Beyond the Bag Ideas Phase Submission Questions

Participants are welcome to submit solutions through one of three submission channels:

1) Publicly Viewable Submission Channel

For those innovators who wish to opt-in to posting on the public platform, please select the "Publicly Viewable" submission channel, which will be available on starting August 3rd.

2) Non-Publicly Viewable Submission Channel

For those innovators who wish to opt out of posting on the public platform, please select the "Non-Public" submission channel, which will be available on starting August 3rd.

3) Non-public Advanced Solutions Submission Channel

Later-stage, established companies with standing relationships with Consortium Partners or similar retailers and who have ready-to-scale solutions, who wish to submit non-publicly as an Advanced Solution may fill out this survey to see if they qualify. This submission track should only be considered by existing, large-scale companies, and participants will be required to demonstrate market/scale-readiness and sustainability.

Submission Questions

Solution Title

Solution Summary

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Website  (if applicable)

What is the current stage of development of your solution?
  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring a solution, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users. If your solution is early stage, not a fully formed solution, apply here to meet a co-founder, a technical team, or other innovators who may be able to help you take your solution from vision to reality: Note: This does not impact your evaluation as there are several award tiers, but helps us better support you. 
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing the solution through these tests.
  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your solution, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.
  • Full-scale roll-out: You have developed a pilot, tested, and analyzed the impact of that pilot as it pertains to the problem scope. You are ready to expand the pilot significantly and begin to scale.
  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this solution as a business.
  • Advanced Solution: You are an established company with a standing relationship with a Consortium Partner(s) or similar retailers and have a ready-to-scale solution.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept

Full description

Please explain your concept in depth, including how this solution will work from a technical standpoint. We will be looking for concepts that are on their way to meeting plastic bag performance, integrate with large retailers, and exceed plastic bag sustainability scores [Evaluation Criteria]. Please see our Additional Resources to help you get started. During the Ideas Phase, we will be seeking to clearly understand your submission, how it works from a technical standpoint, and review early evidence of concept development, user testing and prototyping. 

This solution addresses which of the following:

Point of sale checkout

In-store pickup

Local delivery from retailer

Innovative materials

Reusable models

Bagless solutions


How does this solution integrate into retail environments or delivery systems?

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Please explain how users, for example customers, cashiers, delivery people, and others, will benefit from your solution, and how? Be specific. Please explain how users will interact with and benefit from your solution, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your solution. Include evidence of user testing and research.

How does or might your solution meet or exceed the performance of the single-use plastic bag?

Please share any evidence you have of your solutions ability to support of up to 22 lbs and carried a distance of more than 175 feet. How does your solution support accessibility and inclusivity for shoppers? 

How does this solution impact / improve workflows for stakeholders (e.g. cashiers, stocking staff)?

For example, how will the solution improve or impact the timing and workflows for store staff and cashiers as compared to a single use plastic bag?

What additional benefits might the solution provide to stakeholders (retailers and customers alike)?

Might it create opportunities for new types of marketing, or attract new customers and foot traffic?

How is your solution scalable across retail environments?

Store set-up and the goods to be transported home vary from not only between individual stores but between retail brands. Describe how your solution can or could evolve to be appropriate across this variety.

What regions will your solution be applicable in?  

Recovery infrastructure, potential raw materials, and consumer behavior differ around the world. As you are designing and considering rollout, where is your solution most applicable from a recoverability , sourcing, and consumer behavior standpoint?

How is your solution recoverable?

At end of use or end of life, what happens to your solution? What recovery infrastructure would it rely on to ensure its materials don’t end up in a landfill? Be specific.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution? 

For example: "Solution uses ethically sourced materials and has acquired FSC certifications." "Solution incorporates non-petroleum based feedstock.” If you have life cycle assessment data to share, such as on materials, carbon emissions, or water use, please share it here. If not, please share your thoughts on potential environmental impact and mitigation.

In what ways does or might your solution prompt behavior change amongst stakeholders, including retail staff and customers? How will your solution successfully design for this change?

What unintended consequences can you foresee unfolding from your solution, and how might you mitigate them?

What health and safety concerns might your solution raise, and how are you considering addressing them?

Please upload a business model canvas or plan.

Submissions present a business plan that clearly demonstrates a pathway to scale. For those who don’t have a formal business plan, please use the business model canvas. We strongly encourage all participants to complete a canvas.

What are the biggest challenges you're facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

For example; R&D support, market access, support with scaling, consumer adoption, etc.

Mentorship needs (please select up to 3)

If selected to advance to the Accelerator, you will be matched with a mentor to support your ongoing progress. What type of support do you most need from a mentor? Select up to 3. 

Business Model Development

Materials and Technical Development

Engineering and Manufacturing

Supply Chain

Sustainability and Recoverability

Waste and Infrastructure

Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping

Retail Operations/Flow

Branding / Marketing and Storytelling

Growth and Scaling


Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

In what city are you located?

Please state only the city in which you are located. 

In what country are you located?

Please state only the country in which you are located. 

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

It could be, for instance, LLC, B or C-Corp, Partnership, Sole Proprietor etc.

Please describe how becoming a Winner will support the growth of your concept.

Please describe how becoming a Winner, working with Consortium Partners, and potentially  joining the post-Challenge business Accelerator will help to accelerate your solution. How will you utilize the funding provided? Please state your goals and how you will define success following the business Accelerator, including what key steps or tests you would take moving forward.

How did you hear about the Challenge?
Is your company a diverse supplier, MBE, WBE, VBE?

Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE)

Hispanic-Owned Business Enterprise (HOBE)

Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOS)

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprise (VDOBE)

Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE)

LGBTQ-Owned Business Enterprise (LGBTQE)

8(A) Certification

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone)

If your company is certified as a diverse supplier, MBE, WBE, VBE, or other, please attach or link a copy of your certification (if applicable).

Do you feel like your organization or team is actively equitable or anti racist? What are some examples of this?

For more details about the Beyond the Bag Challenge, go back to the Challenge Brief.