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NextCycle Colorado to host pitch competition


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NextCycle Colorado, a program designed to boost manufacturing solutions for recycled or recovered content in Colorado, will host a pitch competition Wednesday, June 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. at eTown Hall in Boulder. During the competition, businesses seeking to connect with private investors will pitch ideas. 

The competition is the culmination of NextCycle Colorado programming, which pursues creative ideas to improve recycling and composting end markets. This year’s event will showcase nine teams that spent the last four months receiving mentorship from industry leaders and subject matter experts as well as technical support from Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), a consultancy based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

“This is an exciting time for recycling in Colorado, as we’re putting progressive efforts in motion that have the potential to really move the needle and improve recycling rates statewide,” says Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). “NextCycle has helped foster important innovations from local businesses, and I look forward to the creative solutions these latest teams bring to Colorado.”

“By investing time and resources into the teams, NextCycle Colorado creates stronger recycling businesses for the state,” says Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt, recycling grants supervisor at CDPHE. “These businesses will create new jobs, products and services and, most importantly, continue the momentum toward our goal of recycling more in Colorado.”

The NextCycle program selects new and expanding businesses and organizations through a competitive application process and connects them to resources and expertise. NextCycle teams have been awarded more than $1.5 million in Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity program grants from CDPHE since the program’s inception in 2018. 

Nine teams will be showcased in the 2022 pitch competition: 

  1. An early stage team consisting of National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists Kevin Sullivan and Mikhail Konev, who are developing a new technology to convert plastic waste into usable raw materials for manufacturing. 
  2. Colorado Earth, based in Golden, is a local manufacturer of sustainable building materials made from leftover and waste quarry materials and other recycled materials. 
  3. Compost Queen has a hyperlocal compost operation in Fort Collins. It partners with area farms to compost residential food waste through hauling and processing and also provides educational services to the community.
  4. Delta Brick and Climate Co., Montrose, which uses sediment from the Paonia River and recycled glass to make green building materials for Colorado’s growing population.
  5. Docupots creates 100-percent-recyclable and compostable seedling pots from postconsumer recycled paper in Sterling.
  6. Elements Mountain Compost is a rural composting operation in Salida that diverts and processes organic materials for residents and businesses.
  7. RepEATer is a reusable container provider based in Boulder that partners with restaurants and food delivery services to reduce waste and costs. 
  8. T2GR (Tires To Green Recycling), based in Hudson, transforms scrap tires into rubber for athletic fields, molding and other uses.
  9. Trash Panda develops innovative products in Aurora with 100-percent-recycled plastics in the rapidly growing sport of disc golf.

“Colorado NextCycle supports businesses and organizations at every level,” says Juri Freeman, managing principal at RRS. “The state has immense entrepreneurial talent, and the Pitch Competition is the opportunity to elevate the teams and take their businesses to the next level.”

Bolstering NextCycle’s efforts is a new law approved earlier this month that will create Colorado’s first Circular Economy Development Center, which aims to empower Colorado businesses to create products using materials that Coloradans recycle. The center will help CDPHE achieve its commitment to increasing how much residents are recycling across the state.

The Colorado NextCycle pitch competition is free and open to the public. Investors, funders, business and community leaders, media and anyone interested are invited to attend. 

Please visit Colorado NextCycle Pitch Competition for more information or to register to attend.

Funding for Colorado NextCycle is provided through the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity program. 

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