Plastic-Free Future Philippines

Reimagining the F&B industry by supporting innovations to eliminate single-use plastics

Applications open until May 16 at 11:59 PM (GMT +8) 

Single-use Plastics in the F&B Sector

In South and Southeast Asia, there is an increasing demand for packaging, particularly single-use plastics (SUPs), dominated by polystyrene and other types of hard-to-recycle plastics including flexibles (films, sachets, and more). By 2025, these are projected to make up more than 70% of the market for food packaging in the region.

The Philippines in particular is known as a “sachet economy” and consumes 163 million pieces of sachets every day and 17.5 billion plastics are disposed annually. Coastal communities are most affected, impacting fishing, shipping, and tourism industries.

The food service industry heavily utilizes single-use packaging, from the purchase of food supplies to preparation. This is especially so for off-premise food services such as deliveries, drive-throughs, and takeaways, which have increased dramatically in light of COVID-19, becoming a lifeline for some operators. Being entirely reliant on their supply chains, the sector is unaccustomed to working with alternative solutions by early-stage companies. 

Alternative solutions are mostly driven by early-stage companies that struggle to overcome various challenges, including a lack of capital, collaborative industry partners, managerial experience, underdeveloped value chains, and complex policy and regulatory frameworks. 

Program Timeline

Application Period

April 18 to May 16

Accelerator Program

June 6 to September 30

Pilot testing with F&B partners

August 1 to September 23

Demo Day

September 30

Program Details

Over the course of 5 months, 10 selected teams will go through an intensive acceleration program that will support in pilot testing their innovations with F&B partners across the Philippines. The program will also focus on investment-readiness, with a parallel track for investors to understand climate lens investing for early-stage enterprises. Through the program, teams will be able to access up to funding to support their pilots, customized mentorship, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, international exchangers with global innovators, and a demo day to connect with investors and partners in the ecosystem.

From the cohort, 5 teams will be selected to pilot their innovations with our F&B partners and gather feedback from end-users. Each team selected to run pilots will receive up to USD 1,500 in funding to support their experiments.

    Plastic-Free Future Philippines is open to ventures working on these two circularity models: 

    Alternatives to conventional plastics made from agricultural waste or byproducts or are home-compostable

    Circular refill and reuse models

    We are looking for

    Entrepreneurs, SMEs, and startups with innovations to reduce single-use plastics

    Teams with operations in the Philippines

    Teams with an MVP for their product or service

    Benefits for Participants

    Direct funding for innovation pilots

    Five of the selected teams will receive up to PHP 75,000 (USD 1,500) in direct funding from Villgro Philippines and our partners to help in validating ideas, refining problem-solution fit, and piloting lean experiments with F&B partners on the ground.

    Pilot support with F&B partners

    Alongside acceleration support provided, 5 teams will be able to pilot their innovations with F&B partners for 2 months. Teams will be able to gather useful customer data and feedback on their innovations, while working closely with F&B partners to achieve sustainability objectives.

    Investment-readiness training

    All 10 teams will receive tailored investment-readiness, working with mentors and experts to build their financial management systems, refine their investment asks, and craft pitch decks. Villgro will also make facilitated introductions to investors and partners  who can provide additional support after the program.

    About us

    ABOUT VILLGRO PHILIPPINES

    Villgro Philippines is an early-stage impact enterprise incubator that mentors, funds, and nurtures entrepreneurs who are building innovative market-based solutions that can transform the lives of the poor.  Our incubation and acceleration model is designed to provide highly customized early-stage support that is anchored in access to risk capital, high quality mentoring, investment readiness and access to talent, networks and markets.

    ABOUT THE INCUBATION NETWORK

    The Incubation Network is a catalyst for action and investment in the circular economy that aims to prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean. TIN has connected network of innovators, investors, civil society organizations, and government leaders across those key South and Southeast Asian countries. Collectively, they design and deliver programs that drive investment, innovation, and partnerships for inclusive and gender-responsive waste management and circular economy solutions.

    To learn more, visit incubationnetwork.com

    ABOUT PREVENT WASTE ALLIANCE

    The PREVENT Waste Alliance is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and ECCA Family Foundation. The SUP Challenge is part of PREVENT’s Innovate & PREVENT programme.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Must I be registered to participate in the program?

    Teams duly registered with DTI or SEC are preferred, but non-registered teams are still eligible to apply for the program, provided they make a commitment to register their companies within the duration of the program.

    I don't have a solution yet, just an idea. Am I eligible for the program?

    This program is open to teams that already have existing MVPs and have done some early validation on their solutions. If you are in the midst of creating your first MVP or just about to build your MVP, but have already done preliminary validation exercises, you are welcome to apply to the program.

    Who owns the intellectual property from the program?

    The teams behind the solution will have sole ownership of their intellectual property. F&B partners will have to create new agreements between them and innovators should there be plans to market the solutions after the program.

    Is the program open only to Filipino nationals?

    Ultimately, products and/or services offered by participating teams must have the Philippines in mind. Those outside of the Philippines are free to join, provided at least 2 team members are Philippine citizens and based in the Philippines.

    It cannot be right to manufacture billions of objects that are used for a matter of minutes, and then are with us for centuries.

    ROZ SAVAGE

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