Think Beyond Plastic is a competition and conference that calls on entrepreneurs to develop products or solutions that result in measurable reduction of plastic pollution, and have a viable business infrastructure.
Innovators from around the world compete for a $50,000 investment prize to grow the idea into reality. A second prize of $10,000 investment is awarded to best idea which is not yet a business. Cooley Legal services offers an additional package of legal services to the first and second prize winner. And Second Line Impact Investors offers a prize for the best emerging business. A team of judges will select the finalists, who will pitch to a panel of domain specialists and investors.
Think Beyond Plastic is a competition and conference that calls on entrepreneurs to develop products or solutions that successfully combine measurable reduction of plastic pollution, entrepreneurship and creativity.
Innovators from around the world are invited to submit their ideas to compete for several prizes to upscale or grow the idea into reality. A team of judges will select the finalists, who will pitch to a panel of domain specialists and investors.
Plastic Pollution Coalition is the organizer of the competition. Plastic Pollution Coalition is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
With its work, Plastic Pollution Coalition seeks to put plastic pollution at the forefront of global social, environmental and political discourse.
Plastic pollution presents a pressing challenge for us all. The world needs help embracing a new, greener lifestyle, and one bright idea can make a big difference. We started the Think Beyond Plastic Contest to promote the invention of great new plastic free products and services. With ideas like these, the whole world wins.
We’re looking for ideas that are sustainable, viable, scalable and big-thinking. The jury looks for innovative products and services that contribute to an eco-friendly, plastic-free lifestyle, and score highly on convenience, quality and design.
The competition is open to any early stage company with an existing product or team with an early prototype that positively impacts the problem of plastic pollution. Applications are not limited to a specific geographic region, and entries from around the world are eligible. We’re looking for solutions that have a measurable impact on plastic pollution and are also independently sustainable as businesses on their own.
- March10, 2013: Applications close; Preliminary evaluation of decks to determine pre-finalists begins
- March 18, 2013: Preliminary review ends; Semi-finalists selected
- March 20, 2013: Semi-finalists invited to continue to compete and to submit business plans
- April 8, 2013: Semi-finalist business plans due
- April 9, 2013: Jury Review and Due diligence of business plans begins
- May 25, 2013: Finalists selected and notified
- June, 13-14 2013: Think Beyond Plastic Conference; Finalists pitch ideas to judges audience
Sustainable entrepreneurs can enter their investors decks through our site until March 10, 2013. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter, for all the latest news and developments.
A qualifying solution is any product, service, infrastructure, or material that results in reduced plastic pollution. The solution must be measurable, and has to have a viable business proposition.
The viability of a business is measured by its long-term survival, and its ability to have sustainable profits over a period of time. If a business is viable, it is able to survive for many years, because it continues to make a profit year after year. The longer a company can stay profitable, the better its viability.
The competition is no longer accepting entries for the June 13-14, 2013 event.
The only way to enter is by filling in the online application form and submit a complete pitch deck that includes all components on the Pitch Deck Checklist located on the bottom of the application page. Make sure it’s complete, since applications that are not complete will not be taken into consideration. All winners selected as semi-finalists will be required to submit a thorough business plan following this business plan template [pdf] in order to move onto the next round. Anticipate this requirement before you enter this competition, because only viable ideas backed by a thorough business plan will be selected. If selected as a finalist, you will need to submit your business plan before April 8, 2013. Only fully completed business plans will be taken into consideration!
Don’t forget to read the Terms and Conditions and check the box on the application form to agree to them.
Yes, at minimum, a very detailed financial plan is necessary. We’re looking for something more than just an idea; we’re looking for a business plan that is well thought out, including its financial structure. Consider the costs of realizing your plan, including production, materials, marketing, staffing, overhead, etc. Put everything you can think of into a detailed financial plan.
Early stage projects that are not yet companies are eligible, so long as the idea or product is something you’ve been working on for some time, and will be ready to go to market within the next two years. It needs to be something you’re passionate enough about to commit to building full-time.
The first place winner will receive an investment of $50,000 from A-Spark Good Ventures, with a 10% equity stake, as well as $5,000 of legal services from Cooley LLP.
There’s also a prize for the ‘best idea’ which is an investment of $10,000 from A-Spark Good Ventures, with an 5% equity stake, as well as $3,000 in legal services from Cooley LLP.
Please read over the Terms and Conditions.
At the end of the entry form we ask you to check a box if you do not object to us publishing or forwarding your idea to interested parties such as investors. If you do object, do not check the box, and no-one other than the preliminary jury will read your business plan.
We have no interest in copying your plan. It’s your idea; you should be the one to develop it.
Teams selected as semi-finalists must submit a full and detailed business plan outlining their idea, structure and revenue model. Anticipate this requirement before you enter this competition, because only viable ideas that are backed by a thorough business plan will be selected!
All finalists are required to attend the event, during which they will pitch their solutions to a panel of experts in the field. Finalists may be requested to arrive 1 day in advance in Berkeley, California to meet with investors and other interested parties.
Think Beyond Plastic is a full-day conference that will take place at the David Brower Center, a beautiful LEED Platinum certified building in Berkeley, CA on June 13-14, 2013. A catered lunch and an evening networking reception are included as part of the event.
Plastic Pollution Coalition will cover reasonable travel expenses for qualifying finalists.
We’re in touch with a number of organizations that are interested in helping to realize ideas that don’t win. On your entry form, you can give these parties permission to contact you directly. The purpose of the Think Beyond Plastic Competition is to get people to think about products and services that can make the planet greener and plastic-free. We hope many of these ideas will be realized – not just the ones that take the prizes!
Since is the first time this event is organized we have no previous finalists. Maybe you will be the first one!
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