Edible coffee cup startup Uuvipak wins $50,000 prize in Nespresso circular economy competition

4 Nov 2022
Andy and Shafali posing with their products
Andy Epifani (left) and Dr Shafali Gupta (right).

A Brisbane company aiming to produce edible coffee cups from flour byproducts is the first winner of Nespresso’s StartCup competition, earning $50,000 to fund its circular economy vision.

Uuvipak, founded by UQ alumni and cellular and molecular biologist Dr Shafali Gupta and developer Andy Epifani, earned the top award at Nespresso StartCup award night, held on Thursday in Sydney.

The early-stage company claims it can upcycle materials otherwise wasted in the grain flour production cycle for use in fully edible cups, bowls and plates.

Products made from this “magic powder” are vegan and 100% biodegradable, Uuvipak says. Importantly for coffee-drinkers, the company also says its cups are capable of holding hot beverages for up to 14 hours before disintegrating.

Uuvipak joins Australian startups like Good Edi in the edible coffee cup game, as manufacturers find novel solutions to the problem of excess packaging waste.

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This article was originally published on SmartCompany.

Uuvipak participated in the 2022 ilab Accelerator program. During the three-month program Shafali and Andy received mentorship and $10,000 to accelerate their startup.