City of Austin

 11,168

2018 [Re]verse Pitch Competition

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

This challenge is closed

stage:
Won
prize:
$20,000

This challenge is closed

Overview

Challenge Overview

[Re]verse Pitch Competition

The [Re]verse Pitch Competition, through a series of events and an innovation prize, inspires  social entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas to help solve local zero waste challenges.

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. Materials leaving these organizations and entering the waste stream is the problem we're trying to solve and we're pitching to you, the social entrepreneurs of Austin, to help create a solution!

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

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

[Re]verse Pitch Prize Winner Agreement

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is being held by the City of Austin in order to further the City of Austin’s Zero Waste goals and support entrepreneurial innovation and small business growth. This Agreement is between the City of Austin and the winner of the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition. 

In order to participate in the final competition of the [Re]verse Pitch, the winner must agree that if he/she wins the competition he/she will only be awarded the innovation prize and be considered eligible for the matched funding based upon the following:

  1. I have read, understood and agree to the Prize Match Policy (attached).
  2. I agree to register my business in the State of Texas. For more information on options and how to register, please visit the City of Austin’s Small Business Program website.
  3. I agree to register as a vendor with the City of Austin.
  4. I agree to use all funds received from the Prize and Match directly toward establishing and growing the business that was pitched at the [Re]verse Pitch Competition.
  5. I intend to establish the business operation pitched in the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition, including manufacturing, in the City of Austin.
  6. I have read and understand the City of Austin’s Zero Waste goals and agree to strive toward aligning my business operations with those goals and those of the Environmental Protection Agency’s waste hierarchy.
  7. Because I was awarded public funds to help solve a public challenge, I agree to track certain outputs and outcomes, such as the amount of waste my business diverts annually and I agree to report this data to the City of Austin for at least two years following the event so that the information may be shared with the public.
  8. I agree to submit a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that all City of Austin funds received by me have been used solely for the business operation pitched in the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition every year for the first two years after obtaining the City of Austin’s matched funds.
  9. I agree to provide the City of Austin at least one written and/or video testimonial about the [Re]verse Pitch Competition and participate upon request in at least one (1)  related promotional activity, associated with the City’s Recycling Economic Development initiatives.
  10. The distribution of any prize and/or matched funds is at the sole discretion of the City of Austin.
  11. I affirm that I own the intellectual property associated with the business operation I am pitching in the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition.
  12. I  agree the City of Austin, at its discretion, may request proof that the City of Austin’s matched funds are being used solely for expenses related to the business that was pitched at the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition in the form of receipts for such business expenses.
  13. If the City of Austin discovers that I have violated this agreement, the City of Austin reserves the right to refuse to disburse any remaining funds and demand the return of funds previously disbursed to the winner.
  14. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Texas.  If the final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction invalidates any part of this agreement, then the remaining parts shall be enforced, to the extent possible, consistent with the intent of the parties as evidenced by this agreement. To the extent allowed by Texas law, I agree that the City and I will be responsible for our own respective proportionate share of liability for damages arising out of or connected to its negligent acts or omissions in connection with this Agreement as determined by a court of competent law.

I have read, understood, and agree to the above conditions.

Reverse Pitch Competition Prize Match Policy- Seed Stage Award

The winner of the Reverse Pitch Competition will be selected by a panel of judges who will rate each participant based on criteria established by the City of Austin. The Reverse Pitch prize is funded by the City of Austin for the municipal purpose of achieving its economic development and Zero Waste Goals. This policy warrants certain controls on the release and use of these funds to ensure that the municipal value is of equal or greater value than the financial expenditure.

To be eligible for any prize funds, the Reverse Pitch winner must register as a vendor with the City of Austin and submit an invoice on company letterhead to Austin Resource Recovery[1]. The City will start to process the check for the winner for 50% of the total prize amount after the winner registers as a vendor and submits a completed prize winner agreement. Any in-kind prizes will be available to the winner directly from the in-kind sponsor at this time as well after these requirements are met.

The winner is also eligible for the remaining 50% of the prize in matched funds. To receive the matched funds, the Competition winner will have until August 15th, 2018, to raise the equivalent of the remaining 50% of the prize for the idea that they pitched at the Competition. Any amount less than 50% raised on or before the August 15th, 2018 deadline will be matched dollar for dollar, but no funds raised after this date will be matched. Matched funds can be raised through any combination of bootstrapping (self-funded), private investment, a loan, a grant or via crowdfunding. The winner must notify Natalie Betts and/or Lance McNeill in writing showing proof that they raised the match requirement and are requesting the matched funding from the City of Austin on or before August 15, 2018.

