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Press Release
Sustainable Brands Announces 2017 SB Innovation Open Winner

  Detroit Ento wins startup competition at SB’17 Detroit  

Detroit Ento wins startup competition at SB’17 Detroit

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2017 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced Detroit Ento as the winner of the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) startup competition, co-sponsored by Whirlpool and with technology provided by YouNoodle and awards provided by Rivanna Natural Designs. The competition, culminating at SB’17 Detroit, May 22-25, attracted world-changing entrepreneurial teams with unique ideas to solving some of the world’s pressing environmental and social concerns.

Detroit Ento specializes in the production/processing of insect proteins and byproducts for food, feed and pharmaceuticals. The company works with local schools in Detroit to hire and build Ag-tech and manufacturing skills development for local Detroiters. They hope that their food model will be more sustainable in the short term, but also that their model will equip the next generation to take on the diverse challenges of food production and population growth.

The ten additional 2017 SBIO semi-finalists included:

  • Bluon Energy – creates an R-22 replacement refrigerant that increases energy efficiency and extends the life of existing HVAC-R equipment.
  • eKutir Global PBC – uses digital technologies and artificial intelligence to identify and train community agents that will help connect markets, finance and knowledge to small farmers.
  • Full Cycle Bioplastics – mitigates plastic pollution by making compostable bioplastic, PHA, from mixed organic and cellulosic waste.
  • GoPure Water Purifier – presenting their GoPure Pod, a portable, cork-sized and re-usable purification device that absorbs contaminants found in ordinary tap water. The POD remains effective for 2,000 uses in a standard liter water bottle.
  • Immotor, LLC – produces intelligent and safe modular battery solutions, including the GO: a sleek, ultra-compact, multi-functional electric personal vehicle.
  • NewGen Surgical, Inc. – develops and manufactures sustainably designed, single-use medical devices and surgical products, with the hope of minimizing plastic waste in the O.R.
  • RAPPORT - gives enterprises access to environmental impact data locked in hidden parts of their supply chain while also communicating to suppliers real-time impact data and best practices to cut costs and carbon.
  • Totem Power – offering a platform that combines solar, energy storage and EV charging with 4G/5G/Wifi communications for modern campuses and cities.
  • toxnot PBC – facilitates company transparency about the chemicals they use and their impact through design tools, client communications and supply chain intelligence so companies can promote and sell better products.
  • Verb – helps companies develop talent through a purpose-driven, online employee engagement platform that provides employees with personalized learning connected to impact.

The Regen Ag Summit at SB Brand-Led Culture Change

Hear the latest case studies, partnerships, innovations and educational initiatives fostering the continued growth, scale and impacts of regenerative agriculture throughout the world - Thurs, May 9, at Brand-Led Culture Change.

The 11 semi-finalists pitched their business plans before attendees and a panel of judges on Tuesday, May 23rd. Of those, 4 finalists were selected to deliver their pitches before the full SB audience and on the main stage. They were Detroit Ento, Bluon Energy, Totem Power and Full Cycle Bioplastics. Both the panel of judges as well as the SB audience chose Detroit Ento as the SBIO competition winner. They won a ticket to all SB conferences for the next 3 years as well as consultations with both Whirlpool and Ford Motor Company to strengthen their business case/model.

“The Innovation Open aims to recognize innovative tools and solutions that are driving environmental and social impact,” says Riley Scherer, Manager at Sustainable Brands. “These entrepreneurs seek to disrupt, and the Sustainable Brands community embraces that passion. The ideas that will come to light from these contenders will spark conversations and inspiration for even the most advanced brands.”

The SB Innovation Open at SB’17 Detroit was co-sponsored by Whirlpool. YouNoodle was the technology partner and Rivanna Natural Designs was the award provider. Further information about SB’17 Detroit, including the Innovation Open and the Activation Hub, can be found at

About Sustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is hosted by Sustainable Brands Worldwide, a division of Sustainable Life Media headquartered in San Francisco, CA.