Between Oct. 19-21, the students tested and pitched multiple new solutions focused on reducing food waste, shifting consumer behavior, phasing out single-use plastics and construction and deconstruction waste mitigation. The broad range of topic areas demonstrated the reach of the waste crisis and echoed the need for all industries to embrace more transformational strategies.

The winning ideas from ASU and UNSW Sydney were judged by Paul Ramadge, managing director of the PLuS Alliance; Richard Holden, lecturer at the UNSW Business School; and Raj Buch, director of sustainability practice for ASU International Development. The winning team will receive $2,000 and support from both universities to build their prototype and further develop skills to drive real change in the waste epidemic.

The ASU hack was organized by the RISN Incubator, an ASU-based business accelerator designed to help startups and entrepreneurs take their circular economy-focused enterprises to market. Initially funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the RISN Incubator is operated by the ASU Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service with support from ASU Entrepreneurship + Innovation. In its first year, the RISN Incubator has fostered 13 ventures that have created 30 full- or part-time jobs, generated $3.15 million in revenues and raised $1.345 million in capital.

Jason Franz

Senior manager, Marketing and Communications, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives