Press Release
Sustainable Brands® Opens Entry for Startup Business Competition at SB’14 San Diego

SAN FRANCISCO, February 20, 2014 – Sustainable Brands® recently opened entry for the internationally known startup business competition Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO), which will take place at the SB’14 San Diego conference, June 2-5 2014. This competition, presented and sponsored by Target, brings together a diverse group of new startups with innovative and disruptive plans to embed sustainability into their businesses, and whose leaders are looking to gain exposure and build their networks.

Sustainable Brands® will accept entries for SBIO until Monday, March 17, 2014. A panel of expert judges, including an investor and communications expert, an environmental strategist, and a Target executive, will choose and announce 10 semifinalists on Friday, April 4th. Before that, during the week of March 18-25, a shortlist of the entries will be featured in a public poll on the Sustainable Brands® website. Members of the Sustainable Brands® community will vote for who they want to see at the conference—4,500 public votes were submitted last year. The winner will be awarded an eleventh semifinalist spot.

All 11 semifinalists will receive exhibit space to participate in the Activation Hub and meet judges, investors, potential customers, and other thought leaders. Four finalists, selected by the judges, will pitch to the full SB’14 San Diego audience on June 4th. A live vote will be held to pick a People’s Choice Winner and the judges will choose the overall SB’14 Innovation Open Winner. On top of the invaluable networking and exposure opportunities, the overall winner will be granted $5,000 and access to any SB event in the next 3 years, among other prizes to be announced later. Judges will choose finalists based on creativity, team quality, economic scalability, and disruptive innovation.

This year’s Innovation Open will also have a new category and winner for startups focused on consumer products. Selected by the judges, the winner of the Target Consumers Award will receive a $1,000 Target gift card and free, strategic consultation from Target’s sustainability and merchandising teams to strengthen the winner’s business case and model.

“The Innovation Open gathers entrepreneurs from diverse disciplines who go beyond the innovative and into the disruptive,” says KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “The exposure that startups gain from the event is beneficial to their own endeavors, but the ideas presented through the competition and conversation also help more established brands in attendance reach their sustainability goals. These leaders find first access to fresh, new business ventures and can potentially create new partnerships that will lead to a more flourishing future.”

To submit an entry and view more information and examples of past finalists, visit the SB Innovation Open 2014 web page.

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.


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