[Startup story] Carbony | Rubik Garage Accelerator 2022 Batch
September 1, 2022
First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.
Hi, my name is Matthias Rettenbacher, I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Carbony. I am a nature lover from Austria, who has a great passion for the arts and everything that beholds beauty. After studying Marketing, Philosophy and Literature, I was working the past 5 years in the IT sector, mainly as a marketer and business developer. Once Silyan, my co-founder, told me about the idea to start Carbony together I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do. We started the journey to save the planet or at least contribute 😉 half a year ago and it still feels great to be on this journey, doing something that fills us with purpose.
Tell us more about Carbony. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?
Basically, the whole world is emitting CO2 at a level that impacts the climate in a very negative way. This leads and may lead to severe consequences that we can yet still not think of. Business in Europe also carries a large share of this burden. We don’t want to condemn them but offer them CO2 removal technologies that help them to become climate neutral or net zero.
What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?
Climate change is affecting everyone on this planet. If there is no healthy planet and climate, the source of all our lives is gone. Being parents ourselves, we want to build a successful business that helps businesses in Europe and around the world to become climate neutral. This is the biggest motivation for us, changing something for the better and preserving the planet for our children by creating services that have a real impact.
How is your startup different from competitors?
We focus on high-quality removal projects that are sourced locally in Europe. As we see an increase in demand but a lack of supply for removals, we want to become a project developer on our own and also incubate micro-projects all around Europe by providing know-how and materials for performing biochar and Enhanced Weathering projects. Our competitors either focus on becoming a marketplace or have an emphasis on avoidance projects. We don’t believe in either to be the right pathway to fight climate change and global warming permanently and support companies in their NET ZERO ambitions.
Do you have a team supporting you in your mission?
At the moment, we are a team of two co-founders who bring expertise in the field of mineral processing, facility design and building, business development and marketing to the table. We are searching to enlarge the executive level with knowledge in the field of carbon footprint calculation as well as geology. Until we find the best fitting colleagues to complement our team, we have created an advisory board consisting of scientific experts and institutions in the field of geology, Enhanced Weathering and Forestry.
What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?
Working on your vision every day and seeing how it comes alive. Understanding that all the obstacles and challenges along the way are worth it to work on because in the end it will create a more robust foundation for what we are building. It is very rewarding to build something from scratch and will operate successfully both in an economical sense and also as something that has a positive impact on the environment.
On the contrary, what are the biggest challenges?
To understand the needs of the customers, the readiness level of the market and to decide which is the best business model to start with. Since there are many options and opportunities in the field of sustainability, at times it is hard to settle for one thing and focus on that. It takes a good relationship among the founders to keep the ship on track, and not lose orientation.
What made you apply to our accelerator Rubik Garage?
To be honest, we came across it accidentally and just applied because we fulfilled all the requirements. We basically had the wish to interact with a community of like-minded founders that have the ambition to build something big and use the infrastructure (network, experience, know-how) of the Rubik Garage to sharpen our vision and get support at the first steps we are taking as entrepreneurs.
What are your top 3 learnings of the acceleration program?
- Having the right team of founders is crucial
- Always be open to feedback and also don’t hold back your own feedback
- Since there are so many things to learn and work on to build a good structure and processes right from the beginning.
What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?
The team and the other founders are very pragmatic and searching to provide the best and most useful help to the community because they understand how much work it is already to build a startup. The whole community aligns its offering to this journey.
What are your plans for Carbony for the next 6-12 months?
- Win the first 10 customers (we already have one).
- Find the needed financing for our Enhanced Weathering Forestry Project (100.000 €) to kick it off in spring 2023.
- Provide a strong neutralization portfolio including own projects that are scalable (sell at least 20.000 Carbon Credits in 2023)
What message do you have for other startup founders?
If you have a vision or idea that stimulates you and the people around you with whom you like to work, be brave and dare to start. It will take you to places that are far more rewarding than anything you have done before.
What is your special power?
Igniting the spark about working towards a greener future is the most rewarding challenge of all.
Stay tuned to discover the story behind the other startups from the Rubik Garage accelerator! #WeAreInThisTogether
Rubik Garage is an equity-free acceleration program aiming to support startups from CEE. We are helping early-stage startups get to their first paying customer, raise investment or go international.
The accelerator started with a Founders Bootcamp in Piatra Neamt. Four months of acceleration will culminate with a Demo Day in September, where startups get the chance to pitch their startup in front of investors. For the most motivated teams, the journey will continue in the next 6-12 months – our team will offer their full support to help them raise an investment round.
If you want to pre-apply for the next Rubik Garage edition, complete this form and be the first one to get the chance of starting their acceleration journey!