University of Texas at Austin
Crum auditorium in Rowling Hall at University of Texas.

Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge

What is the Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge

The Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge (TSIC) is a program and pitch competition meant to prepare the next generation of innovators to create sustainable, world changing start-ups.  TSIC is your one-stop-shop to learn about sustainable impact, develop a social or environmental business, and join a community of changemakers!  

The Global Sustainability Leadership Institute, in partnership with Bumble, launched TSIC as the largest cross-campus social entrepreneurship pitch competition in the Spring of 2020, and will continue with a second cohort in the 2020-2021 school year. $10,000+ will be available at the UT-Austin competition, and another $50,000 will be available to the TSIC winners through the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge.

Want to learn more? Flip through our information session slide deck or watch this information session!

Ready to register? Join us here! Register by 2/19/2021. 

The Program:

  1. This competition is an outlet for those interested in social and environmental innovation. You can join as an individual or a team. You do NOT have to already have a venture or an idea, but if you do, you are also welcome to apply!
  2. The Global Sustainability Leadership Institute is providing FREE social entrepreneurship curriculum and workshops to participants! If you sign up, you will get access to online modules, workshops, and socials with students from across campus.
  3. Thinking of registering, but want to learn more? Come to our October 23rd design thinking workshop! Register here.
  4. The pitch competition will be on April 24th-25th. However, participants will have two internal milestones to meet in the Spring to ensure they are ready for the competition.
  5. The top two teams from TSIC will attend the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge in June 2021 for a chance to win $50,000 in funding!

Competition Goals:

  • Build a community of socially and environmentally conscious innovators
  • Develop ubiquitous skills such as systems thinking, impact measurement, and pitching
  • Support students’ career exploration through experiential learning and mentorship
  • Break down campus departmental silos and support interdisciplinary entrepreneurship

Competition Eligibility:

  • Must have at least one UT-Austin student on the company’s founding team.
  • Must register by 2/2/2021 and attend at least one Spring workshop.
  • Must complete Spring quarter-final submission requirements:
    • 2/19/2021
      Systems infographic (challenge, existing solutions, gaps)
      Summary of problem and system surrounding it (5 pages)
    • 3/26/2021
      Business canvas and summary
      2-minute pitch video
  • Top teams selected to move to live 10 minute pitches 4/24 and 4/25
  • Deliverable examples on FGSIC website and Canvas

Competition Format:

TSIC Schedule for 2020-2021


The Graduate Student Assembly’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Agency and Blackstone LaunchPad will serve as a campus partners for the Spring 2021 competition. We thank them for their support!

View the 2021 TSIC Participants

Experts in Residence

Director, Product & Innovation Strategy at Dell

Rakesh Apte

Director, Product & Innovation Strategy at Dell

Victoria Bloise Headshot

Victoria Bloise

North America Segment Director of EVBox

Meeta Kothare

Managing Director

Assistant Director of Corporate Relations at The McCombs School of Business

Camille Moughon

Assistant Director of Corporate Relations at The McCombs School of Business

John Thornborrow Headshot

John Thornborrow

Founder of Austin Impact Capital and CVO of Design Run Group