NextCycle Colorado, a program designed to boost manufacturing solutions for recycled or recovered content in Colorado, awarded Broomfield-based BioChar Green the top prize at the 2023 NextCycle Pitch Competition. BioChar Green is an organics waste diversion company that converts post-harvest marijuana waste into green bricks which can then be processed into biochar, a soil amendment.
NextCycle Colorado selects new and expanding businesses and organizations through a competitive application process and provides value by connecting teams to the resources and expertise needed to reach implementation and investment readiness. Since NextCycle’s creation in 2018, CDPHE has awarded teams more than $2 million in recycling grants and has helped secure more than $75 million in funding from private investors.
“NextCycle helps Colorado build a circular economy that leads to local job creation and increased efforts to reduce waste going to landfills,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “I’m proud to see NextCycle support these creative companies that have a commitment to sustainable businesses and can improve recycling and composting statewide.”
The pitch competition followed a four-month business accelerator program through NextCycle Colorado, funded by CDPHE. Businesses, organizations, non-profits, universities, and entrepreneurs pursue innovative projects that will develop new, or improve existing, recycling and composting markets in the state.
In addition to winning a $5,000 cash prize provided by Resource Recycling Systems, BioChar Green’s founder and owner, Kimberly Groom, will meet with a sustainable investment firm, Closed Loop Partners, and Denver-based venture capital firm, Colorado Impact Fund, to further discuss business opportunities. “I am over the moon! The NextCycle program has provided a quantum leap for me in finalizing a business plan and launching a new waste diversion company in Colorado,” Groom said.
The audience at the competition selected Mile High Workshop as the People’s Choice award. Mile High Workshop turns discarded vinyl billboards into one-of-a-kind reusable bags. “We feel honored and inspired to know we made an impact on the audience and that they believe in our work and support our mission,” said Irma Reyes of Mile High Workshop. Other teams and ideas showcased at the May 16 pitch competition included:
- ByFusion: Converts hard-to-recycle plastic into reusable building materials.
- Rotty Mountain High: Transforms food waste into a soil amendment.
- Insecticycle: Uses grain and food waste to produce animal feed and fertilizer.
- REQYRD: Recovers high-value materials from rechargeable lithium-ion batteries typically found in electric vehicles or mobile phones.
- Terratico: Uses recycled plastic to create concrete.
- Viable Fibers: Transforms cannabis and hemp waste into sustainable products.