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City Announces [Re]Verse Pitch Finalists

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Public Invited to Vote at Final [Re]Verse Pitch Competition

Austin Texas Recovery ResourcesNovember 28, 2016 (AUSTIN, TEXAS) – The City of Austin announces eight finalists for the 2016 [Re]Verse Pitch Competition. Competing social entrepreneurs are in the running to receive a $10,000 Innovation Prize for the top idea for using discarded materials from existing businesses to create new products or services. The competition is designed to inspire profitable new ventures while keeping valuable discards out of landfills.

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition helps turn castoffs from local businesses, nonprofits and institutions into the foundation of new social enterprises. Using byproducts as material for a new business creates jobs, improves the local economy and helps the City achieve its goal of reaching Zero Waste by 2040.

The second annual [Re]Verse Pitch Competition launched Oct. 11 when 150 social entrepreneurs and members of the public gathered during SXSW Eco to hear pitches from Austin businesses and nonprofits with raw materials up for grabs.
[tweetthis]#Austin Announces [Re]Verse #Pitch Finalists[/tweetthis]
Austin Creative Reuse, Central Texas Food Bank, In N Out Burger, Half Price Books, LIVESTRONG Foundation and the City of Austin Transportation Department pitched their byproducts at the event. A video recording of the first event is available online.

Since Oct 11, entrepreneurs have been working with mentors and advisors to craft and refine their business ideas for byproduct repurposing. Finalists were selected by a panel of judges and additional points were awarded for the uniqueness of material(s) selected.

To win, entrepreneurs will need to effectively deliver their pitch at the Dec. 6. finale. Details include:

  • Final Competition: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Atlassian, 303 Colorado St. #1600, Austin, TX 78701.
  • FREE: Event is open to the public
  • RSVP here.

On Dec. 6, finalists’ pitches will be scored by the panel of judges who will consider the business venture’s viability, sustainability, economic and social impact. A large part of the score will be determined by how effectively the entrepreneurs deliver their pitch.

Audience members at the final event will also have a chance to vote for their favorite idea. The public is invited to view the finalist’s ideas in advance by visiting http://reversepitch.org.

Three awards will be given out at the finale:

  • A grand prize of $10,000 and free co-working days at WeWork will be presented to the judges’ top pick
  • A second place prize of a spot in the 2017 FastForward entrepreneur training program and 2017 Small Business Festival pass from the City of Austin Small Business Program
  • An honorable mention “People’s Choice Award” presented to the audience’s top pick at the final event.

Finalists are:

  • Bard Sustainability MBA Team, Austin Cubed-Street Banner Line –  Repurposing: Vinyl street banners and mesh plastic bags
  • Charles Bradbury, Pulp Fashion – Repurposing: Vinyl street banners, mesh plastic bags and fabric samples
  • Gabriel Rocha, ACL Survival Bags – Repurposing: Vinyl street banners
  • Melissa Meyer, GRUB – Repurposing: Inedible Canned Goods
  • Quinault Childs, GrubTubs: Table to Farm – Repurposing: Inedible canned goods
  • Re:3D, 3D Printing from Post-Consumer Waste – Repurposing: Mesh Plastic Bags
  • Rowan Rodriguez, [RE]Charge – Repurposing: Vinyl street banners
  • Team E, Austin’s Local Tarps – Repurposing: Vinyl street banners

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, Impact Hub Austin and the UT Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth and Renewal with additional support from a wide variety of community partners.

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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.

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