Sustainable Brands Announces 2015 Innovation Open Semi-finalists

Eleven environmental and social-impact entrepreneurs will contend for top honors at global startup competition
Apr 27, 2015 10:00 AM ET
Sustainable Brands Innovation Open

SAN FRANCISCO, April 27, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Sustainable Brands® recently announced 11 semi-finalists to compete at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) startup competition presented by Target. The competition, culminating at SB’15 San Diego, June 1-4th, attracts world-changing entrepreneurial teams with unique ideas to solving some of the world’s pressing environmental and social concerns.

The 2015 SBIO semi-finalists include:

  • AquaProFeed – introduces high-grade protein feed for the global animal feed industry using black soldier flies that provide a truly sustainable alternative to fishmeal and soymeal.
  • Baby Hero – (Selected by Public Vote) provides fair-trade, organic, ethically-made baby clothes that fund a Neonatal Survival Kit for babies in the most underdeveloped parts of the world and will reduce mortality by 40-50% in those regions.
  • Bitty Foods – delivers high protein foods powered by cricket flour.
  • Blue Box Air – introduces a new air filter that reduces a company’s air filtration costs by 50% and reduces their filter CO2 supply chain footprint and filter landfill waste stream by 80%.
  • Blue Planet Ink – printer ink that disappears after a few days so the same paper can be used over and over again, perfect for copy paper and temporary printing.
  • Lanza Tech - enables regional production of low-cost energy by capturing carbon from gases as varied as industrial flue gas, gasified biomass wastes and residues, or biogas and CO2 streams resulting in a growing portfolio of low carbon commodity chemicals, omega-3 fatty acids, ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, including jet fuel.
  • MyKavach - a Bluetooth enabled SOS accessory (fashion bracelets, pendants, pins and keychains) for women that would instantly notify the authorities and well-wishers at the touch of their fingers.
  • Servli - "Expedia for foodservice" - an effortless way to connect chefs to all their local suppliers with just one click.
  • Stuffstr - powers the Circular Economy by maximizing the value of every retail purchase by capturing key product information at checkout, tracking each item's resale value, and helping people easily repair, resell, donate, or recycle their stuff; provides retailers with precisely-timed re-engagement opportunities and unprecedented product lifecycle data.
  • Treedom – a social technology firm aiming to fight deforestation by engaging individuals and companies in fun and transparent tree planting campaigns.
  • YOGO - yoga mats with several design improvements that make them more compact, convenient, clean and grippy; made with sustainable, low-waste materials and create a positive impact in forests and forest communities through their restoration initiative.

Presented by Target and co-sponsored by Sprint and Sicasoft, SBIO features a distinguished panel of judges including: KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands; Wood Turner, VP of Equilibrium Capital; Entrepreneur Neil Grimmer, Plum Organics; Thomas Odenwald, Sr. Vice President, SAP; Mary Jo Cook of Fair Trade USA, plus Fenton Communications, Sicasoft, Sprint, YouNoodle and select Target representatives. Semi-finalists receive a full conference pass to SB’15 San Diego where they will pitch their business plans to a group of social and sustainable investors, executives from leading companies, top brand consultancies and nearly 2,500 business and brand leaders attending the conference and Activation Hub. The winner will receive cash and in-kind prizes, consultancy time with Fenton, and exposure to members of the global Sustainable Brands community.

“The Innovation Open aims to catalyze the progress of moving businesses towards a more flourishing future through innovation,” says Ben Pawsey, Executive Producer at Sustainable Brands. “These entrepreneurs venture beyond innovation and seek to disrupt - the Sustainable Brands community embraces that passion. The ideas that will come from these contenders will spark conversations to drive environmental and social impact.”

Business plan pitches will run back-to-back beginning Tuesday, June 2nd. Four finalists will then be selected to present on the main stage the following day, which will be broadcast worldwide through the conference live stream.

This year’s competition also features the SBIO’15 ‘Target Award’. The consumer product or service startup that wins this prize will receive a $1,000 Target gift card and strategic consultation from Target’s sustainability and merchandizing teams to strengthen the winner’s business model.

Further information about SB’15 San Diego, 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.