Umutcan Duman's New Entry

Umutcan Duman's New Entry: Evreka - Smart Waste Collection Solutions by using sensors and algorithms

Ankara, TurkeyTurkey
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We developed sensor modules to put in any kind of containers. These sensors collect fullness level of containers and based on this data and by using our well-designed forecasting and optimisation algorithms we optimise routes of waste collection trucks. improvement is up to 45% as for now.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every single type of waste that we generate (household, paper, glass, oil, metal etc.) can be collected automatically by electrical & autonomous trucks with minimum environmental and financial impact.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Waste collection is really huge problem of the world. Unfortunately there is incredible environmental impact during the process of waste collection and there is huge amount of waste of money. Because trucks are collecting waste without any information about waste container, therefore this system is super inefficient and chaotic. Moreover our waste generation rate is increasing.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We have developed sensor modules in order to collect data from any kind of waste containers (household, glass, paper, metal, oil, medical etc.). These sensors can collect, fullness level, temperature, humidity and location data. On the other hand we have developed well designed forecasting and route optimisation algorithms in order to forecast which container will be full at what time. By using these data and our algorithms our system provides best routes for waste collection trucks in a daily manner.These routes are shown on tablets (we provide them) in trucks. Furthermore system managers can control and manage whole system by using manager dashboard.This solution helps to decrease cost and CO2 emission up to 45% as for now.


KOSGEB (Republic of Turkey Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organisation) R&D and Innovation Fund, EU funded Technology Goes Beyond Borders Winner Team & Project, Webrazzi Arena 2nd Place on the stage, Seedstars Winner of Turkey,
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Let me give an example case study. We collected data from 800 household waste containers. The municipality uses 6 trucks to collect all these containers every single day other than Sunday. As they do not have any data about containers and trucks we had to collect those data manually at first (This is the current situation). Then we worked on the current situation and possible improvement points in this systems. Finally we present that our system can decrease waste collection logistics cost and CO2 emission up to 45% in this small system. Moreover we are mathematically sure that as system goes bigger the improvement rates will be higher. When we look at the waste management logistics market, it is 500 Billion Dollar market globally.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Let me explain our service steps. Generally waste collection companies or/and municipalities do not have data about containers (specifically in Turkey). Therefore our first service is to collect these data and provide a report about it. Then we make a pilot study to show what kind of impact we can serve. Then we implement the full solution. The solution itself has 3 main parts. First we put our sensor modules in any type of container. Based on data comes from sensors, our software decide which one should be collected and routes of trucks on that day. Then we share routes with drivers via tablets in trucks. Therefore trucks don't go to empty containers and they use the best routes for that day. This decrease CO2 emission and costs of system.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

This solution basically decrease number of stops of trucks and total route lengths of them. However, our final aim is to create autonomous waste collection systems. This means that, trucks will be electrical and driverless. The data is provided by our sensors, the routes are provided by our algorithms and autonomous cars are being developed, why not to collect them in one pot. On the way, we are planning to make profit from customers in developed countries and make educational and non-profit activities in developing countries to spread the idea of recycling and good waste management.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We got governmental fund for our R&D works.Till now,we got seed investment from angels and 500Startups (most active seed investment company in the world).However we are paid by our customers,this means that those investments will go for growth activities and revenue from customers will run the company. As our business model is based on math, as far as we motivate our customers to take action we will have a chance to spread this solution globally

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are couple of companies which are providing similar solutions. However they are based in developed countries, therefore their solutions are working well in developed countries only. However, we know Turkey and similar developing countries very well. There are different waste collection systems in developing countries and we developed our sensors and algorithms considering this reality. Therefore as we focus on different market and they are not able to develop such kind of solutions quickly.

Founding Story

One day I went to Berkay's office (one of our co-founders). At that time we both had our own startups and they were failing. I explained the idea of real time optimisation of waste collection systems. First he didn't accept the idea, however then we checked the market size, the current situation, possibility of improvement and the technology that we need to develop. This takes couple of days, maybe a week. Then we tweet a photo together which says we invest ourselves in order to make this dream real. That is the "aha" moment and we call it "evreka (eureka) moment". That's why our company name is Evreka. After that point we found our other two co-founders and they quit their jobs to joined us


There are 4 co-founders. All of us are Middle East Technical University (the best tech university in Turkey & top100 in the world) graduate. I'm Umutcan Duman, an industrial engineer, CEO of Evreka. I'm responsible for business development, fundraising, team management and partnership processes. I took entrepreneurship courses in 5 different countries and currently giving trainings about entrepreneurship. I'm the guy who connects dots. Berkay Akçora is mechanical engineer and currently doing his MBA at Bilkent University. He is our CMO, responsible for sales and marketing processes. He has startup experience, moreover he has working experience in Germany, USA and China. He is our energy source in the team. Mert Barutçu is electrical & electronics engineer, our CTO-Hardware. He is responsible for everything about our hardware development and production. He has both startup and defence industry software & hardware experience.He is the commander of our team. and Mehmet Pancaroğlu is industrial engineer which is master in optimisation algorithms. He is our CTO-Software. He has incredible knowledge and experience about optimisation algorithms. He is the genius in the team. These 4 people are full + full time working in the company. Other then co-founders we have 3 computer engineers (2 of the has master degree) and 1 industrial designer. They are currently working part time, however they will be full time in near future.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I heard it from Sina Afra (Founder of Entrepreneurship Foundation)

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

C0-founder & CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I'm a fellow of Turkey Entrepreneurship Foundation. Before Evreka I've established my first company when I was 3rd year at was a special career platform for startups and university students. There is a problem of students' work experience, and on the other hand startups are now able to find&recruit people. was a solution for that problem. Then I've co-founded Connection Raiser. Connection Raiser is an initiative to improve and develop entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ankara. There is a huge potential in Ankara as there are high-qualified universities in the city. However, the ecosystem is so weak in here, as people do not communicate. With connection raiser we are organising events , workshops and trainings in order to improve whole system and create a great community. These are my personal experience. Berkay Akçora and Mert Barutçu also has their startup experience.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We have good-will agreements with Vodafone TR, General Electric, ISSD and Carbon Clear companies in order to achieve our goals. Moreover we are in touch with Intel, Turkcell and many more companies to make this big dream real.
On the other hand, as we got investment from 500 Startups Erhan Erdoğan (500Startups partner in Turkey) and Erbil Karaman (500Startups partner & Facebook new product manager) are our mentors. Moreover Sina Afra (Founder of Markafoni and Entrepreneurship Foundation) , Yomi Kastro, Aydın Öztunalı are in our advisory board. Last but not least, I'm alumni of Entrepreneurship Foundation and we are in the process of Endeavour, this brings us to reach their huge mentor network.

File attachments: