2019 ‘Best Lantern for Backpacking’ Helps Protect Survivors of Disaster and Conflict

The partnership between LuminAID and ShelterBox gives light and hope to people displaced around the world. The features that make LuminAID’s products popular among backpackers also make them an essential aid item delivered by international disaster relief organization, ShelterBox.
https://www.prweb.com/releases/2019_best_lantern_for_backpacking_helps_protect_survivors_of_disaster_and_conflict/prweb16345297.htm

Women veterans encouraged to hone their business savvy

Aesop Technologies of Norfolk specializes in next-generation solar-powered technology. Its current focus is called Aesop Nucleus, a miniature solar concentration system meant replace portable power generators and, eventually, commercial solar panels.
https://www.dailypress.com/news/military/dp-nws-women-veterans-summit-20190515-story.html

Wells-Goodfellow Vacant Parcels to Receive $1 Million in Rainscaping, Helping MSD  Meet its Pledge to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The installations will collect and manage about 2.4 million gallons of rainfall each year from a 6.9 acre area, slowing rainwater down and increasing infiltration to improve Mississippi River water quality. This project represents MSD and implementation partner Greenprint Partners’ push for equitable distribution of funds and high-impact rainscaping projects in underinvested areas.
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b1490f731d4dfc24eb042a8/t/5ccb16e2ffd51600010bbb9e/1556813538578/Press+Release_+Vacant+Parcels+to+Receive+%241+Million+in+Rainscaping+Improvements.pdf

How 2 GWU alums are making meals cheaper for students — and bringing local restaurants business

Now they’re positioning their online marketplace to grow, to attack the food waste problem and help students who struggle to regularly afford meals. They recently got a shot in the arm from the New Venture Competition at GW, a pitch contest for resident startups to secure funding. And Last Call cleaned up.
https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2019/04/24/how-2-gwu-alums-are-making-meals-cheaper-for.html

TerViva’s $20 million financing tops recent funding news in Oakland

TerViva BioEnergy makes low-cost, tree-based feedstock for the biodiesel market at 10 percent the cost of corn-based ethanol. It restores productivity to idle agricultural land while generating clean energy, supporting local food production and restoring environmental health. Its non-GMO tree crop can be grown with little or no irrigation and produces oilseeds that are processed into oil for biofuel, plant protein for animal feed or biogas and biomass for baseload electricity generation.
https://abc7news.com/business/tervivas-$20-million-financing-tops-recent-funding-news-in-oakland/5258996/

Big Win at SXSW by Sproutel, Slater and More

“I’m so very proud of our team for both awards, and they represent very different achievements,” said Aaron Horowitz, co-founder and CEO. “For me, the People’s Choice Award means a lot because it was chosen by all of the attendees. I was blown away by so many of the companies and products I saw at SXSW so this award, in particular, was a great honor.”
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-big-win-at-sxsw-by-sproutel-slater-and-more

Keurig Dr Pepper to distribute Runa Clean Energy drink

Runa hopes to build itself into the country’s top natural energy drink — and this partnership could help expedite that goal. Runa immediately gains access to Keurig Dr Pepper’s extensive distribution network. For AMI, working with Keurig Dr Pepper is a familiar one: the soda, water, tea and coffee giant already is a distributor of its Vita Coco coconut water beverage.
https://www.fooddive.com/news/keurig-dr-pepper-to-distribute-runa-clean-energy-drink/551772/

TerViva Raises $20 Million

TerViva, an agriculture technology firm commercializing resilient pongamia trees that produce as much as ten times the beans per acre as soy for the supply of plant protein, vegetable oil, and biofuel raised an additional $20 million in its first close of its Series D funding and current commitments.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/terviva-raises-20-million-in-series-d-to-drive-product-development-and-market-expansion-300818243.html

Making a Difference — and Making Profits

While Tala has a strong mission, Siroya also wants to build a successful, for-profit company. She wants to transform lives and tap into the 3 billion potential customers in the emerging global middle class.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/marissaperetz/2019/03/21/making-a-difference-and-making-profits/#36db3865529b

Confessions of a ‘Shark Tank’ loser

“I lost on ‘Shark Tank,’ and it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Polon says.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/confessions-of-a-shark-tank-loser-210445470.html

Back To The Roots Expands With New Funding And Retail Growth

Back to the Roots, the fastest growing organic food & gardening company innovating the way families are connecting with food, announces today its $3M series C led by Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT), the country’s leading lawn, garden and pet company. Central was joined by new investor Blue Scorpion Investments, a NYC-based consumer-facing venture capital fund. Back to the Roots will be using the capital to fuel its growth as leaders in the indoor gardening market with over a dozen new products in que to launch in 2019 and thousands of new retail partners including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Petco and Costco.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/back-to-the-roots-expands-with-new-funding-and-retail-growth-300799593.html

