Posted on 24 January 2022 in Europe, The Netherlands

Chief Upp! and founder Jan Jaap Folmer made it to the top 7 Pioneers of the TEDx Amsterdam Impact Program

The Impact Program of TEDx Amsterdam is a great opportunity to bring forth prototypes of solutions regarding real-world problems.

This year the Impact Program of TEDx Amsterdam is bringing to the spotlight solutions for a wide range of problems, from plastic waste and wind turbines waste to the lack of financial management skills amongst teens, the lack of sports facilities in refugees camps, or even the gap between the creative industry and blockchain technology.

TEDx - Amsterdam 21/22

Photo: website TEDx Amsterdam

‘Pioneers’ are considered under this program as the great minds behind disruptive innovations and concrete ideas for solving important problems. Jan Jaap has been chosen as one of the Pioneers for the efforts of Upp! to close the plastic waste cycle locally and to end the plastic waste crisis worldwide.

During the last course of 5 months, with the influential and solid support from the experts’ panel, the 7 pioneers of 2021/22 have much further developed their prototypes and been ready for the TEDx Stage moment! Their moment to shine!

The Impact Program experts panel represents Startupbootcamp (providing business development workshops), Mezrab Storytelling School (storytelling coaching), pitching expert David Beckett, DEPT Agency (providing 1-on-1 monthly mentorship), as well as City of Amsterdam, Miro, WeWorkand TCS (giving extra support when needed).

TEDx Amsterdam pioneers

The 7 pioneers of TEDx Amsterdam Impact Program. Photo: TEDx Amsterdam

Something to know about Upp!

Source: TEDx Amterdam

First started in 2017, Upp! has programs in Vietnam, the Netherlands, and Singapore. Upp! closes the plastic waste loop locally and in a circular way using breakthrough Australian technology. Upp! can handle difficult to recycle mixed plastic waste in a cost and energy- effective way. Their machines can take unsorted, unwashed, and unshredded mixed plastic waste and process this into robust and recyclable new materials and new products which the company then markets in a 360-degree approach. The goal of the company is to save over 250 thousand tons of plastic waste from incineration, landfills, and oceans in over 5 countries and encourage more than 10 plastic-waste-free cities. Bin bags, Fishing nets, carpet tiles, running shoes, multilayer foils and sachets, drink cartons, coffee cups, and even textiles or cigarette butts can be taken and are processed directly into products circularly designed for the local markets.

Our pioneer – Jan Jaap Folmer

Source: TEDx Amterdam

Jan Jaap Folmer describes himself as a problem solver, optimist but above all a change-maker. Born in Friesland in the Netherlands, he grew a taste to travel the world and it was during his time working across three different continents in oil and plastics that he truly realized the impact these industries were having on the planet. He saw firsthand how much plastic from the West was ending up in landfills and oceans in the Global South. Seeing the effect this was having not only on wildlife but also local communities, Jan Jaap decided to do something about it. He started his own company Upp! in 2017 with the goal to not only make upcycle plastics but make plastic waste a thing of the past.

Update 14.05.2022: Watch our TEDx talk from Jan Jaap here!

For more information about the Impact Program, click here!


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