Additional eligibility guidelines for each fund-matching method will apply:

Bootstrapping (self-funded): The Competition winner(s) may contribute their own funds to qualify for the match. To be eligible, the winner must provide a signed letter self-certifying that he or she intends to use the contributed funds toward business expenses. In addition, the Competition winner will need to provide proof that the entire prize amount dispersed to the winner has been deposited into a separate business checking or savings account primarily associated with the business pitched at the competition. Bank statements and/or deposit slips will be required as part of that evidence. The funds must be deposited on or before August 15th, 2018 to be eligible for the match. The original 50% of the prize cannot count toward the match and the winner must provide proof that they deposited the original 50% of the prize and their own funds equaling up to the remaining 50% to receive the matched funds.

Private investment: Private investment is also eligible for matched funding. The Competition winner must provide proof of the investment with an investor agreement signed by all parties involved and provide proof that the investment has been deposited into a separate business checking or savings account primarily associated with the business pitched at the competition. Bank statements and/or deposit slips will be required as part of that evidence. The funds must be deposited on or before August 15th, 2018 to be eligible for the match.

Loan: To be eligible for the remaining 50% match, the Competition winner must show a letter of intent from the lending institution along with the lending institution’s contact information and/or proof that a deposit has been received by the lending institution and deposited into a separate business checking or savings account primarily associated with the business pitched at the competition. Bank statements and/or deposit slips will be required as part of that evidence. The funds must be deposited on or before August 15th, 2018 to be eligible for the match.

Grant: To be eligible for the remaining 50% match, the Competition winner must show written proof on or before August 15th, 2018 from the grant maker that they have been selected to receive grant funding for activities related directly with the business pitched at the competition.

Crowdfunding: To be eligible for the remaining 50% match, the Competition winner may raise funds via crowdfunding. The crowdfunding campaign must end on or before August 15th, 2018 and show the amount that has been raised. A link to the successful campaign, bank statements and/or deposit slips will be required as part of that evidence. The crowdfunding platform used to raise funds must be a third party organization with no business affiliation to the Competition winner.

 

[1] Invoices should be sent to and , with a CC to

 

Reverse Pitch Competition Prize Match Policy- Growth Stage Award

The winner of the Reverse Pitch Competition will be selected by a panel of judges who will rate each participant based on criteria established by the City of Austin. The Reverse Pitch prize is funded by the City of Austin for the municipal purpose of achieving its economic development and Zero Waste Goals. This policy warrants certain controls on the release and use of these funds to ensure that the municipal value is of equal or greater value than the financial expenditure.

To be eligible for any prize funds, the Reverse Pitch winner must register as a vendor with the City of Austin and submit an invoice on company letterhead to Austin Resource Recovery. The City will start to process the check for the winner for 50% of the total prize amount after the winner registers as a vendor and submits a completed prize winner agreement. Any in-kind prizes will be available to the winner directly from the in-kind sponsor at this time as well after these requirements are met.

To receive the remaining 50% of the prize amount, the Competition Growth Stage winner will have until August 15th, 2018, to divert a set amount of the waste material pitched at the Competition.

The minimum diversion requirement for each of the material categories will be set at 2,000 pounds or the 5-month total of the material supplied, whichever is the lower of the two options. If the winner is able to divert at least the minimum amount by August 15, 2018, they will be eligible for the remaining 50% of the prize funds. If at least 50% of that amount is diverted by August 15th, 2018, the winner will be eligible to receive half of the remaining prize funds available (i.e. if the total prize equals $10,000 and the winner’s diversion requirement was 2,000 pounds, the winner will be eligible to receive $2,500 if at least 1,000 pounds are diverted). If less than 50% of the minimum amount is diverted before August 15th, 2018 deadline, the winner is not eligible for any additional funding. Extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Extensions must be requested in writing no later than July 30, 2018.

The minimum diversion requirement for the material categories is below:

Diversion Requirement

Diversion Requirement

Material

Diversion Requirement

Anchor Straps

120 straps

Particle Board Furniture

2,000 pounds

Oyster Shells

2,000 pounds

JOSCO Textiles

2,000 pounds

Wine Bottles

300 wine bottles

Stitch Textiles

20 bags

Vinyl Records

2,000 pounds

Distillery Spent Grain

2,000 pounds

If more than one material is used in the winning business idea, the material being diverted in higher quantities will be tracked for the purposes of meeting this requirement. The City of Austin reserves the right to modify the required diversion amount to better reflect a meaningful diversion target for the winner’s business idea on a case-by-case basis. 

Invoices should be sent to and , with a CC to

The winner must notify the Austin Recycling Economic Development Program and/or Natalie Betts in writing showing proof that they met their diversion requirement and are requesting the additional funding from the City of Austin on or before August 15, 2018.

Required documentation to demonstrate proof of diversion must include:

  • Written receipts, invoices, or equivalent documentation demonstration the exchange of material between the winner and the material supplier
  • Confirmation by material supplier: A signed letter from the material supplier stating that the required amount of the material pitched by the supplier in the Competition was accepted by the winner
  • Affidavit: A signed, notarized affidavit certifying that the required amount was diverted to the end use pitched by the winner in the Competition
  • Photographs: Photographs of the material as it arrives at the winner’s location and after production into the final product
  • Random site visit: The City of Austin shall have the right to randomly inspect the winner’s location to verify that diversion of the waste material is occurring
 

[1] Invoices should be sent to and , with a CC to

Timeline
Updates 12

Challenge Updates

Don't Forget! Finalist Submissions Due TOMORROW- 2/20 by 11:59 PM

Feb. 19, 2018, 5 a.m. PST by Natalie Betts

Make sure you complete and submit your finalist application on HeroX by tomorrow, Tuesday, February 20th at 11:59 PM Central time. No submissions will be accepted after this deadline, and teams not submitting will not be considered to advance to the finals.

