Deplastify the Planet

Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

INDENG 190E/290

Class Description

The world is drowning in plastic that we've created, most of which takes hundreds of years to decompose. It is a disaster choking our oceans, poisoning our food chains and clogging our landfills. To solve this problem, we must find ways to replace or at least reduce plastic in manufacturing, to reuse, recycle or re-purpose plastic currently in use, to rescue discarded plastic from oceans or landfills, and to dispose of plastic responsibly.

For this course, we find companies that want to achieve the same and will partner with SCET and Schoolab around this problem. Each company prepares a “deplastify challenge” based on their own business, and will be given student teams that work together to develop an entrepreneurial solution. Supported by representatives from their partner companies, students will work to understand the industry and challenge, then design prototypes and pitch their final solutions. Past company sponsors include Whole Foods, Faurecia Automotive, Microsoft, Allbirds, Nestle, Recology SF, Method, Bank of the West, Surfrider Foundation, Samsung and more!

The course will cover ethnographic interviewing, design thinking, ideation tools, designing and prototyping products, validation with customer feedback, and business modeling.


Students from all majors, both undergraduate and graduate are welcome. Preference will be given to masters-level students, seniors and juniors with experience or demonstrated interest in corporate innovation, intrapreneurship, startups, product & process design and sustainability. In order to form the class with the appropriate mix of students, all students must fill out an application. If you are interested in enrolling in the class, please enroll yourself (or add yourself to the waitlist) AND also submit the application (link below).

Past Projects

See the Schoolab website for examples of past projects from Spring 2020 and Fall 2019.


Mathieu Aguesse

Mathieu Aguesse is the CEO of Schoolab San Francisco, a global innovation studio. Mathieu is also a lecturer at UC Berkeley, teaching the Deplastify the Planet class at the Sutardja Center. At Schoolab, Mathieu has also served as a Corporate Program Manager and Open Innovation Program Director, helping to build an ecosystem to design and deliver great innovations to market. Mathieu was also a co-founder of his own award-winning startup, Ecoop, which creates a direct to consumers marketplace for organic and independent farmers, leveraging a community-oriented supply chain solution based on gamification and algorithms. Mathieu's educational background includes degrees in engineering design and business.



Deplastify the Planet is a one-of-a-kind project-based class offered jointly by the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET) and Schoolab, a global innovation studio, where students work with real-world companies with a single goal in mind – ‘deplastify’ the planet.

Current Projects



How might we create an elevated experience for packaging free soaps distribution in the US?



How might we help restaurants to eliminate polluting systems for their to go beverages in order to get the Ocean Friendly Restaurant label from Surfriders?



How might we use Microsoft Services & Technology to reduce the plastic pollution?



How might we find clever ways to recycle cross-linked materials from the foam of soles shoes into valuable products that have an equal or lower carbon footprint than the first life?

BOTW-BNPP Logo (.jpg format)

Bank of the West

Help a client, Crystal Geyser, Alpine spring water transitioning to a non polluting successful model.

Circular Economy Focus

How might we create public policies for a city to encourage circular economy systems?

Circular Economy Focus

Take an iconic product such as a plastic bag (or a very high end product) and see how we could create a circular economy model around it.

Circular Economy Focus

How might we boost demand for recycled plastic?

Deplastify Class on Recology San Francisco Tour


View current and previous class offerings of Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Refer to our Courses page for a full list of SCET courses and current class offerings

and our Certificate page for more information on our Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Technology.


Contact SCET Academic Program Manager Michelle Lee at for additional questions.