The Beyond Cups Challenge
Turn the tide on plastic waste

Beyond Cups Innovation Challenge aims to make a lasting impact on Queensland's environment by supporting sustainable solutions to transform the way we make, reuse and recycle coffee cups and containers.

The Beyond Cups Innovation Challenge is an initiative by the Department of Environment and Science’s Office of Circular Economy in partnership with the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, and delivered by the team at Innovation Architects, to support Queensland’s action on single-use plastics.

The Beyond Cups Innovation Challenge supports innovators and change-makers to reimagine the way we make, use and recover/recycle hot and cold beverage cups (e.g. Coffee cups; Slurpee cups) and similarly constructed containers (e.g. Ice-cream cartons; takeaway food bowls) to reduce the impacts of single-use and disposable items.

Over a period of six months, a cohort of innovative businesses will be supported by mentors and experts in the development of go-to-market strategies and business growth. The program provides a pathway for industry to pilot and test solutions to overcome challenges relating to single-use and disposable hot and cold beverage cups and containers of similar construction.

As part of the program, participants will have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders from across Queensland including Government, universities, industry and industry associations and peak bodies, professional service providers, technical experts and investors.

Applications close on 11.59pm AEST, Friday 16 June 2023.

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Program stages

The program comprises three stages of support and concludes with an in-person showcase on Wednesday, 29 November 2023.

For inclusion in the program, applications will be assessed against evaluation criteria, with the most promising applicants invited to advance.

Bootcamp - 12 July and 13 July

Shortlisted applicants (20) join the two-day bootcamp. You will meet the program team and partners and have the opportunity to assess the potential of your innovations.

Bootcamp will include Innovation Architect’s proprietary business diagnostic, industry networking, feedback opportunities and mentoring sessions.

Stage 1 - Commercial readiness program
24 July to 1 September

A cohort of 10 companies from bootcamp will be invited to advance to the 6-week commercial readiness stage.

In this stage you will create a business plan and bolster the market and investment-readiness capability of the company. Participants will need to source (through lead generation and business matching) and contract with an industry partner.

Support will be provided by the program team, our Expert-in-Residence and a network of mentors.

Stage 2 - Proof-of-concept
9 October – 17 November

A cohort of 5 companies from the commercial readiness stage will be invited to progress to the proof-of-concept stage. Within the proof-of concept stage, startups and industry partners are matched for co-funding arrangements with the Queensland Government.

Grant amounts will vary, with a maximum of A$100,000 available per project. Collaborating industry partners will contribute additional grant funding.

In this stage, participants will be provided with tailored support, relevant to their particular project and industry partner, to make the most of the opportunity.