Utemaru

Utemaru is the first social venture to focus bringing nature back to cities. We do this using our innovative Nature Inclusive Outdoor Furniture!

Manuel Joaquim Soares
Eindhoven University of Technology
Psychology and Technology

Over het initiatief / About the initiative

Utemaru

In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?

Startupfase

Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

We are in the process

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

We are Utemaru, the first social venture looking to bring nature back into cities with Nature-Inclusive Outdoor Furniture.

We are a small student startup out of Eindhoven that is passionate about sustainability and how to design small-scale solutions to big problems.

Our designs not only cater to the people of the area they are designed for but also focus on the biodiversity of said urban areas. This is done by creating small habitats that are seamlessly integrated into the furniture.

On top of that, we collaborate with people at a distance from the labor market and use sustainable materials.

Additionally, we want to allocate our exceeding profits towards charitable causes that support our goals.

Wat is er anders/nieuw aan jouw idee/oplossing t.o.v. bestaande oplossingen? / What is different/new about your idea/solution compared to existing solutions??

We are more sustainable in terms of our materials and building practices.

We have a high focus on creating habitats for both plants and animals that were kicked out of the area due to rapid urbanization.

By bringing the nature back to the cities, we improve people ’s quality of life as it has been extensively shown in science that being surrounded by nature has plenty of health (both physical and mental) and social benefits for humans.

Finally, we are a social venture, meaning we work with people at a distance to the labor market and we want to leverage our excess profit towards charitable causes.

Our product is competitive in price with the alternatives and leads to a higher yield of the furniture pieces, as not only humans but also nature is making use of it, meaning our clients get more use per euro out of our furniture than out of the other current solutions.

A combination of all these factors is the reason why we are the most innovative and best solution available. 

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

We want to expand:

  • Our online presence, to get our mission, image, and product out there;
  • Our manufacturer network, to increase the options we give our clients (in terms of design and materials) and to reduce costs;
  • Client networks so we can improve our product, start making sales, and fulfill our organizational goals;

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

Money is always an easy answer, as all startups need funds. However, we are also looking to expand our networks, as previously mentioned. This means increasing our reach as well as credibility. To achieve this, we participate in expos, events, and competitions (such as this one and the TU/e contest). On top of that, we want to finish pilot projects that we are currently working on so we can prove that we can deliver on our offers.

Additionally, the more clients we can reach and sell to, the more impact we can have since their outdoor space is improved but also we will have more profits to leverage towards good causes.