Thursday, April 1, 2021

City of Austin announces winners of annual competition aimed at reducing waste

City of Austin announces winners of annual competition aimed at reducing waste
Winners of the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition will join an accelerator program to kickstart their reuse business ventures
Austin, TX – The City of Austin, in partnership with Austin Young Chamber and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, announced the winners of the annual [Re]Verse Pitch Competition, a program aimed at reducing waste in Austin through innovation and design. This year's winners, known as Innovation Fellows, developed business ideas using another businesses' 'waste.' The Innovation Fellows will receive prizes valued up to $8,500, and participate in a four-month accelerator program to develop their ideas.
This year's Innovation Fellows are:
Plant Baxter by Jordan Smith, Coleman Counihan and Daniel Barrios
Plant Baxter plans to create container gardens using unwanted large plastic sacks from Austin Eastciders and reclaimed wood from the construction industry.
DV Designs by Vincent Marsella and Deepak Chandra
DV Designs plans to create beverage coasters using spent grain from Fierce Whiskers Distillery.
Biochar Filter Socks by Petey Peterson and Seth Nyer
Locoal, an existing Austin-area company, plans to create 'wattle socks,' which help prevent soil erosion and capture toxins from storm-water runoff, using spent grain from Fierce Whiskers Distillery and used wooden pallets.
Lola's Classic Babies by Lolita Rodriguez and Lucero Valle Archuleta
Lola's Classic Babies, a woman-owned baby brand in Austin, plans to create bow ties using unwanted fabric decorator samples from Austin Creative Reuse.

During the virtual accelerator program, each team will receive mentorship, training, and community support while they further develop their circular business idea. The accelerator will culminate in the teams presenting these ideas to a cohort of investors as part of the City's inaugural Circular Austin showcase on July 28, 2021.
This year's [Re]Verse Pitch Competition started on Feb. 2 at the virtual opening pitch event. Over the course of several weeks, competitors attended virtual workshops and worked with program mentors before submitting their business ideas to the competition. All submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges and selected based on equal scoring criteria.

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development with additional support from a wide variety of community partners. Learn more at
About the Circular Economy Program
The City of Austin Circular Economy Program's mission is to 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. The program is a partnership between Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department.
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