Growth Garage Challenge 2022

The Composite Engineering Challenge

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October 2022 - January 2023


The Composite Engineering Challenge is for all entrepreneurs and innovators globally. We invited startups, scale-ups who are looking to ramp up production and need the right combination of materials, design and production technology.

Thanks to all participants for sharing many innovative ideas!

Congratulations to the WINNERS!

Discover more on our LinkedIn page.

Discover more

The Opportunity

Growth Garage is the Business Incubator from the Advanced Materials Division of Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG).

Our mission is to support, develop and grow new ideas with our expertise, network, technologies and advanced engineering materials to help tackle some of today’s most significant engineering challenges.


We are inviting innovators, entrepreneurs and early adopters at universities, (pre-) startups and scaleups that need fiber reinforced composites to realize their prototype, part, product or application. We support you with our expertise and network to find the right fiber reinforced composite material, design and manufacturing process to grow your business.

We welcome projects, programs and companies in the field of: new mobility (EV, e-motor, battery casing, etc.), autonomous (delivery) vehicles, people movers, robotics, aerospace, space, bicycles, UAV, AAV, bionics (wheelchairs, exoskeletons, prosthetics), alternative energy (production, storage, transport), self-sensing or self-healing, sport & leisure, alternative (low carbon footprint) fibers,…

Our broad fiber (carbon, glass, etc.) reinforced composite toolbox (material, prototyping, design, simulation, manufacturing) and services are to your disposal.


  • Design, develop and produce a prototype based on fiber reinforced composite materials
  • Metal replacement with fiber reinforced composite materials
  • Shift from a manual to an automated, medium/high volume production process
  • Carbon footprint reduction (light weighting, rCF, alternative fibers)
  • Introducing smart composites for self-sensing or self-heeling
  • Efficiently scale the (manual) production of your composite part and need the right material/design/manufacturing combination or investment.


The winning teams of the challenge are invited to participate in Growth Garage Incubator program. A partnership tailored to their needs according to their current business and product development stage.Guidance in material / technology selection

  • Guidance in design for manufacturing
  • Material sampling
  • Prototyping
  • Simulation expertise
  • Manufacturing cost prognosis and partners
  • Access to our network: community, partners & jury members
  • Access to industry, sustainability and market intelligence experts
  • Exposure to potential customers
  • Exposure to Mitsubishi Chemical Group’s senior management and CVC arm (Diamond Edge Ventures)
  • Global exposure via various media outlets


Profile - Innovators, entrepreneurs and early adopters at universities, institutes, (pre-) startups and scaleups that have the ambition to realize their big ideas and need the support and collaboration of a professional partner.

Early stage – Produce an early stage prototype for initial (customer) testing to generate proof-of-concept.

Intermediate stage – Prototype testing ongoing and considering small series production with the right material/design/manufacturing combination.

Advanced stage – Ready to scale and assessing the right material/manufacturing/design combination to ensure reproducible, medium/high volume and cost effective production.


  • Launch date:                  Monday 24 October 2022
  • Early Bird Closure :       Wednesday 30 November 2022
  • Challenge Closure:       Sunday 22 January 2023
  • Finalists Announced:    Wednesday 1 February 2023
  • Winners Announced:    Tuesday 21 February 2023

The Composite Engineering Challenge Webinar

10 minutes video

The Webinar, hosted by Tim Vorage gives insights about:

1) The Business Incubator Growth Garage
2) The Composites Engineering Challenge
3) How you can benefit from submitting to the Challenge

Watch now!
Our Judging Criteria

Find out what we're looking for

These are the main criteria each jury member focus on when judging each submission. All ideas are objectively analyzed and carefully considered.


While we applaud imaginative thinking, your idea needs to also be a realistic proposal that makes the most innovative use of our materials and technologies.



We're looking for fresh ideas from entrepreneurial businesses that are ready to scale up but may still need some support.



Our commitment towards circular economy means that every entry will be judged on how much of a positive impact it can make on the environment.

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Winner categories overview


Discover the different winners and the Incubator partnership programs

Challenge Winner

Valued at 25,000 USD

As the winning team you will enter into a partnership with Growth Garage, to develop your product or part in a way that enables you to scale the production whatever stage of production you're in. This includes but is not limited to:

Hands-on Support

  • Support in material/technology selection
  • Support to design for manufacturing
  • Support in tool design
  • Support to scale your production
  • Support in providing a cost prognosis for medium to high volume production and prototyping

Access to resources

  • Access to Mitsubishi Chemical Group latest carbon reinforced composite materials (thermoset and thermoplastic-based) at scale
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Group unique technologies at scale

but also

  • Opportunity for equity investment via Mitsubishi Chemical Group's CVC arm (Diamond Edge Ventures)
  • Exposure to potential customers
  • Access to experts in community and jury
  • Global exposure in various media outlets
  • Access to circularity and sustainability experts

Innovation Award Winner

Prize : Valued at 10,000 USD

As the Innovation Winner you will be awarded for the most impactful, differentiated, innovative idea. The winning team will receive mentoring and support from Mitsubishi Chemical Group engineers and business leaders to further develop the product or part with a view to scale the project.

