Sustainable Brands Open Innovation ’12 Features Creative Social Enterprises

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The Sustainable Brands (SB) Conference will be held on June 4-7 in San Diego, CA.  The SB Conference in its 6th year brings together people from corporations, startups, NGOs and many other organizations.  Over a 1000 attendees are scheduled to attend SB ’12.  

The attendees will have an opportunity to choose from over 180 speakers in workshops, group discussions, plenaries, and evening events.  A Program Overview can be found here.

What is Sustainable Brands?

Sustainable Brands is the global learning, collaboration, and commerce community committed to replenishing the world through better brands. Sustainable Brands offers news and views from thought and practice leaders, online and live events, a robust resource library, peer-to-peer learning groups, E-learning, and a set of solutions providers for corporate brand and sustainability professionals, social entrepreneurs and the eco-system of supporting value partners. Sustainable Brands is a production of Sustainable Life Media, located in San Francisco CA.

In addition to the plethora of workshops, group discussions, and other events the attendees will be able to attend the Finals for the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open.

What is the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open?

Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SB Innovation Open) is a business plan competition unlike any other. It is a showcase of creativity, innovative thinking and solution based approaches that seek to make a significant environmental, social and economic impact within the business world. In addition, it fosters collaboration between early stage eco-entrepreneurs and executives from some of the most influential brands in the industry, as well as socially responsible investors who can help take their ideas to the next level.

For the past 4 years the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) has showcased socially, economically and ecologically conscious companies. Ben Pawsey, SB Innovation Open Manager, took the time to talk about SBIO ’12. This is Ben’s first year managing SBIO, he has been a part of Sustainable Life Media for a few years managing design and website projects.

The purpose of SBIO is to “showcase the next generation of sustainable brands…show what the future holds.”  If you look over the list of Finalists they include everything from shared wifi (think airbnb for wifi) to products that filter water (like a big Britta) to connecting people to solar projects they can invest in and more.  All submissions for SBIO must fall within one of two criteria (info from SBIO):

  • The Idea Phase: the applicant has a complete business plan but no more than $100,000 of capital invested into the venture so far.
  • Post-Launch Phase: The venture is operational and has some early operating metrics to share.

This is the first year SBIO has partnered with GOOD Maker to get the online community to select one of the Finalists.  “GOOD Maker was only open for two weeks but received 30 entries and over 2600 online votes.” The same submission criteria applied. Ben states that engaging the online community has been a positive experience. People voted in their 1000’s for a winner and we are pleased to announce the winner is Sea Level- A patent pending product engineered to increase ancillary revenue for the airline industry by creating a new advertising medium on in-flight plastic drinking cups made with post-consumed materials.

The SBIO Judges represent all areas of sustainability –

“We have a variety of perspectives from…big company perspective and sustainable supply chain…to entrepreneur.  When forming the panel we have a huge community to reach out to who would be willing to participate.”

Some of the Judges from last year are back this year.  Returning Judges provided Ben and his team valuable feedback as a result the finalist pitch section will include a one-on-one session.  A speed dating type format where the Judges have time to ask each company more questions.  The session will not be Live Streamed but the Final Pitch with the 4 Finalists will be Live Streamed and you can register to watch here.  Like the previous year you can participate in selecting the People’s Choice Award winner.

Last year’s winner One World Futbol happens to be attending the Conference and will be providing an update at the SBIO ’12.  This year’s SBIO winner will win a pass to SB ’13, in addition to other prizes.  All the SBIO ’12 Finalists will be on hand after the Final winner is announced on Wednesday June 6, 2012.  If you are interested in connecting, helping, or finding out more about all the Finalists stop by their booth and say hello.

Ben’s parting words for our community are “Hope they all enter next year.

Details on how to enter  SBIO ’13 will available early in 2013, check the Sustainable Brands site for more info.