Businesses on the Runway to Circularity

What do a compostable T-shirt, sustainable pallets, building materials made from bottle tops, remote monitoring of compost, and a system for reusable coffee cups all have in common? 

They’re graduates from the recent Runway Circular Economy Business Growth Program (Ready Set Grow), delivered in partnership with Circular Economy Victoria (CEV) and the Regional Innovation for a Circular Economy network (RICE). 


  • Applications now open, closing September 30 for program commencing October 11. For more information and program details, please contact David Spear at Runway on davids@runwayhq.co 

‘Using the proven skills and techniques applied by successful start-ups and scaleups from all over the world, businesses have learnt to find new circular economy growth opportunities, overcome barriers to growth, test their emerging growth plans and get set to take their best ideas to market’ said David Spear, the program’s co-facilitator and Head of Partnerships and Ecosystems at Runway. 

Kelly Thomas, founder of The Compostable Designer invented a process to produce compostable clothing and has used the Program to test and refine the business model required to take her innovation successfully to market.  

‘I knew I had a great product and sustainable production process to help tackle the massive environmental damage done by the fashion industry, but my solution was a bit stuck looking for a market to activate growth’ she said. ‘The Runway Circular Economy Program helped me find ways to unlock this problem and really get my business going’ she continued.

Patrick Blampied and Raj Pandita from Sequence Digital have built a robust remote sensing device for use monitoring the quality, risk, and safety of large-scale compost production processes. 

‘Truly understanding the customer problem and how to quickly test and validate your idea against the circular economy framework saves precious time in our fight against Climate Change, moving to meaningful action faster – that is the value of this course,’ said Patrick. ‘The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021 report is depressing reading, but we must face up to it with immediate, radical action towards a circular economy,’ he said

General Manager of B-Alternative, James McLennan focused on refining his sustainable hospitality product offering and staff training services to reduce environmental impacts. 

‘It gave B-Alternative the tools, knowledge and skills to identify and evolve new circular economy opportunities by evaluating the gap between our business and the external environment,’ said James. ‘The content was fantastic and very tangible to problem-solving. It was also great having the facilitators and other participants to throw around ideas and questions during the process, which really supported my learning’ he added.

Stacey Lincoln from Rolling Pin Bakery also found the program content, collaboration and knowledge sharing very valuable. 

‘It was the kick start our business needed to get to the core of what our customers really want from us. We’re now armed with the tools to take our business forward focusing on circular economy principles,’ Stacey said. ‘We were so impressed by the Facilitators’ abilities to make the session about you and your business. We can’t rave enough about how great that was!’ she concluded.

RICE is a newly formed not-for-profit working to catalyse circular economy innovation in the Barwon South West region of Victoria. Its focus is on capability building and assisting businesses to take practical steps to circularity. A grant from Cleantech Innovations Geelong allowed RICE to subsidise up to 20 local businesses to participate in the first two rounds of the Program. 

RICE will subsidise up to 10 more businesses to participate in the Runway Circular Economy Business Growth Program (Get READY) commencing in October. 

The Program is implemented in three key stages that build on each other to reduce risk and steadily accelerate businesses towards their Circular Economy goals. These include: 

  • Get READY: Evaluating the gap between the business and external environment, and identifying a new circular economy opportunity – completed in 20 hours over 2 weeks – 11, 13, 15, 19 and 21 October (10am to 12pm) 

Graduates may also like to apply for subsequent stages… 

  • Get SET: Validating, testing and refining the new circular economy growth opportunity and building it into the business model ready to activate – completed in 15 hours over 2 weeks; 
  • GROW: Executing the validated business model to activate circular economy growth plans with support from industry experts and Runway’s wider global networks – completed over two to three months progressively working on the business. 

This is a highly practical and applied program where you will work on your business in real time, delivered via a hybrid model of online content in presented in Open Learning and facilitated group sessions via Zoom. 

Applications are now open (closing September 30) for the Get READY program sessions commencing 11 October. For more information and program details, please contact David Spear at Runway on davids@runwayhq.co