Thursday, May 12, 2022

City of Austin Announces Winners of Annual Competition Celebrating Innovative Reuse Solutions

 May 03, 2022 

Austin, TX – The City of Austin, in partnership with Austin Young Chamber, announced the winners of the annual [Re]Verse Pitch Competition. The program aims to reduce waste in Austin through innovation and design. The winners, known as Innovation Fellows, developed circular business ideas using byproduct materials from other businesses. The Innovation Fellows will receive prizes valued up to $16,500. The prize package includes a stipend for completing the three-part Innovation Accelerator program.

This year’s Innovation Fellows:

Born Again Kreations by Aria Ali, Amreen Rajabali, and Mohammed Ali
Born Again Kreations plans to create insulated water bottle holders using decorator fabric samples and cuts of high-quality fleece from Austin Creative Reuse and bulletproof vests from Travis County.

GROARTS by Jaclyn Heiser, Declan O'Reilly, and Ryan McAdams
GROARTS plans to create the GROBOX which is a simple hydroponic setup for growing microgreens at home using plastic boxes and plastic inserts from ACC Bioscience Incubator and EQO.

Reclaim. Repurpose. Reimagine. by Susan Anderson
Reclaim. Repurpose. Reimagine. plans to create packaging for luxury goods using decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse and bulletproof vests from Travis County.

REVISION GOODS by Aileen Chen
REVISION GOODS plans to create durable home goods using decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse.

During the accelerator, Fellows will receive guidance, training and community support to work on their idea. This year’s accelerator partners are Texas State University, SOS Leadership and New Chip. At the end of the accelerator, teams will pitch their idea to a cohort of investors at the City’s Circular Austin Showcase on August 30, 2022. There will also be spots available for existing or start-up businesses to pitch in the Circular Austin Showcase.

Applications for the Circular Austin Showcase are open now through May 31. Visit austintexas.gov/circularshowcase to apply.
 
This year’s [Re]Verse Pitch Competition started on February 28 at the virtual opening pitch event. Over six weeks, competitors attended virtual workshops and worked with program mentors before submitting their business ideas to the competition. A panel of judges reviewed submissions and selected Fellows based on equal scoring criteria.

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin and Austin Young Chamber, with support from community partners. Learn more at ReversePitch.org.
 

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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 austinrecycles.com.

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