Participants of the Impact Startup Challenge on Demo Day 2022.
To empower students to become competent entrepreneurs with a heart for the environment, the Impact Startup Challenge in Sustainability was held over a period of seven weeks. Students convened to address challenges in the global community such as the depletion of non-renewable resources, environmental degradation and excessive waste generation. Teams of students competed against one other and pitched their business ideas to esteemed investors during the Demo Day held on 5 March 2022.
Throughout the programme, participants worked in multi-disciplinary teams and tackled problem statements that further sharpened their business acumen and industry knowledge. Participants were also introduced to the concepts of Business Model Canvas, Lean Startup methodology and Disruptive Innovation. Founder of SUSgain, Carolin Barr, was invited to host a webinar to broaden participants’ perspectives on sustainability. To maximise learning, participants had the opportunity to visit a local farm and gain insights into the agricultural scene in Singapore.
During the Demo Day, one of the teams, Re.Crate, identified that one-third of domestic waste is made up of packaging as e-commerce shipping and fulfilment rely on inefficient packaging, where excessively large boxes are used to ship small objects. The team then came up with a strategy to substitute cardboard boxes used during deliveries, with their customised boxes that are both reusable and adaptable to different sizes, thus enabling them to reduce packaging waste.
Conscious, the first runner-up, on the other hand, developed a fashion e-commerce platform to help consumers engage fashion brands that fit their values after discovering that some consumers lack awareness of brands’ initiatives. Their platform aims to aggregate local and international brands that align with sustainable values – making it easier for consumers to search and purchase on one platform.
The winning team, Happy Kitchen, uncovered that a large proportion of household groceries are discarded as a result of pest infestation. Having personal experience on the matter, the team proposed the creation of preservatives made from natural ingredients that would not only remove moisture and keep pests away but also extend the shelf-life of groceries.
The next run of the Impact Startup Challenge in Sustainability will be held from 4 to 9 July 2022, and includes participants from our international partner institutions. To find out more about the SUSS Impact Startup Challenge in Singapore (CDO303SU), visit the programme page here.