ACU Co-Lab Circular Economy Incubator Series 2023

The Circular Economy Incubator Series is an eight-week, in-depth learning program designed to educate future changemakers about the practical components of the circular economy.

In this series, brought to you in partnership with StartSomeGood, industry experts will walk you through the key components of building a circular economy-focused business.

And you'll be able to put your new skills straight to work by crafting a video pitch for the Circular Economy Award - your chance to win $10,000.

The Circular Economy Incubator Series is free to attend and open to university students, staff and the broader community. Topics are delivered online in an interactive format.

The circular economy is about changing the way we produce, assemble, sell and use products to minimise waste and to reduce our environmental impact.

Register here for all workshops

Introduction to the circular economy

Wednesday 10 May 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Learn to identify and understand circular economy principles, practices and opportunities. In this seminar, we will explore different circular economy business models, and workshop how these might be applied to early-stage business ideas as we consider how circularity can be used as a lens across the economy.

The change you seek - introduction to social enterprise and impact models

Wednesday 17 May 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Explore purpose, vision and impact in this introduction to social enterprise, where we will discuss impact models and theories of change.

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of social enterprise: what makes a company a social enterprise and what the different genres of social enterprises are. You will be introduced to impact models and theories and change, and how to formulate your own impact hypothesis.

Ideation for impact

Wednesday 24 May 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Clarify your ideas and build understanding and deep empathy for the people, problem and context. You will test your riskiest assumptions so you can move forward with confidence.

Designing your business

Wednesday 31 May 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Learn more about business modelling and value proposition design.

Once you're clear on how you want to make a difference and what you plan to offer, you need to make sure there's a business model that can underpin that approach. It's not enough that you know the world needs to move to circular models - for your enterprise to be sustainable, a customer must be willing to pay for your offering. This workshop will teach you how to design and test a circular business model that will work in the real world.

Marketing essentials

Wednesday 7 June 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Learn digital marketing essentials, including how to leverage the powerful camera in your pocket to make impactful videos.

Crafting your story and pitch

Wednesday 14 June 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

A great pitch needs to be a great story, and it can make all the difference for launching a social enterprise. It is crucial for sales, partnership development, fundraising and recruitment. A great pitch is all about getting your audience to act.

In this workshop, you'll learn about the 'five hooks of social change' and consider the different stories contained within your enterprise, and how to match these stories to the right audience.

Show me the money

Wednesday 21 June 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Learn more about finding your 'first money' and grow your understanding of investment, philanthropy, sales and the legal considerations for social entrepreneurs.

The road is long

Wednesday 28 June 2023
4 - 6pm AEST

Learn more about personal sustainability, building great company cultures, team building and project management.

We will also discuss the importance of building a peer community and give you the chance to put that into practice with a speed networking session.

Register here for all workshops

Circular Economy Award

Attend three or more workshops and you'll be eligible to lodge a pitch entry into the Circular Economy Award.

This award recognises an individual or team who has developed a novel idea that addresses and relates to the circular economy and is at any stage of development, from inception to market. Your idea may be for a business that sells a physical product, or one that offers a service.

The winning video pitch entry receives:

  • $10,000 prize
  • six months of mentoring (five one-hour sessions)
  • promotion of winning business/project through ACU Co-Lab community ecosystem.

A sum of $1,000 will be awarded to the best student entry that does not win the first prize.

Key dates

Entries open on Thursday 25 May 2023.

Entries close at 11.59pm AEST on Sunday 2 July 2023.

How to enter

The Circular Economy Award is a virtual competition and is open to any eligible entrant across Australia who attends at least three Circular Economy Incubator workshops. To participate, you must apply online.

To apply, all applicants must:

  • Record and upload a short video pitch of no longer than three minutes. This video needs to feature yourself or your team outlining the problem you have identified and your innovative solution.
  • Enter through our online application form before entries close at 11.59pm AEST on Sunday 2 July 2023.

The judging criteria and online application form will be live on Thursday 25 May 2023.

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