Photo of Michaela Stephen

Energy & sustainability

Michaela Stephen

Co-founder of MATR

Year Honored



Michaela has a background in international business and entrepreneurship from the University of Strathclyde Business School and a micromasters in the Circular Economy from Wageningen University. Originally from Scotland, she has spent the last 8 years leading social impact and innovation projects for global brands and startups as a senior innovation consultant at Pioneers, and as partnerships manager at the internationally acclaimed social enterprise, WildHearts Group. Along her journey, she has worked in 4+ countries, volunteered her time in entrepreneurial support activities, taught social entrepreneurship at Cambridge University for a group of young leaders and moved her life to Vienna, Austria.

Today, she is the co-founder of MATR, an award-winning ClimateTech startup based in Vienna which aims to revolutionize the mattress industry through their circular economy mattress renting solution for hotels and accommodation providers. Currently, 30 million mattresses end up as waste every year in Europe and nobody seems to care, even though we spend a third of our lives on a mattress. MATR's entire concept is being built around circular economy design principles with the vision of putting an end to this immense mattress waste. As a result of their pioneering approach, their carbon footprint is 50% less than traditional mattresses and over 75% of their mattress materials can be reused. In addition, their innovative renting model ensures that extended producer responsibility is embedded in their value chain, meaning their mattresses are fully refurbished and resold, or recycled at the end of their lifespan.