What is a Circular Economy Hackathon (CEHack2023)?

A Circular Economy Hackathon is a purpose-driven, collaborative event designed to harness the collective intelligence of diverse participants in addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with advancing circular economy principles. The concept of a circular economy is grounded in sustainable practices, emphasizing the regenerative use of resources, minimizing waste, and fostering the continuous circulation of materials. During the hackathon, multidisciplinary teams, comprising innovators, designers, engineers, and business professionals, converge to ideate, prototype, and develop innovative solutions that align with the core tenets of the circular economy.

The hackathon typically commences with the identification of specific challenges or problem areas related to resource use, waste management, and environmental sustainability. Participants are then organized into teams, each tasked with proposing novel solutions that integrate circular economy principles. These principles may include strategies such as product life extension, material recycling, waste reduction, and the implementation of circular business models. Throughout the event, participants engage in a structured and time-limited process, employing methodologies like design thinking and rapid prototyping to transform conceptual ideas into tangible solutions. 

The emphasis is on fostering creativity, collaboration, and a systemic approach to problem-solving, with the goal of generating innovative and implementable concepts that promote sustainability within diverse industries. The outcomes of a Circular Economy Hackathon often include prototypes, business models, and technology-driven solutions that align with circular economy principles. These outcomes have the potential to drive positive environmental, social, and economic impacts by influencing industries to adopt more sustainable practices and embrace circular economy thinking. Overall, a Circular Economy Hackathon serves as a dynamic platform for the co-creation of solutions that contribute to a more resilient and regenerative global economy.




Hackathon participants: The hackathon will bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, students, designers, developers, industry leaders and other creators to collaborate and work on innovative ideas for starting a new business or improving an existing one.


Provided resources: The imvelisi Enviropreneurs Portal will serve as a strategic knowledge resource during the hackathon. Moreover participants will have access to the necessary resources, such as internet connectivity, hardware, software, and mentorship support.


Goals and objectives: The purpose of this hackathon is to challenge young innovators to generate new green business ideas, develop prototypes, and solve circular economy related challenges.


Hackathon platform and promotion: Throughout the hackathon period Sonke platform will serve as a critical avenue for communication with your team members, mentors and coordinators. Marketing and promotion will be done both via the festival webpage as well as social media platforms and traditional channels. HASH TAG #SBFHack2023 & #SBF2023


Format and rules: The hackathon will be conducted both in person and online with collaboration being a critical ingredient. The rules and guidelines for participation, including team sizes, project scope, and judging criteria will be provided via Sonke platform. Evaluation and reward: A judging process used to evaluate the projects developed during the hackathon will be found on Sonke. Moreover top performers participants will be recognized and rewarded, through cash prizes, incubation opportunities, or other forms of support.


Developing African green businesses: This hackathon was conceptualised to create a pipeline of Enviropreneurs that can be supported through incubation support and mentorship. Facilitating networking: it was created to facilitate opportunities for participants to network and collaborate with each other. This will be rolled out through social events, providing designated spaces for team discussions, and facilitating mentorship sessions.

WHEN?: 1-3 December 2023

Venue and date: The hackathon will take place at the Startup Business Campus, The Mills, 5th Floor, 66 Carr Street, Newtown Precinct, Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday, 1st to Sunday, 3rd November 2023.

What happens after a startup business festival hackathon?

Follow-up and support: After the hackathon, provide on-going support to the participants who wish to further develop their ideas or start their businesses. This can include mentorship, access to funding, or connections to relevant networks. Top solutions winners are given awesome prizes and high potential teams are invited to venture building studios organised by the Startup Business Campus together with its ecosystem partners. After a startup business festival hackathon, there are several steps that participants will be supported to take in order to further develop their ideas and turn them into viable businesses: Refine the idea: Take the time to refine and iterate on the initial idea developed during the hackathon. Consider feedback received during the event and conduct further market research to validate the idea’s potential. Validate the idea:

Conduct market validation to ensure that there is a demand for the product or service. This will involve gathering feedback from potential customers, conducting surveys, or running pilot tests. Build a prototype: Develop a functional prototype of the product or service to showcase its features and capabilities. This will help attract potential investors, partners, or customers. Create a business plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines the value proposition, target market, revenue model, marketing strategy, and financial projections for the startup. This plan will serve as a roadmap for the future development of the business. Seek funding: Explore different funding options, such as angel investors, venture capital firms, crowd funding platforms, or government grants. Prepare a compelling pitch and present it to potential investors to secure the necessary funding for the startup business.