Sustainable Brands® Announces 2014 Innovation Open Semi-finalists

Ten environmental and social-impact entrepreneurs will compete for top honors at global startup competition
Apr 17, 2014 10:00 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Sustainable Brands® recently announced 10 semi-finalists selected to compete during the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) startup competition at SB’14 San Diego June 2-5th. Presented by Target and co-sponsored by PRé Sustainability, this competition attracts world-changing entrepreneurial teams who are working hard to leverage the power of business and brands to solve pressing environmental and social concerns.

The 2014 SBIO semi-finalists include:

· Akwamag – water softening technology that prevents scaling at low cost while stopping water waste, eliminating salt contamination, and alleviating the maintenance hassles associates with salt-based water softeners.

· Amazi – a location-based app to locate water from filters, fountains and faucets to fill reusable bottles. 

· CREW – a distribution system that can leverage to tens of thousands of social enterprises, green businesses and appropriate technologies, while empowering millions of people to be part of the solution and creating "distributed capitalism."

· FoodLoop – platform for a sustainable and optimized supply chain with an app where retailers can automatically market high-quality fresh food at discounted-pricing, as the best-before dates draw closer in near real-time. Consumers will receive bargain offers pushed directly on their smartphones.

· Okeanos – next-generation, ultra-efficient desalination microtechnology to address our planet’s chronic and increasingly alarming fresh water shortages.

· Servergy – the CleanTech Server® reduces global datacenters’ server energies, cooling, space, weight, water and carbon footprints by up to 90% or more.

· SupplyShift – enables companies with large supply chains to understand their supply chain sustainability and social responsibility, reduce risk, build shared value with their suppliers, and incentivize supplier improvement.

· Sustainably Fresh Systems – freezing, air freight and plastic packaging with preservative-free, FDA-approved, Controlled-Atmosphere technology that enables customers to deliver and sell fresher fish, meats and meals safely, at lower-cost and more sustainably.

· World Panel – developed a portable and expandable solar panel that charges phones and other devices as fast as a wall plug. The products are developed in Africa specifically for African communities.

· Raffle For Good – an online fundraising platform for organizations to raise money through an interactive, skill-based raffle system.

The distinguished panel of judges includes KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands, Andrew Winston, well-known author and founder of The Big Pivot and Winston Eco-Strategies, and senior executives from Target, Fenton Communications, PRé Sustainability, and YouNoodle, the technology provider. Semi-finalists receive a full conference pass to SB’14 San Diego 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 2,500 business and brand leaders attending the conference and Activation Hub. The winner will receive cash and in-kind prizes, consultancy time with PRé Sustainability experts, 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, and 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 3rd. 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 Target Consumer Products prize. The consumer product 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 their business case and model.

Further information about SB’14 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.