marc Rouffaer
- Based in: 2021
- Workers: 8
- Cash raised: –
- Final aim: To be the worldwide commonplace for tennis and padel balls
Dutch tennis gamers deplete 5.5 million balls every year. Solely three p.c of those are recycled. The remaining find yourself within the incinerator or disappear into the surroundings, the place the plastic and rubber step by step degrades over time. What in case you reused all these outdated balls to make new ones? It was with this concept that Renewaball was launched final 12 months. Inside the house of 1 12 months, they’ve managed to develop extremely quick. On this set up of start-up of the day, Managing Director Hélène Hoogeboom talks to us about round tennis and padel ball.
Sooner or later in time, a tennis ball turns into bald and that is once you toss it out. To mortal disgrace. You possibly can reuse it as an alternative. We gather them from golf equipment throughout Europe and have positioned particular containers particularly for that goal. Then we separate the rubber from the felt and promote the felt to the furnishings business, amongst different issues. We reuse the rubber to make Renewaballs. We put hunderd p.c biodegradable felt on these which is constructed from sheep’s wool from Norway and England. Renewaball is the world’s first round tennis and padel ball.”
How did you provide you with the thought?
“A number of years in the past, a colleague was tasked with making the ABN AMRO tennis match extra sustainable. We first checked out methods to make tennis footwear extra sustainable. That turned out to be actually tough as there are made up of many various elements. Then we checked out tennis balls. That is how Sustainaball happened, which ABN AMRO gave to prospects as a form of promotional ball. The standard was not notably good, we referred to as it a tenting ball. So quickly the thought arose to make a tennis ball of excellent high quality. That is the place the thought for Renewaball got here from.”
What sort of issues did you run into once you began making the balls?
“We launched the corporate in the course of the ABN AMRO Open in 2021. By then, requests have been already pouring in, however we did not have any balls but. Fortuitously, we did have the precise course of beneath management and we gather balls from every kind of manufacturers. But the rubber that’s used is totally different for every model. So first we needed to get that blend stabilized. We managed to do this ultimately. Actually, we’ve got since gained approval from the worldwide tennis and padel federations, which implies our balls are allowed for use in official tournaments.”
You lately provided granules constructed from outdated tennis balls to construct a plastic court docket. How did that go?
“We gather balls from virtually throughout Europe. All types of balls are amongst them. We’re unable to make use of every part for Renewaball, so we find yourself with some rubber left over. We due to this fact donated that to the development of a sports activities discipline. ABN AMRO sponsored us by accumulating all of the balls. We thought this was a very nice initiative. The circle was thus full, as a result of the sector can be in Rotterdam the place the tennis match that began all of it was held.”
Was it tough to safe investments?
“When you’re a start-up, it’s typically exhausting to boost funding. Fortuitously, we discovered buyers fairly rapidly as a result of we already had a product. One other issue was that we had a very good community which included these buyers. Other than that, after all, it additionally instills confidence when a steady sponsor like ABN AMRO backs your thought. That additionally made it simpler to rearrange financing.”
What makes your product higher than what’s already on the market in the marketplace?
“Our product is best for the local weather and the planet it doesn’t matter what. We additionally hear from our prospects which you could smash actually exhausting with our padel balls and play off-court with them too. Not each ball does this as effectively. Individuals usually solely play two or three matches with one padel ball. Our padel balls last more as a result of we use the identical felt that we use for tennis balls. This makes them extra sustainable to play with.”
What’s your final aim?
“An everyday tennis ball travels as much as 80,000 kilometers to be made. The felt comes from New Zealand, then it goes to Asia after which it nonetheless needs to be transported to Europe. We produce every part regionally. That has acquired to be the long run. Our final aim is to make tennis and padel balls sustainable. Our ball has to turn into the usual for tennis and padel so that everybody will play with these “good-for-the-climate balls” as an alternative of individuals utilizing balls that find yourself in landfills.”