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The Team

Teamname: noho

Members: Martin Gaspers, Sarah Dankenbring, Nathalie Prokop





Start-up: noho GmbH
Founders: Nathalie Prokop, Sarah Dankenbring, Martin Gaspers
Mentors at university: Sandra Schwarz and Frau Evelyn Berresheim at Gateway ESC
Founded in: 2021
University at which you study/work and faculty(s): Martin got his master's degree in business mathematics from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Cologne

Clean properly.

We are polluting our environment with chemicals and plastic, also through laundry detergents and cleaning products. With noho, unnecessary and eco-toxic ingredients, petroleum-based surfactants, plastic packaging and the unnecessary transport of water are a thing of the past.

noho has developed an eco-friendly detergent refill system that helps you clean the entire household efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way.

Clean home ~ Green future

We have developed a detergent kit, noho kit, which contains only three environmentally friendly components. These are very easy to mix at home and create all the cleaners you need for your household. In the beginning, our vision was to protect the aquatic environment from toxic chemical exposure to detergents. This has grown into more.

We wanted to be even more radical, we wanted better packaging, shorter delivery routes, more sustainable resources. So in noho kit, we eliminate unnecessary and environmentally unfriendly ingredients, thereby minimizing the input of chemicals to the environment.

One noho kit saves up to 50 plastic bottles and keeps 6,400,000 liters of water clean.

We save key resources and reduce carbon with our minimalist approach, and we can package our product in glass and cardboard.

How did you come up with your idea?

The vision of noho has its origin in New Zealand. Nathalie Prokop and Martin Gaspers spent a whole year admiring the beauty of the countryside and at the same time witnessing its destruction by humankind. Beautiful coastlines where dolphins can be seen next to cleared forests; fjords covered by waterfalls directly surrounded by oyster farms and fish farms.

Affected by these impressions, we had to do something against the destruction of the environment back in Germany. But where is the best place to start? With oneself! Thus, when buying energy, renewable resources were considered, plastic was avoided as much as possible when it came to waste and, in particular, consumed locally, and meat consumption was reduced.

In household chemicals, such as cleaning agents and detergents, attention should also be paid to sustainability and ecology. Why do they actually shine so brightly? Why do they smell so artificial if they are ecological? Why are they packed in plastic? Why is there petroleum and 95% water in them? Why don't tabs clean properly? What happens to cleaning agents in wastewater? How does the environment cope with these chemicals?

None of these open questions could be easily resolved, and a cleaning-efficient solution for a sustainable lifestyle was not found. So the two started talking to Sarah Dankenbring, an industrialization engineer and good friend. She gave advice and recognized the big chemical problem and the high negative impact of cleaning products on our environment.

Together the three of us decided to do something against this environmental pollution and to develop an idea.

What are you studying/working or what have you studied?

All three founders are full-time members of the management team at noho GmbH.

Nathalie Prokop is a certified social media manager and is responsible for marketing at noho. Previously, she gained experience in editing and marketing at another start-up. Additionally, she is a certified Digital Business Innovator and Scrum Master. In 2018, she completed her German studies (M. A.) at the University of Bonn.

Sarah Dankenbring contributes her expertise to product development. She has several years of experience in the chemical industry. She worked for four years at Continental as an industrialization engineer and subsequently for two years at Covestro. She is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt at the same time. She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Process, Energy and Environmental Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover in 2015.

Martin Gaspers takes care of all financial aspects and the business model at noho. Previously, he worked for crossbuilders, a consultancy specializing in venture building. He graduated from the University of Cologne in 2019 with a degree in business mathematics (M. Sc.).

What has Gateway ESC helped you with?

At the beginning in particular, the Gateway ESC helped us to develop a product from an idea we had to find a solution to a major environmental problem.

We were given a place in the university lab and helped to develop the business model. Through intensive coaching, we were able to take the first steps toward becoming a commercial enterprise.

As alumni, we benefit from Gateways broad network and were able to make important contacts through the numerous networking events.

We can highly recommend Gateway, especially for those who are looking for like-minded start-ups. The interaction with the other founders at the Gateway really helped us, both professionally and personally.