Accelerating the circular economy through business transformation and digital venture building

Coffee with Entrepreneurs

Accelerating the circular economy through business transformation and digital venture building  
In the first part of the presentation, Adam will provide an introduction to the circular economy, highlighting its importance 1) as a duty to drive societal and environmental sustainability, and 2) as an amazing economic opportunity for companies to build innovative and profitable new business models. He will highlight actions, strategies, and tools that companies can adopt to start their circular transition immediately and bring these to life with real case studies. In the second part, Adam will illustrate how companies can use venture building to identify opportunities to develop novel digital business models that can enable entire ecosystems to become more circular. In this part, Adam will introduce venture building as a concept (what it is and why it is great way to create value) and provide a high-level introduction to the different steps to identify, conceive, test, and launch scalable digital ventures.

Adam Mitchell-Heggs is the co-founder of Net Positive Labs, a think tank & venture studio focusing on developing new ideas and start-ups to drive the circular economy globally. Adam is an experienced venture builder passionate about solving societal, environmental, and economic issues through business innovation an technology. For the last few years he has worked with serial entrepreneurs, start-ups, leading venture studios, and large corporates on the conception, design, and launch of novel platforms to drive circular economy in various industries. Adam is a mentor for start-ups looking to develop circular solutions and platforms for good and the acting Academic Director of a course on corporate venture building at IE Business school.

2 3 S E P T E M B E R
16.00 – 17.00 CET


We need to rethink our value chains
Climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, waste overspill. We’re seeing constant rise in global systemic problems that threaten our way of life. All of these problems are caused by our current linear production, distribution, and consumption behaviour. We take, we make, we throw away. In Europe alone, 90% of raw materials in manufacturing become waste before the product leaves the factory and 80% of products made in Europe get thrown away within their first six months of being used. This cannot last and our value chains need to be redesigned.

Introduction to the circular economy
The circular economy is a systemic model of production, distribution, and consumption that helps drive society forward purposefully whilst preserving the natural and man-made environments that we rely on to continue to produce, distribute, and consume. Through careful planning, novel business models, integration of different technologies, industrial collaboration, there is a great opportunity for companies to innovate their production and consumption models to be more profitable AND prevent our societal and environmental burden.

Circular economy as a base for business model innovation
Models of the circular economy are being adopted globally by leading innovators, corporates, cities & countries, and entrepreneurs to create more value to our societies and planet than they extract. From sharing economy to closing the loop on materials, there are many exciting strategies and ideas to build more circular value chains. The most powerful solutions are those that go beyond a single company’s footprint and enable entire industries, ecosystems, or value chains more circular. We call these Circular Enablers. Circular Enablers provide the mechanism or shared infrastructure that enables multiple companies to become more sustainable, reduce their costs, and/or increase their revenues.

 Venture Building as a process to put the circular economy into action
Venture building can be characterised as a systematic process to identify and launch exciting and scalable start-up opportunities at a lower risk profile. Venture building combines the strengths of an established company, i.e. industry expertise, existing customer base, existing assets, and a strong network; with the speed, agility, and know-how of entrepreneurs. Venture building follows a set methodology to scientifically identify pertinent problems, build business models around these, test and validate business models with real customers, and launch real digital businesses. Venture building a significantly higher probability of success than traditional start-ups / corporate innovation programmes.


Mehrad is a 3rd generation member of an Iranian enterprising family and an aspiring entrepreneur. Born in Vancouver, raised in Tehran, and having lived in London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Madrid over the past 15 years, Mehrad is a global citizen with a strong belief in the family institution. Mehrad is the Business Development Manager at a global aviation consultancy and a former Project Manager at Julius Baer. Also, as a champion for a more sustainable future, he is devoted to exploring the synergies between financial gain and social impact and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. As an avid snowboarder and horserider, Mehrad enjoys the odd weekend away hitting the slopes or exploring new destinations. Since the pandemic, he’s been enjoying a lot of time with his family and training his new Doxie Cairn puppy, Meeko!

He holds a BA (Hons) in Development Studies with Economics from the University of Westminster, an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an International MBA from the IE Business School in Madrid.


Torsdag 23 september 2021
16.00-17.00 CET



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