Creapaper receives Red Herring Award North America

After winning the Red Herring Top 100 Award Europe in February 2019, Creapaper GmbH, a portfolio company of eCAPITAL AG, has now received another renowned award. The innovative technology for making paper from grass also convinced the North American jury of the business magazine Red Herring.

The Red Herring award, which has been presented since 1996, is one of the most important awards for technology driven innovative start-ups worldwide. It is regarded as an indicator for groundbreaking entrepreneurial ideas. Creapaper joins a prominent group of winners, including Facebook, Skype and Finnish game developer Supercell.

With its innovative and patented technology, Creapaper has created the basis for saving large amounts of resources in paper production. Despite all the progress that has been made in recent years, the paper industry is still one of the industries with a particularly high consumption of energy, water and chemicals. One of the reasons for this is the complex processing of wood or waste paper into usable pulp.

Creapaper has developed a process that replaces these fresh fibers with grass. The company processes this into a grass fiber in the form of pellets and delivers them to paper mills. The production of so-called grass paper releases up to 75 percent less CO2 than conventional production. In addition, the production of one ton of paper requires just two liters of water – while the same amount of wood or waste paper consumes around 6,000 liters. The use of chemicals can also be dispensed within raw material production thanks to Creapaper’s innovation. In addition, the raw material grass is usually sufficiently available in the vicinity of a paper manufacturer, which shortens transport routes. With huge resource savings in production, grass paper has the potential to revolutionize the entire paper and packaging industry. For the jurors, this was one of the decisive points for the award.

Another aspect that was important to the judges: a company must have already received qualified awards to receive the magazine’s prize. For Creapaper, these include the Start Green Award 2016, the KfW Award Gründen 2017 and the IKU Innovation Award Climate and Environment in 2018.

In addition, the development of candidates for the Red Herring Award must prove their market maturity and traction. Companies that already use grass paper for their packaging include Coca-Cola, OTTO Versand and food discounters such as REWE, Lidl and Aldi.

This award is another important honor for us, and shows us that the US market in particular receives Creapaper and the topic of grass paper with open arms. With the support of eCAPITAL we can accelerate the implementation.

Michael Kroheck,
CSO Creapaper

“Creapaper is currently planning to enter the US market and is in contact with big brand name companies such as Starbucks or McDonalds. We see that there is a lot of work to be done in the area of sustainable business”, says Willi Mannheims, Managing Partner eCAPITAL.

With a recycling rate of only around 30 percent – compared to Germany with over 70 percent – the US still has great potential for concepts of circular economy. Winning the Red Herring Top 100 Awards North America supports this effort by Creapaper. “It does not fit into our times when a tree needs to be cut for an Amazon shipping box or a Starbucks coffee mug. Grass paper is a quantum leap in the right direction, namely the sustainable direction”, adds Uwe D’Agnone, Managing Partner Creapaper.

About Creapaper
Hennef-based Creapaper GmbH uses a patented process to produce an alternative raw material for the paper and packaging industry based on grass, saving up to 75% of its CO2 emissions during production and reducing water consumption from 6,000 liters to 2 liters per ton without the need for chemistry.

With pellets made from grass fiber, Creapaper supplies an alternative raw material that can be used instead of pulp from fresh fibers (wood) or waste paper in paper production. Already now up to 50% of conventional wood or waste paper fibers can be replaced.

Creapaper has been awarded several times for its innovative and sustainable development of the new grass fiber, i.a. with the Start Green Award 2016, the KfW Award Founding 2017 and the IKU Innovation Award Climate and Environment awarded in 2018.

eCAPITAL is a venture capital firm that provides early to growth stage funding to technology companies in the fields of software & information technology, cybersecurity, industry 4.0, new materials and cleantech. Founded in 1999, eCAPITAL has a history of supporting entrepreneurs determined to build companies with lasting significance. Partnering with eCAPITAL means joining an international network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and potential partners. eCAPITAL is located in Germany and currently manages funds with over EUR 220 million under management.

Creapaper GmbH
Michael Kroheck
Reisertstraße 14
53773 Hennef, Germany
Tel.: +49 22 42 92 57 0
E-Mail: kroheck(at)

Sylvia Richter
Hafenweg 24
48155 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251 70 37 67 0