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Press Release
Sustainable Brands Announces First Look at 2013 Innovation Open Finalists

SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced the twelve semi-finalists selected from over 100 entries received from across the globe to compete at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) business plan competition.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2013 – Sustainable Brands® recently announced the twelve semi-finalists selected from over 100 entries received from across the globe to compete at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) business plan competition. Presented by Target and co-sponsored by Energy Points and Pure Strategies, the 4th annual competition will feature environmentally and socially-conscious entrepreneurs contending for top honors and prizes as part of the Sustainable Brands 2013 conference in San Diego, CA, June 3-6th.

The 2013 SBIO semi-finalists include:

  • Fenugreen – produces a low-cost, compostable paper infused with only organic spices that keeps produce fresh 2-4 times longer
  • LaborVoices – gathers real-time information on working conditions in overseas factories, directly from workers’ mobile phones
  • re:char – producers of a low-cost kiln that converts agricultural waste into biochar, a carbon-negative fertilizer
  • Ecopia – produces ECOPLAS®, the first “Fair for Life” certified bio-plastic in the world which is a resin made from tapioca
  • Blue Box – reduces the use of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste streams by 90%+ in the cleaning of industrial systems
  • Refrigerant Revolution® by EOS Climate – a multi-sector stewardship empowering organizations to manage refrigerants throughout their full life cycle
  • Efficiency Exchange – using modern web technology, they are building a better way to improve the efficiency and sustainability of global supply chains
  • Thread – transforms trash in the poorest countries into jobs for poor and exports products consumers love
  • Amplify, Inc. – translates policy research and reform agendas into social change using a three-part product: 1) outcome data and 2) digital storytelling with 3) strategically coordinated grassroots advocacy movements
  • Isidore Electronics Recycling – an electronics recycling company that serves as an on-the-job training and employment program for previously incarcerated people in Los Angeles
  • Back to the Roots Home Aquaponics Garden – makes grow-your-own food tools to educate and inspire kids and adults to learn where food comes from and why it is important
  • PrintEco – a plug-in for Microsoft Office and web browsers, it uses formatted algorithms to print efficiently, saving paper and ink automatically

Eleven semi-finalists were selected by a panel of esteemed judges including executives from Target, Energy Points, Pure Strategies, Mindful Investors, Ashoka’s Changemakers, among others. An additional semi-finalist was selected by popular vote using the technology platform Podium and hosted by YouNoodle. All twelve semi-finalists receive complimentary admission to the SB’13 conference where they will have the chance to pitch their business plans to a group of social and sustainable investors, executives from leading companies, top brand consultancies and nearly 2,000 business and brand leaders attending the conference and Solutions Expo. The winner will receive cash and in-kind prizes, access to executives who specialize in business and law services, mentoring and feedback from prominent thought leaders and exposure to members of the global Sustainable Brands community.

“SB Innovation Open seeks to catalyze the progress and impact of disruptive innovation that leads business down the path toward a sustainable future,” states KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “By seeking out innovative business models, products and services that support positive environmental and social impact, these entrepreneurs are challenging the status quo in business today. Our community will continue to provide leadership and guidance to passionate innovators such as these with breakthrough ideas that contribute to our flourishing future.”

Business plan pitches will run back-to-back beginning Tuesday, June 4th on the Solutions Expo stage at SB’13. Four finalists will then be selected to present on the main stage which will be broadcast worldwide through the conference live stream. More information about the SB Innovation Open, SB’13 and the Solutions Expo can be found on the event website.

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.