Nespresso Launches Australian StartCup Challenge With A Focus On Innovation

Nespresso Launches Australian StartCup Challenge With A Focus On Innovation

Nespresso is today calling for entries to the Australian StartCup Challenge, a new competition which supports and rewards innovative, circular business ideas.

The challenge is open to pioneering start-ups and SMEs from any sector or industry to pitch their circular solutions for review by an expert jury and then via public vote for the chance to win AUD$50,000, a Nespresso Momento Small Office Starter Pack and access for up to four team members to attend B Lab’s Become a B Corp workshop.

Entrants can apply between Tuesday 16 August to Sunday 11 September, 2022 by uploading a one-minute video pitch and completing a short application form, with details on how to enter available on the Nespresso website.

An important next step in Nespresso’s B Corp ™ journey following certification in April, StartCup seeks to build on the company’s 30-year commitment to sustainability and innovation by providing a platform for innovative ideas, services or products that contribute to strengthening the circular economy in Australia.

“Sustainability and innovation are anchored in Nespresso’s DNA, and both are critical to addressing today’s environmental and social challenges,’ said Jean-Marc Dragoli, general manager of Nespresso Oceania, and member of the StartCup Challenge jury. “By launching the Australian StartCup Challenge, we want to contribute, as a certified B Corp company, to the movement of the circular economy, and put entrepreneurs in the spotlight. Many great ideas can grow over a cup of coffee, and we are excited to support Australian innovations with potential for real, positive change.”

Entries will be reviewed by a jury of leaders from different sectors who are committed to innovation and sustainable development. These include:

  • Jean-Marc Dragoli, general manager Oceania, Nespresso
  • Mariah Monaghan, head of marketing and sustainability, Nespresso Australia
  • Professor Veena Sahajwalla, founding director of the UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre
  • Nik Robinson, co-founder, Good Citizens
  • Zoe Mellick, sustainability lead, Glam Corner
  • Charlotte Connell, Climate Reality leader, co-director and sustainability lead at Founder Institute and EIR in sustainability at Fishburners
  • Yasmin Grigaliunas, CEO and co-founder, World’s Biggest Garage Sale
  • Lisa McLean, CEO, Circular Australia

The jury will select three finalists which will go on to a public vote, opening on 28 September on the StartCup competition page and closing on 14 October. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony attended by finalists in Sydney on 3 November.

“I am delighted to be one of the StartCup Challenge judges,” said Professor Veena Sahajwalla, director of the UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre. “This is an important competition that gives a new generation of companies the opportunity to develop and implement innovative projects that have a positive impact and tackle some of the biggest challenges our world faces. I have worked extensively to commercialise ground-breaking recycling and ‘waste to product’ technologies to help deliver more circular solutions and I am excited to see the innovative ideas participants provide.”

Nespresso has always taken its corporate responsibility very seriously and has invested heavily over the past 30 years to optimise the sustainable aspects of its processes throughout its value chain. Very early on, Nespresso began to look for solutions to reintegrate the components of its capsules into the raw material circuit and developed a process for separating aluminum from coffee grounds that is unique. In Australia, Nespresso has its own dedicated recycling scheme with four ways to participate.

With a view to driving strong engagement, Nespresso has also been innovating with new approaches from the recent Recycling Rewards pilot, which incentivised Australians to return used capsules to Nespresso Boutiques with sustainable gifts, to the 2021 Curby trial, which brought kerbside collection of all aluminium coffee capsules to people’s doorsteps in Australia for the first time.

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