2016 Reverse Pitch Competition

Austin, TX event series to turn valuable raw materials leaving businesses & non-profits as waste into foundations of new social enterprises. Read Overview...

[Re]verse Pitch Competition

An Event Series in Austin, Texas for Social Entrepreneurs Where We Pitch To You!

Entrepreneurs are used to pitching their business idea to investors, partners, and anyone they might share an elevator ride with. In this competition, the tables will turn. The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a social innovation program to help turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, non-profits, and institutions as waste into the foundation of new social enterprises.

Competitors work with mentors & advisors to develop repurposing business ideas and compete for Innovation Prizes to help start this new venture.

Get Involved

  • Are you an Austin entrepreneur interested in starting a business that has a positive social impact? A non-profit professional intrapraneur interested in a creative way to diversify your revenue and/or offering direct job training to their clients? Click "Pre-Register" above to register for the challenge. Then RSVP for the opening event here. You must be present at the opening event to participate. You will be notified of any status updates and be able to create an entry to the challenge when it opens.
  • Click on the "Share" button or social media icons above to share this challenge with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for social entrepreneurship.
  • Leave a comment in our Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.
  • Click "Follow" above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.


Additional rules

Who can participate:
The Challenge is open to all current and aspiring entrepreneurs in either the for- or non-profit sector interested in establishing or expanding an operation in Austin, Texas that reuses the byproduct materials in the competition. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement. You must also attend the live opening event on October 11, 2016 at 6-8 pm at Atlassian. More information on the byproducts and the opening event are available at http://reversepitch.org. 

Registration and Submissions:
All Teams must be registered and have an initial concept statement uploaded by October 18, 2016 11:59 PM Central Time to be eligible for the prize. No registrations will be accepted after this date.

All Team finalist materials must be submitted online on or before November 18, 2016 11:59 PM Central Time. No submissions will be accepted after this time. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. All submissions must be received online, via the Challenge website, and all uploads can be in PDF format only. Submission reporting requirements are detailed in Judging.

Challenge Guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive notification when changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to visit the Challenge Site often to review updates.

Updates 2

Finalists Announced

Nov. 29, 2016, 7:32 a.m. PST by Lance McNeill

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first round of the [Re]verse Pitch Competition. We've been impressed with the increased number of teams competiting this year and the strong caliber of ideas submitted. Congratulations to our 8 finalists:


  • 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

Finalists are welcome to co-work with Switch Cowork at Trackside, located at 507 Calles Street - about 3 mins east of I-35! You can reach out to Christa Freeland on Slack for additional details.

We welcome all those who have participated to join us with their guests for the Final Competition on 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.

For more information about the event, finalists and final pitch, please see the recent press release by the City: http://austintexas.gov/news/city-announces-2016-reverse-pitch-finalists

We look forward to seeing everyone on December 6th.




Lance McNeill




Submission Deadline this Friday!

Nov. 15, 2016, 6:47 a.m. PST by Lance McNeill

Hello Competitors and Mentors,

I hope everything is going well for you at this point in the competition. A reminder that your next deadline is a little more than a week away: to become a finalist, you must submit the Reverse Pitch Idea Questionnaire on HeroX by Friday, November 18th, at 11:59 PM Central. You may change your idea from what was in the concept statement, or add more materials to it, but each team must submit only 1 Reverse Pitch Idea Questionnaire. If you’ve already created an entry and want to make changes, go back and edit it rather than creating a new entry. Please make sure that your entry is fully submitted (not just drafted) before the deadline. Judges will be looking only at the information in this HeroX entry when they score. The average of the judges’ scores, plus points based on material use (described here under November 21-22), will determine who moves on in the competition and will pitch in the final event. If you have any technical difficulties, let us know ASAP.


Other key dates:

  • Finalists will be announced by November 23rd
  • If you are selected as a finalist, there will be a rehearsal on November 30th, 6-8 pm, at the McCombs School of Business (parking provided)
  • Finalists will pitch for a chance to win at the final event on December 6th


Other reminders:

  • Advisors are here for you! Make use of this excellent resource of experts willing to share their knowledge with you. Many advisors are also on Slack.
  • You can use Slack to communicate with your teammates, mentors, advisors, or others in the competition.
  • Don’t forget that you also have access to free coffee, wi-fi, parking, and workspace through Switch Cowork at Burn Pizza!

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