Finalists announced for Australian StartCup Challenge

UNSW SMaRT Centre Director Prof Veena was a judge that has shortlisted three finalists for the Australian StartCup Challenge, an initiative designed to advance the circular economy and its goal of reusing materials otherwise destined for landfill.

Developed by Nespresso, a research partner of SMaRT, the Australian StartCup Challenge is now calling on the public to vote for the winner who will win $50,000 cash among other prizes.

The public vote opens until the 14th of October with the winner to be announced at an award ceremony attended by finalists in Sydney on the 3rd of November.

The hudging panel assessed entrants based on their innovative thinking and potential for impact in supporting the circular economy in Australia.

To vote and StartCup Challenge website

This year’s finalists include:

  • Uuvipak – On a mission to eradicate single-use plastic from our daily lives, Uuvipak co-founders Dr Shafali Gupta and Andy Epifani have created a range of 100% home-compostable and edible packaging, made from upcycled organic food waste. Uuvipak’s innovative circular model aims to reduce the impact we have on our planet and change the way we approach packaging.
  • Gaia Project – Recognising the need to reduce waste and improve the way in which we farm and cultivate crops, Gaia Project Founder Nadun Hennayak created the Intelligent Crop Cultivation Module (ICCM). The ICCM is an innovative and unique modular cultivation method that responds to the plants’ natural growth cycle in order to significantly reduce and reuse water, while reducing energy and nutrient usage and doubling crop yield, effectively changing the way we grow produce.
  • Tackle Lab’s NOGO Bin – Seeing the incredible number of nappies that end up in landfills across Australia every day, Jaci Mata and Meg Connor founded TackleLab with the goal of diverting nappy and wipe waste from landfill. Encouraging the switch from plastic to compostable nappies, TackleLab created the NOGO Bin to allow childcare centres to compost used nappies at scale.
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