As you fill out the finalist application, keep the judging criteria in mind. And if you feel stuck, keep the prizes that await you in mind to push you through the finish line.

Finalists will be announced on Friday, February 23rd.

Questions? Check here, check the FAQ, post a question in the forum, or .


Important Update Regarding Stillage Reuse

Feb. 16, 2018, 10:12 a.m. PST by Natalie Betts

Austin Resource Recovery had a 3rd-party testing laboratory perform analysis on stillage from Still Austin Whiskey after concern about possible high concentrations of copper within the stillage. Results of the testing are available in the "Resources" tab. The presence of copper does not mean the material cannot be reused. Competitors should be mindful of the presence of copper in the material and consult the appropriate authorities in order to ensure that the end use and disposal of waste or byproduct of the material complies with environmental and health standards.

An example of a use requirement is a  Land Application Permit at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) (Form 10411 and Form 10055). Additional sources of requirements, depending on desired future use, are available from the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Technical experts are available at the applicable regulating agency to assist you with your reuse plans.

Please if you have any questions or concerns. 


Prize Spotlight: Coaching & Education

Feb. 12, 2018, 10 p.m. PST by Natalie Betts

Hello Competitors,

You're in the final stretch! As you push through this last week of idea refinement before you submit, keep in mind the rewards that await. On top of the cash prizes of $7,500-$12,500 for each winner, both award winners will receive ongoing guidance and support from local experts.

Both winners will receive a coaching session from Assemble to make progress on a current challenge, learn something new, and get a sense of how you could better design collaboration with your team. 

Both winners will also be able to sit down with a loan officer at American Bank to review financials and understand what the winner would need to do in order to be bankable. 

In addition, the Seed Stage winner will receive a two free small business skills classes from the City of Austin Small Business Program. And once they are ready to promote their new business, the Seed Stage winner can take advantage of a $250 promotional materials package from BuildASign.

Learn more about all the prizes available at reversepitch.org/prizes

Good luck!


Reminder: Group Mentoring Session- Last Chance to Register

Feb. 11, 2018, 6 a.m. PST by Natalie Betts

Hello Competitors,

The Group Mentoring Session will be held tomorrow, February 12th from 6PM-8:30PM at the Entrepreneur Center of Austin, located at 4029 S Capital of Texas Hwy Austin, TX 78704. This session is optional but highly encouraged. It is a great chance to get feedback on your idea before you submit your finalist application next week.

You must register to attend the group mentoring session through Eventbrite (Password = reverse2018). Registration will close at the end of the day today.

Please RSVP only if you can commit to attending. We're asking mentors to volunteer their evening to meet with competitors and we want to have an accurate attendee count beforehand.

The agenda for the group mentoring will be as follows:

  • 6:00-6:15 Welcome and overview of the evening’s agenda and format
  • 6:15-6:25 Mentor Introductions
  • 6:25-6:30 Break out into groups
  • 6:30-7:15 Round I: Three minute pitches*, three minutes Q&A, four minutes of constructive feedback
  • 7:15-7:20 Competitors rotate to different group of mentors
  • 7:20-8:05 Round II: Three minute pitches*, three minutes Q&A, four minutes of constructive feedback
  • 8:05 – 8:20 Recount learnings and close

Suggested pitch format (alternative formats okay):

  • Competitor and company/brand/ etc. introduction (10- 20 seconds)
  • Environmental (zero-waste) challenge overview (30 seconds)
  • Product concept and business model overview (30 – 60 seconds)
  • Target customer description ( 30 – 45 seconds)
  • Call to action (what do you want from your audience) and close (15 – 25 seconds)

*If selected as a finalist, you will have 6 minutes to pitch in front of the [Re]Verse Pitch judges. The shorter pitches during this session facilitates more opportunities for feedback and are a helpful step in determining what to focus or clarify in your 6 minute pitch.


Have you contacted an expert [Re]Verse Pitch advisor yet?

Feb. 9, 2018, 6 a.m. PST by Natalie Betts

Don't forget: in addition to your awesome mentors, there are expert advisors standing by to help you with your finalist application. Our advisors include a scientific glassblower, a company CEO, City of Austin and Travis County sustainability officials, and a global textile industry non-profit representative, a digital markering expert, and a logistics operations lead.

Make the most of this opportunity by asking them questions that will strengthen your finalist application! Advisor contact sheets were emailed to you with your mentor introduction, and advisor bios are available here (scroll to Advisors section). 


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