Back to the Roots has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019

The company first became known for its simple and popular grow-your-own-mushroom kits. Now it also has a line of organic cereal, but it’s who eats that cereal that’s most interesting. In 2018, the company finished its first full year as the cereal supplier for New York’s public schools, becoming the first organic cereal ever offered in a U.S. public school system. Now it’s working with Nature’s Path & the Urban School Food Alliance to bring organic cereals to 1 in 5 kids by 2020.
https://www.fastcompany.com/company/back-to-the-roots

8 Mission-Driven Companies Reinventing The Packaged Food Industry

Annie Ryu was inspired to create The Jackfruit Company in the summer of 2011. She was 21 years old and working in India to implement a maternal and child healthcare program that she and her brother had developed. Upon discovering jackfruit, Ryu saw an incredible opportunity to convert an underutilized crop into nutritious, delicious food, while also providing an income opportunity to local farming families.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/meimeifox/2019/02/19/8-mission-driven-companies-reinventing-the-packaged-food-industry/#2ab737751d57

Sproutel May Be RI’s Most Innovative Company

Providence-based Sproutel has now developed two remarkable — and successful — interactive, smart stuffed toys to assist children with complex health challenges.
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/Sproutel-May-Be-RIs-Most-Innovative-Company-See-What-CEO-Horowitz-Says-t

CleanChoice Energy Launches Clean Furnace Program

CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company that empowers people and businesses to cut emissions and live cleaner lives, has launched CleanChoice Energy Clean Furnace. The new service allows people to offset the harmful carbon pollution created from their home heating and take an important step towards a carbon neutral home.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cleanchoice-energy-launches-clean-furnace-program-300790835.html

Soupergirl raising funds to fuel post-‘Shark Tank’ growth

After appearing on the program In October, Sara Polon, founder of Washington, D.C.-based soup company Soupergirl, is riding a wave and prepping to raise somewhere between $500,000 and $1.5 million in seed funding to sustain the momentum, the Washington Business Journal reports.
https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2019/01/soupergirl-raising-funds-to-fuel-post-shark-tank.html?page=all

Three big ideas in food

Mohammad Modarres, founder and chief executive officer of New York-based Abe’s Meats, produced the first-of-its-kind “interfaith meat” in response to a wave of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents following the 2016 presidential election in the United States. He hosted a dinner uniting the Jewish and Muslim communities to tackle the rise in bigotry and learned quickly that serving halal and kosher foods in the same space was a “logistical nightmare and really expensive,” Mr. Modarres said.
https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/13170-three-big-ideas-in-food

Soupergirl aims to change lives

Sara Polon is a University of Pennsylvania graduate who started a food business, changed her life, enlisted help from her family, and swears she is on a mission to deliver happiness to the world and dollars to her bank account.She calls herself Soupergirl.

https://www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/wires/business/with-a-fire-in-her-belly-and-a-hunger-for-profit-soupergirl-aims-to-change-lives/

Should We Be Eating Bugs?

The watershed moment in the renewed interest in insect protein came in 2013 when the United Nations issued a 200-page report entitled Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security. Greg Sewitz, a co-founder of Exo, a company that produces protein bars that are made with Cricket Flour, was directly inspired by the UN report. A senior at Brown University at the time, Sewitz “was stunned by the realization that the U.S. is one of the only countries with ‘no culture of eating insects.’
https://interestingengineering.com/should-we-be-eating-bugs

LuminAID’s founders built an innovative startup for a brighter future

The Chicago-based company offers portable, long-lasting, solar-powered lighting solutions. After meeting in graduate school while studying architecture and design, they created their company in 2010 on a shared belief that innovative design can be used to tackle real-world problems. Their hypothesis for LuminAID proved true when they were able to deploy the product to help victims of the Haiti earthquake that same year.
https://www.chase.com/news/122118-luminaid-plan-brighter-future

How Investing In Regenerative Agriculture Can Help Stem Climate Change Profitably

Craig Wichner, 49, founder and managing partner for Farmland LP, a fund manager that invests in converting conventional farmland to regenerative, organic farming. “It has so many benefits to the environment, to human society,” he says. “But we’re also demonstrating that you can grow a great, healthy, wonderful food and be more profitable than conventional agriculture systems.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2018/12/12/how-investing-in-regenerative-agriculture-can-help-stem-climate-change-profitably/#2d3800843e5c

SOL VISTA Partners with CSD Energy Advisors for Energy Procurement Customer Support

