Thursday, September 1, 2022

City of Austin announces winner of Circular Austin Showcase, a pitch event spotlighting local, circular businesses

 

REVISION GOODS announced as winner of $5,000 cash prize
The City of Austin announced the winner of the second annual Circular Austin Showcase, a pitch competition for local businesses – known as 'circular' businesses – focused on reuse and zero waste. The event took place on Aug. 30 and was held in partnership with two City departments (Austin Resource Recovery and the Economic Development Department) and the Austin Young Chamber. This is the first in-person competition for the Showcase since it began in 2021.
 
REVISION GOODS was selected as the winner by an impartial panel of judges following pitches from eight finalists; including four companies who participated as Reverse Pitch Innovation Fellows. Scoring was based on business viability, fundability, circular economy/zero-waste impact, economic impact and local job creation, along with effectiveness of pitch delivery.

Aileen Chen with REVISION GOODS will receive a $5,000 cash prize and track the amount of waste the business diverts or reuses annually in support of achieving Austin's zero waste goal. In addition, all competitors gained valuable feedback from the judges. 


 Aileen Chen (center) accepts the cash prize at the Circular Austin Showcase from Madelyn Morgan (left) and Joana Ortiz (right).

Finalists from the Circular Austin Showcase included: 
  • 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.

  • FLORAL SEA - is a conceptual fashion house and design studio that was launched in response to the lack of diversity and inclusivity of Black-Latinx beauty, style, and culture in today's sustainable fashion scene. 

  • 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.

  • Heron - rents and delivers anything you don't use enough to buy. Everything from carpet cleaners to knee scooters to projectors to air mattresses delivered right to your doorstep.

  • Not Nice - turns the vibrant graphics on aluminum cans into unique jewelry and accessories, creating simple, lightweight earrings from punched and sanded aluminum and incorporating other upcycled materials to create wallets, beer tasting journals, and pendant jewelry.

  • 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* - plans to create durable home goods using decorator fabric samples from Austin Creative Reuse.

  • USE2 - is a grassroots incubator committed to demonstrating the economics of innovative resale processes driven by extending material lifespans and circularity. In a USE2 scenario, donated material goods are immediately sorted, aggregated and sold to entrepreneurs.
*2022 Reverse Pitch Innovation Fellows 
 
"The Circular Austin Showcase is an exciting event that provides an opportunity for local businesses to get their zero waste business ventures off the ground," said Ken Snipes, Director for Austin Resource Recovery. "The competition aims to keep finite resources circulating in our economy through innovative reuse solutions."
 
Judges for the Circular Austin Showcase included:
  • Mych Ricardson, Business Analyst and Startup Advisor
  • Sara Brand, Founding General Partner at True Wealth Ventures
  • Anita Roberts, Managing Partner at Silicon Hills Capital
  • Aly Bryan, Ventures Investor at Closed Loop Partners
  • Elisa Sepulveda, Entrepreneur In Residence at MATH Venture Partners
 
"The Circular Austin Showcase is an exciting opportunity to connect entrepreneurs to critical funding and resources for growth," said Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Director of the Economic Development Department. "This is important innovation for our business community as we work towards a more circular and zero-waste economy."
 
The Circular Austin Showcase received applications from businesses around the region with the goal of inspiring and educating the investment community on the social, environmental and economic benefits of circular economy businesses.
 
The Circular Austin Showcase is a program created by the City of Austin’s Circular Economy Program. In 2015, the program launched Reverse Pitch, an annual zero-waste competition that provides more than $60,000 in cash and in-kind prizes on average. The Circular Austin Showcase is focused on connecting local investors and circular economy entrepreneurs and business owners. It aims to help Austin reduce waste, create a cleaner environment and grow the local circular economy. 
 
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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 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.  
  
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 trimming and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. 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 or sooner. Stay connected with @AustinRecycles on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter. Learn more about our services at austinrecycles.com.

About the Austin Young Chamber
The Austin Young Chamber supports the Central Texas business community through initiatives and efforts designed to build and strengthen a diverse young professional workforce. Connect the Austin Young Chamber on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or Twitter or check out upcoming programs at austinyc.org.
 
About the City of Austin Economic Development Department  
The City of Austin Economic Development Department supports business growth, creative industries, and local communities. These programs build an equitable, sustainable economy to improve the lives of all Austin residents. To learn more about helpful resources, visit www.austintexas.gov/edd and subscribe to our newsletter. Connect with us @AustinEconDev on Facebook@AustinEconDev on Twitter, and @AustinEconDev on YouTube.

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