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Entrepreneur Support

The SUP Challenge

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 flexible (films, sachets, etc), which by 2025, are projected to make up more than 70% of the market for food packaging in the region. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumption of single-use plastics, associated with food packaging and plastic bags, has increased drastically as well.

Program Highlights

  • Market Insights Report 2022

  • SUP Challenge Technical Playbook

  • Life Cycle Assessment Report

    • Reflections from The SUP Challenge 2022

    • Introducing The SUP Challenge Projects

    • Cohort Video Playlist


Facing heavy demand and a challenging landscape

The food service industry heavily utilizes single-use packaging. 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.

Reducing single-use plastics in the F&B industry

  • The Opportunity
  • The Progam
  • The Offer

We will be supporting 76 startups across eight acceleration projects that meet the following high-level objectives:

  • Survey the number and diversity of startups supported, including gathering information related to
    founder and team demographics, stage of development, solution type, scale, and nature of the
    solution’s contribution to reducing plastic waste (per unit or per customer), key organizational
    needs and market trends.
  • Assess the volume of plastic waste reduced through piloting and scaling ventures’ innovations with
    F&B partner to reduce single-use plastics in the industry, including commentary on the
    environmental impact prevented, such as waste diverted from landfills/incineration/environment or
    avoided entirely.
  • Monitor the percent of startups that complete the program with a demonstrated path towards
    sustained and scaling of impact, including measuring early-stage operating metrics such as continued partnerships and MOUs, public recognition, team growth, funding secured, etc.

Our applications came from: 

Any Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) based in India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, that support and build capacity in entrepreneurs and startups, including university and public incubators, accelerators, venture builders, etc.

Their projects will:

Support 76 startups to reduce plastic waste, specifically in the F&B industry.

Each project will last for:

About 6 months long from start to end, including selecting startups and piloting solutions with F&B partners to the collection of endline data and project outcomes.

Overall project deliverables:

Each project must onboard a cohort of startups (prioritizing solutions with digital and climate relevance), provide capacity building and pilot ventures’ solutions with a F&B partner. The project must also measure the volume of plastics reduced through the ventures, behavioral changes, and related metrics.

  • Project and startup funding from a pool of US$500,000
  • Dedicated mentors and technical assistance to project
  • Securing partnerships with Food and Beverage industry partners to pilot solutions
  • Cohort learning with other Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs)

This challenge is sponsored by SecondMuse Foundation, implemented by The Incubation Network and funded by the PREVENT Waste Alliance, 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.

The Cohort

  • Climate Collective Foundation

  • GoMassive Incubators Pvt Ltd

  • Instellar

  • Villgro Philippines

    • Seedstars


    • Schoolab

    • Evergreen Labs (EGL)


Program Timeline

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