“We have a longstanding relationship with the CSD team and are excited for the value their partnership will add for our Skywalk subscribers. Our customers will have a wider variety of energy supply choices available at lower costs, whether they have one building or a portfolio of properties,” said Shannon Sentman, SOL VISTA CEO & Co-Founder.
https://www.prweb.com/releases/sol_vista_partners_with_csd_energy_advisors_for_energy_procurement_customer_support/prweb15990679.htm

CleanChoice Launches MA Community Solar Program

The platform connects people to local community solar projects, allowing residents and businesses to see up to a 10% savings on their utility bills with no upfront investment.
https://solarindustrymag.com/cleanchoice-launches-ma-community-solar-program/

DGridEnergy Heads to East Africa to Build Awareness of the Cold Chain and the Solar Cool Cube Solution

Eugene Faison, CEO of DGridEnergy spent 4 days in Rwanda meeting with agricultural cooperatives, the Ministry of Agriculture of Rwanda, Solar Kiosk, and MTN mobile company in preparation for pilot with a large agriculture cooperative in Kayonza, Rwanda.
http://mentorcapitalnet.org/2018/12/09/dgridenergy-heads-to-east-africa-to-build-awareness-of-the-cold-chain-and-the-solar-cool-cube-solution/

CleanChoice Energy, New Columbia Solar launch largest community solar portfolio in Washington, D.C.

CleanChoice Energy, a renewable energy company that provides wind and solar energy products to customers across the country, and New Columbia Solar, one of the District’s largest solar energy companies, have launched a partnership to bring community solar to residents of the District of Columbia.
https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/11/cleanchoice-energy-new-columbia-solar-community-solar-portfolio/

ArchPoint Group acquires Watusee Foods

US business Watusee Foods, which makes products based on chick peas, has been acquired by local products and professional services company ArchPoint Group for an undisclosed sum.
https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/12939-archpoint-group-acquires-watusee-foods

Notes From the Field: The Power of Hope in Sierra Leone

“They literally were dancing with joy when we showed them what the LuminAID solar light was and how to use it. There is no power there, so these lights make a huge impact on a family allowing them to see,” recalls Geri Jeffrey, the Executive Director of The Bridge of Hope.
https://luminaid.com/blogs/news/this-little-light-of-mine

With a pitch for crowd manufacturing, FranciePants wins Open Works’ EnterpRISE Venture competition

Founded by Francie Wasser, the company is creating 100 percent cotton underwear for females that is actually stylish and cute. But the true innovation comes from the unique manufacturing style, called “crowd manufacturing,” that provides women with access to training and certification so they can make the products in their home for a livable wage.
https://technical.ly/baltimore/2018/11/21/with-a-pitch-for-crowd-manufacturing-franciepants-wins-open-works-enterprise-venture-competition/

D.C.’s Soupergirl didn’t get a ‘Shark Tank’ deal. Then a shark had second thoughts.

“I have my own criteria for what I will invest in and what I won’t invest in, but just because something is not personally investable to me does not mean it’s also not a tremendous product that has phenomenal potential,” Higgins told me in an interview Monday. “They moved me in their pitch. They’re wonderful, they’re passionate, they’ve been at it for a long time, and I felt like with a little bit of mentorship to set them in the right direction, they could really be even more successful than they’ve already been.”
https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2018/10/22/d-c-s-soupergirl-didn-t-get-a-shark-tank-deal-then.html

Soupergirl on Shark Tank: Mother and daughter team want to fix the food system

“Our food system is broken. We’re trying to fix it. Soupergirl believes in real, responsible food. We support our local farming community. We compost. We use wind energy. We treat our staff respectfully and ask the same of our vendors. We cook healthfully and our soups are plant-based,” the vision on their website reads.
https://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/soupergirl-on-shark-tank-mother-and-daughter-team-want-to-fix-the-food-system/

Better together: Why some food companies enter into partnerships

Now Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal company in the U.S., runs the ingredient sourcing, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain aspects of Back to the Roots cereal. Items such as Back to the Roots Biodynamic Cinnamon Flakes still belong to Back to the Roots. Recipes and packages won’t be changed without Back to the Roots approval. But, Arora said, those products now will benefit from the category expertise of a longtime leader.
https://www.fooddive.com/news/better-together-why-some-food-companies-enter-into-partnerships/539411/

GOEFER launches energy-saving technology pilot program

FREDERICK, Md. — Early-stage technology company GOEFER teamed up with ROOT’s five partner organizations to conduct a pilot program of the company’s proprietary energy technology, which analyzes energy usage and gives users greater control.
https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/business/goefer-launches-energy-saving-technology-pilot-program/article_051b797d-a707-54e1-b1ab-1a5ec1c0e954.html