City’s [Re]Verse Pitch awards $20,000 for best initiatives using waste materials to create and grow businesses
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Austin’s third annual [Re]Verse Pitch Competition will award two innovation prizes totaling $20,000 to local entrepreneurs. What’s the catch? They must create products or services using discarded materials from existing Austin businesses. The competition is designed to inspire profitable ventures while supporting a more circular local economy.
Eight businesses and non-profits will pitch their surplus materials to competing entrepreneurs at the opening event January 17, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m, at Atlassian’s downtown Austin office at 303 Colorado St #1600. This year’s material suppliers—and the items they’re offering for reuse—include:
Balfour Beatty US: Concrete anchor straps
Gold Rush Vinyl: Vinyl record defects & trimmings
JOSCO Products: Tops from recycled denim and cotton pants
Quality Seafood Market: Oyster shells
Still Austin Whiskey Co.: Spent grain leftover from the distillation process
Stitch Texas: Fabric scraps
Texas Reds & Whites Tasting Room: Wine bottles
University of Texas Resource Recovery: Pressboard office furniture
More information about each of the materials is available online at ReversePitch.org.
This year’s Innovation Prize pool has doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 and new award categories have been added. The competition will now award one prize to the best new business idea and one prize to an existing business that is able to make use of one of above byproducts. Innovation Prize winners will also receive free consulting services from Assemble and educational opportunities from the City of Austin Small Business Program. The Seed Stage winner will join TarmacTX’s 9-month incubation program.
Prospective entrepreneurs, the public and anyone interested in the competition may RSVP to the opening pitch event at ReversePitch.org/events. Competitors will receive guidance from mentors and technical advisors and have the opportunity to attend specialized workshop sessions as they formulate a business plan and test their concepts for viability. Finalists will pitch in hopes of winning one of the innovation prizes at the closing event on March 7, 2018.
The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the UT Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth and Renewal, with additional support from a wide variety of community partners.
About the Recycling Economic Development Program
Two City of Austin departments, Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department, have teamed up to launch the Recycling Economic Development Program. The program’s mission is to attract, retain and grow zero waste businesses and entrepreneurs in order to create local jobs and foster a resilient zero waste ecosystem 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 roadmap 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.
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