Big investment for SG Papertronics after switch to beer market

Photo credits: NV NOM

Our alumnus SG Papertronics will receive a substantial early stage funding from the NV NOM and the University of Groningen Holding Company (RHM) for their mobile lab testing technology.

“The investors believe our tech can be used for several different markets,” explains CEO Maciej Grajewski. “We provide our customers with portable laboratory units that are semi-automatic. They can just use single pods to take to their facilities and test their product without any chemical knowledge.”

In 2019 Maciej enrolled in our programme with two potential business cases: one for the farmer’s market and one for the beer market. “With the help of BeStart we made good progress in terms of understanding the farmer’s market. We found some interesting depencies and really learned how to translate our product to the market in terms of sustainability. We also established some very useful contacts in the region, for example with Anne Jan Zwart from Ecostyle and Joost Paques from the Biobizz hub, who helped us to improve our business thinking. Eventually this helped us prepare to get this investment.”

The switch to the craft beer market in 2020 proves to be a good one. “The difference is not as big as it looks. The concept of portable test units is the same, but brewers would like to use them much more often. Brewers usually test their product on a weekly basis and sometimes more often to control quality and consistency of their product, whereas farmers mostly would test soil (and groundwater) once to three times a year. So we can develop our product with brewers much faster.”

With the help of this investment, the single use testing pod is expected on the dutch market within the coming 24 months. “Our main objective at this point is to bring our device from the lab to brewers and have it tested,” concludes Maciej. “We are already providing services to a couple of breweries and helping them test their samples in their laboratories. This works both ways: we can use their samples to develop our machine and the breweries are getting useful feedback on their product.”

As far as cleantech goes, the SG Papertronics testing unit helps breweries become more sustainable. “The use of raw materials will become more efficient and there will be a lot of savings on ingredients like hop, malt and water.”

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Richard Rushby, Maciej Grajewski, Daan Zillen
From left to right: Richard Rushby, Maciej Grajewski, Daan Zillen

Maciej Grajewski