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11 Purpose-Driven Startups Poised to Change the World: Meet the 2016 SB Innovation Open Semi-Finalists

Image credit: Niwa

It's time once again for the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) — our annual competition for startups that positively impact people, planet and profit, sponsored by Target — and we’re excited about our 11 semi-finalists in what has been our most competitive selection process yet. This year, we have startups poised to revolutionize several industries, from natural body care products to responsible mineral mining, to repurposing previously wasted food and clothing.

Our semi-finalists are competing for one of four spots in the SBIO finals on June 8 at SB '16 San Diego, where each will pitch their company to our impressive panel of judges and the audience. Finalists will be in the running for one of three prizes: the People’s Choice Award, the Target Award ($1,000 Target gift card, consultation with Target’s Sustainability, Merchandising & Innovation teams and a $10,000 charitable donation by Target) and the Grand Prize (3-year golden SB ticket and a 2-hour consultation with RFIBinder).

The 2016 SBIO Semi-Finalists:

  • Clean Copper Supply Chain Alliance, pbc — provides a network that demands copper that is extracted in a sustainable way
  • Conscious Period — offers organic, BPA-free feminine products that are locally produced to employ low-income women, also operating as a one-for-one service supplying homeless women in the U.S. with feminine products
  • Grubbly Farms — produces protein meal by using fly larvae on food waste, helping to reduce food waste and provide an alternate sustainable source of protein for livestock feed
  • Kizazi —supports a recycling and sustainable microloan fund with 15% of the profits from ethically produced, game-quality soccer balls
  • MediMeals — enables doctors to prescribe a whole-food, plant-based meal program to help treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity
  • NIWA — simplifies the indoor growing process by offering a joint hardware-software platform, encouraging local production of food
  • ReGrained — harvests “spent” beer grain from local craft breweries to produce a high-protein, fiber-filled flour to be used in a wide range of foods, including “Eat Beer” bars in compostable packaging
  • The Renewal Workshop — brings new life into excess inventory and garments deemed “unsellable” from apparel companies or retailers, creating new products that are unique and promoting a circular economy
  • Smart Yields — extends big agricultural data to small and medium-sized farms, helping to increase productivity and reduce risk through a mobile platform
  • Soapberri — provides natural body care products from the soapberry, a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal fruit, giving customers the opportunity to be toxin-free and help the ecosystem
  • Soofa —manufactures solar powered infrastructure aiming to offer sustainable technological solutions to cities around the nation

Siri Andrews was the SB Innovation Open Co-Coordinator for SB'16 San Diego. She is currently a rising senior at the University of Michigan, pursuing her BBA through the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, as well as minors in Scandinavian… [Read more about Siri Andrews]

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