Four finalists will pitch new business ideas for a chance to win $20,000 grand prize
AUSTIN, TEXAS – The City of Austin announced four finalists for the fifth annual Reverse Pitch competition; these finalists will pitch their business ideas – which must be a new product or service using discarded materials from an existing business – to a panel of judges during the virtual Finalist Pitch Event on April 27, 2020. Two innovation prizes totaling $20,000 will be awarded to the winners.
The Reverse Pitch competition is designed to inspire profitable new Austin ventures while keeping materials out of landfills. Using byproducts for a new business creates jobs, improves the local economy and helps the City achieve its goal of reaching Zero Waste by 2040.
Reverse Pitch launched on February 10 at the opening pitch event, where five businesses and non-profits pitched their surplus materials to eligible competitors. Over the past several weeks, competitors have attended virtual workshops and created business ideas using the pitched materials. The finalists for the 2020 Reverse Pitch Competition are:
- LoFi Recycling Systems by Samantha Panger and Destin Douglas
Repurposing vinyl record scraps from Gold Rush Vinyl into indoor pots and planters
- reCASE Project by Taylor Henderson and Bill Balliette
Repurposing decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse / IIDA and vinyl record scraps from Gold Rush Vinyl into iPhone cases
- Rescued Originals by Kristin Gust, Andy Elliot, and Elizabeth Sanford
Repurposing decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse / IIDA into pet beds
- Terra Helmets by Aadhikesh Boopalam, Seniru Kottegoda, and Collin McCloskey
Repurposing decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse / IIDA, vinyl record scraps from Gold Rush Vinyl, and plastic sandals from Travis County into shareable helmets
Each finalist will present their business idea to a panel of judges at the virtual Finalist Pitch Event on Monday, April 27, 2020, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. This event is open to the public; RSVP to attend the virtual event here. A recording of the event will be posted on Austin Young Chamber’s Reverse Pitch Facebook event page.
The Reverse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, UT McCombs School of Business, and the Social Entrepreneurship Learning Lab with additional support from a wide variety of community partners. Learn more at ReversePitch.org.
About the Circular Economy Program.
Two City of Austin departments, Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department, have teamed up to launch the Circular Economy Program. The program’s mission attract, retain, and grow businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs in the zero waste industry in order to create well-paying local jobs, attract investment, and support the necessary infrastructure for a resilient circular economy in Central Texas.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. Austin Resource Recovery offers free, voluntary and confidential consulting services to help Austin businesses reduce waste and comply with the City’s recycling ordinances. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040. Learn more at austinrecycles.com.
About the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce
The Austin Young Chamber promotes the general economic interests of the Central Texas business community through initiatives and efforts designed to build and strengthen our young professional workforce. Connect with the Austin Young Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, or check out upcoming programs at austinyc.org.