The City of Austin offers two pathways to support circular entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized enterprises. The Circular Austin Showcase provides the opportunity for circular economy businesses and entrepreneurs to compete for a cash prize in August each year. The Circular Austin Accelerator helps entrepreneurs improve their circular business ideas throughout a 12-week program.

Applications for Austin Showcase and Circular Austin Accelerator Programs are now closed. 

Circular Austin Accelerator

The Circular Austin Accelerator helps local entrepreneurs combine social value creation with circular business principles. Participants receive free business training and coaching to help improve their concepts. The program ends with a practice pitch. The top three ideas will receive entry to compete at Circular Austin Showcase for a $2,000 prize. 


Receive free business training and coaching from professionals.


Network with like-minded organizations in a group setting to improve your idea.


Increase the positive impact your idea can have the community.

Application and eligibility

Applications for the 2024 Circular Austin Accelerator program are now closed.

Eligible Applicants must meet these requirements: 

  • Must have an idea focused on the circular economy, zero waste or sustainability. 
  • Must have an annual revenue below $10,000.
  • The founder or representative must live or attend school in Austin. 

Program details

Selected participants will be notified by May 10. Scoring is based on viability, fundability, and environmental, social and economic impact. 

The program will begin on May 23. The first workshop will be in person on May 30. Participants can expect to spend 2 to 4 hours in the program weekly through early August. This will include 6 workshops and individual work to complete between sessions. The program ends in a practice pitch, with the top three ideas receiving entry to compete at Circular Austin Showcase.

A limited number of scholarships may be awarded to eligible participants with the top scores. Recipients must sign a Prize Winner Agreement and complete requirements to receive funds. The requirements will include participating in workshops and submitting all homework from the workshops. Funds will be issued halfway through the program and at the program’s conclusion. 

Workshops will be every other Thursday evening at 6 p.m. and alternate between virtual and in-person sessions. In-person workshops will be held at the Economic Development Department campus located on 5202 E. Ben White Blvd. Suite 400, Austin, TX 78741.

Workshop material will include the following courses:

  • Vision: Branding Narrative + Strategy
  • Circular Business Canvas: Part I (Value Proposition and Business Viability)
  • Circular Business Canvas Part II (Triple Bottom Line and Project Team)  
  • Capital: Revenue Model + Growth Path
  • Financial Literacy: Budgeting + Strategic Pricing
  • Crafting the Pitch through Storytelling


Circular Austin Showcase

Circular Austin Showcase connects circular economy businesses with potential investors in the region. Circular economy businesses provide sustainable solutions to their customers and practice zero waste within the organization. Up to five established circular enterprises will have a chance to compete in the Circular Austin Showcase on August 29, 2024.

Showcase Prize 

Circular economy enterprises will pitch to judges for a chance to win $10,000 in prize money. 


Event attendees can network with business owners to learn more about local efforts and opportunities. 


A pitch event hosting a diverse group of people from investor and business communities to support and inspire growth in the circular economy. 


The showcase will inspire and educate the investment community on the social, environmental and economic benefits of circular economy businesses. 

Application and eligibility 

Applications for the 2024 Circular Austin Showcase are now closed.

Businesses and social enterprises must be located in the City of Austin and meet these additional requirements:  

  • Must be focused on the circular economy, zero waste or sustainability.  
  • Cannot have raised more than $500,000 in lifetime outside funding.  
  • Must have an annual revenue between $10,000 and $250,000.  

Applications will be reviewed in late May. Scoring is based on viability, fundability, job creation, and circular economy and social impact.  

Program details

Participants will be encouraged to attend a free pitch prep session. The Circular Austin Showcase will take place the last week of August. The winner must sign a Prize Winner Agreement before receiving funds. Participants will receive a copy of the agreement when notified about their selection.  


"Circular Austin Showcase: Connect. Pitch. Impact. "

Mason Arnold (second from left) accepts the cash prize at the Circular Austin Showcase from Meghan Doherty (left), Tara Levy and Maddie Morgan.

Mason Arnold (second from left) accepts the cash prize at the Circular Austin Showcase from Meghan Doherty (left), Tara Levy and Maddie Morgan.

2023 Circular Austin Showcase winner

A judging panel selected The Conscious Pet as this year’s winner following pitches from eight finalists. Two of the finalists participated as Reverse Pitch Innovation Fellows. Scoring criteria included business viability, fundability, circular economy/zero waste impact, economic impact and local job creation, along with effectiveness of pitch delivery.

Mason Arnold with The Conscious Pet will receive a $12,000 cash prize. Kelly Rytlewski with Heartening will receive a $1,000 cash prize for placing second. In addition, all competitors gained valuable feedback from the judges.

2023 finalists

  • diaperkind is a modern cloth diaper service that emphasizes zero waste, zero laundry and zero chemicals.
  • Dispoze is focused on improving recovery infrastructure for lithium-ion batteries. The organization aims to refurbish recovered batteries for reintroduction into US supply chains and offset the carbon emissions caused by the mining of precious metals.
  • Frontier Resource Recovery aims to create scalable agricultural solutions to restore the environment.
  • Heartening* plans to create a product line of pallet-able patio furniture made from upcycled wooden pallets and recycled textile cushions.
  • Pyrocycling* plans to use carbon filter pads from Deep Eddy Vodka to harvest agricultural minerals directly from treated municipal sewage.
  • Sleep, Never creates quality slow fashion, that is suitable for a fast paced world.
  • The Conscious Pet provides nutritious, sustainable food for dogs and for the planet.
  • Wanderlust Wine Co. is the world's largest wine-on-tap winery with a mission to change the world through wine by utilizing sustainable, recyclable, and reusable packaging and practices.

*2023 [RE]verse Pitch Innovation Fellows

The City of Austin supports businesses and entrepreneurs in the circular economy sector through a partnership between the Circular Economy Program and Economic Development Department.