Austin is home to many start-ups, and with those start-ups, comes a new way of pitching. Reverse pitch is a relatively new competition that started in 2015. Usually, entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to investors or partners. With Reverse pitch, that changes. If you are a business with a waste stream, you will pitch these streams out, and entrepreneurs will try to create business ideas to repurpose the waste. The best ideas will get money and support to get their business ideas started.
This competition is supported the City of Austin and the Business Council for Sustainable Development, as businesses are constantly trying to become more eco-friendly. Some past waste streams have been wine bottles, vinyl records, oyster shells, stillage, and fabric scraps. Business must get very creative about reusing these streams, especially since none of these waste streams are conventional.
One of the winners of the 2018 competition was Classic Childhood, a company that reuses fabric scraps and turns them into children’s clothing. They have been committed to making high-quality clothing to combat fast-fashion. Another winner was Evo Conversion Systems, which uses food waste and stillage to create biomass and sustainable animal feed. Evo Conversion does this by using food waste and feeding it to black soldier fly larvae. These black soldier flies are then directly used to feed animals such as chickens or turned into a flour to be put into other animal feed. This creates a more sustainable feed for animals as well as one that is nutritional.
Reverse Pitch has turned out many ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs who want to help with sustainable efforts. The next Reverse Pitch will be from February to April 2019.