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Press Release
Sustainable Brands Announces 2018 Innovation Open Semi-finalists

Eleven environmental and social-impact entrepreneurs will contend for top honors at global startup competition

SAN FRANCISCO, May 15, 2018 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced 11 semi-finalists to compete at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) startup competition co-sponsored by Makersite and RISN Incubator at Arizona State University. The SBIO competition attracts world-changing entrepreneurial teams with unique ideas to solve some of the world’s pressing environmental and social concerns. Semi-finalists will have the chance to showcase their work to the world’s leading brands, including P&G, Target, Nestlé and Starbucks. The SBIO competition will culminate at SB’18 Vancouver, with a pitch competition on Tuesday, June 5th in the Activation Hub and finals taking place on the mainstage on Wednesday, June 6th.

The 2018 SBIO semi-finalists include:

  • Aquam Technologies LLC - provides technologies for distributed wastewater treatment that can eliminate primary sludge, recover energy as direct electricity, and enable onsite water reuse at low operational costs.
  • good natured Products Inc. - develops, manufactures and distributes over 100 plant-based food packaging designs, 10 grades of bioplastic rollstock sheets and 30 home & business organizational products.
  • UBQ Materials - converts waste into bio-based materials as sustainable feedstocks for manufacturing commercial products.
  • Fixup - repairs household items of all kinds in one convenient place to reduce waste while benefiting the local community.
  • Renewlogy - chemically recycles mixed, contaminated, landfill-bound plastics back to their basic molecular structure in order to make industrial waxes, fuels chemicals, and new plastics.
  • ECOLOO Group - provides an eco-friendly, odorless, waterless, sewage free, energy free, maintenance free, decentralized biological toilet system.
  • Just Vertical - provides vertical hydroponic growing systems that fit beautifully into living spaces and grow an abundance of affordable food.
  • Bubble Net - eliminates 1/3 of the concrete needed to build high-rise condo buildings, drastically reducing CO2 production, globally.
  • HealRWorld - Leverages a unique database of private companies dedicated to ES&G to power products and services for governments, businesses, and socially conscious consumers.
  • Carbon Analytics - automates carbon accounting for companies, enabling them to quickly and easily obtain their carbon footprint, get certified for measuring, and find ways to reduce their impact.
  • Cocoa - transforms organic waste into high quality humus compost, to reduce landfill waste, air, soil and water pollution while increasing crop yields and farmer profits.

SBIO is co-sponsored by Makersite and RISN Incubator at Arizona State University, the technology provider is YouNoodle, and the award provider is Rivanna Designs. SBIO features a distinguished panel of judges including: Alaina Johnson, Corporate Responsibility Lead at Target; Alicia Marseille, Director of RISN Incubator at Arizona State University; Christina Nicholson, Director of Sustainable Innovation at Gap; Christoph Wilfret, Co-founder and CEO of Makersite; Dimitar Vlahov, Director of Content Development at Sustainable Brands; Doug Munk, Director of New Business Ventures at Nestlé; Lewis Perkins, President at Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; Nadya Zhexembayeva, Chief Reinvention Officer at WE EXIST Reinvention Agency; Sandy Skees, Regional Director at BSI; and Shilpa Prasad, Director of Partnerships at YouNoodle. Semi-finalists receive a full conference pass and exhibit space at SB’18 Vancouver where they will pitch their business plans to a group of social and sustainable investors, executives from leading companies, top brand consultancies and nearly 3,000 business and brand leaders attending the conference and Activation Hub. The winner will receive one Golden SB ticket to grant access to all SB conferences in the next three years, an invitation to participate in the next RISN Incubator cohort (if appropriate), a one-year premium subscription to Makersite and, if applicable, a consultation on circular economy with a Makersite expert.

“The Innovation Open semi-finalists built their business models around sustainability, and seek to disrupt their respective industries towards a flourishing future,” says Eda Isik, Innovation Open Coordinator at Sustainable Brands. “The Sustainable Brands community calls on these innovative entrepreneurs for inspiration. We want to provide resources to encourage success and accelerate impact."

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Entrepreneurs pursuing cutting-edge social and environmental initiatives are invited to join the SBIO semi-finalists and other disruptors in the Activation Hub at SB’18 Vancouver. Community passes providing full access to the Activation Hub, Opening Night Ceremony and Opening Night Reception can be purchased on online 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 a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.