The Innovation Award includes:

Hands-on Support

  • Support in material/technology selection
  • Support to design for manufacturing
  • Support to scale your production

Access to resources

  • Access to Mitsubishi Chemical Group latest carbon reinforced composite materials (thermoset and thermoplastic-based) at scale

but also

  • Exposure to senior management in Mitsubishi Chemical Group and Diamond Edge Ventures
  • Access to experts in our community and jury

Wevolver Community Winner

Honorable recognition 

Wevolver is a community providing millions of engineers inspiring, informative content through a number of web and social channels.

Wevolver empowers people to create and innovate. They provide access to engineering knowledge that can help engineers develop meaningful products. 

How does the Wevolver Community decides on the challenge winner :

The Wevolver Community vote is decided through a public poll of the finalists. The voting opens after the finalists are announced and runs from Jan 2- Jan 9. The winner is the entry with the highest number of votes.

The winner will receive an honorable mention at the awards ceremony and be brought to the attention of senior management of Mitsubishi Chemical Group and the Venture group of Mitsubishi Chemical Group. Further, the Wevolver Community winner will be interviewed for an article published on Growth Garage and Wevolver.

Practical Information We compiled several assets to better understand the challenge requirements.
Feel free to download the entry pack and watch the on-demand webinar to find the answers to all your questions.
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Key dates


Launchdate: 24 October 2022
Early Bird Closure : 30 November 2022
Challenge Closure: 22 January 2023
Finalists Announced: 1 February 2023
Winners Announced: 21 February 2023

Is this challenge for you


The challenge is open to any business, research team or project team currently working on a product or part manufactured from composites that have the ambition to ramp up their production.
You may currently be in prototype or small series production using a low quantity production process and are facing challenges in scaling up your production – this is the opportunity for you. Read all details in the ENTRY PACK.

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What is the jury team looking for


All submissions will be judged according to 3 categories:

- Feasibility (technical and commercial)
- Scalability (manufacturing and team)
- Sustainability

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Introduction to the Composite Engineering Challenge

In this webinar, Tim Vorage will give more details about the Challenge, insights of the Incubator Program and answer all your questions.

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All you need to know before submitting


To better understand if this challenge is for you we have compiled an Entry Pack that goes deeper into the requirements of the challenge, provides entry checklists to ensure a strong submission as well as feedback and tips from previous challenge winners.

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When something is holding you from participating


Are you unsure about your project? Do you think your project is too small? You don't know if your project fits into this Challenge? You have some unanswered questions? Well don't hesitate and let's get in touch. We're here to help, guide and support you. Send us a short message on and indicate what fits you best : a call or a feedback mail or ..... just name it! Guaranteed response in 24h!

experts panel and jury members

Get to know the jury team

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Christoph Greb Scientific Director Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University
David Reger CEO and Founder / Deep-Tech Entrepreneur / Cognitive Robots NEURA Robotics
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Marcus Kremers CTO and Technologist on composites, automation & digitalisation Airborne
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Fumiko Uraki Director of Venture Department at Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation Mitsubishi Chemical Group
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Jonas Grau Thomsen CEO and Founder of Nordic Bionics / Thought Leader/Influencer Nordic Bionics - Rehabilitation and Wearable Technology
David Leach Director, Business Development ATC Manufacturing
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Benjamin Debusschère Head of Events’ Programs and Startup Booster JEC Group
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Dr. Lisa Weigand Advisor Circular Economy Mitsubishi Chemical Group
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Bram Geenen CEO and Co-founder WeVolver
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Dr. Peter Walde Founder & CEO, Empowering innovators to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-paced world MAPEGY
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Jules Harings Associate Professor & Group leader Macromolecular Physics & Technology at AMIBM / Maastricht University Maastricht University
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Henning Bloech Global Director Sustainable Solutions Mitsubishi Chemical Group
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Randy White Carbon Fiber and Composites Division Leader, Americas Mitsubishi Chemical Group
Simon McEvoy.jpg
Simon McEvoy UK Head of Strategy & UX // Marketing Academy Alumni Council // B Corp B Leader // Speaker & Author The Marketing Practice
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Mark Geljon Customer Experience leader - Business developer digital engineering services GRIDD
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Andy Rudd Global New Business Development Manager Mitsubishi Chemical Group
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Stefan Schnippering Venture Associate, PHD Diamond Edge Ventures
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Tim Vorage Director Revenue Operations, founder of MCG Growth Garage Mitsubishi Chemical Group

Interesting information

Articles - Reports - Whitepapers

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Discover Advanced Composites

Author : Laura Tripaldi (

Lightweight composites deliver a clever combination of optimal mechanical performance with circularity.....

Take your innovative idea to the next level

Composite Engineering Challenge Entry Pack

Growth Garage invites start-ups, scale-ups and innovative businesses to share their transformational solution that utilizes our advanced composite materials as part of the 2022 Composite Engineering Challenge, with three prize winners receiving up to $25,000 worth of support.....

StartUps pioneering the circular economy

Bringing breakthrough ideas to life

Discover how three pioneering engineering businesses took their ideas from pitch to product in record time. You’ll share their experiences, explore the challenges they faced and how sustainability drove their innovative solutions........

Kaiteki - Lisa W
Sustainability strategy into practice

Putting the Circular Economy into practice

Discover how we’re putting our sustainability strategy into practice and driving the circular economy, or what we call KAITEKI. You'll hear how we work across our supply chain to take back waste and end-of-life materials and discover some of the industry's key challenges in closing the loop and driving circularity.......