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

A block of six vacant parcels in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood have been approved for a total of $1 million in Rainscaping site improvements from the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD). 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/

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/

This Extreme Extrovert Started a Multimillion-Dollar Wellness Snack Company After Her Stint in the Peace Corps Was Cut Short

Lisa Curtis started her business, Kuli Kuli, on the basis of the benefits of the moringa plant, which is grown in parts of Asia and Africa. The plant also became her key selling point. But then she realized, after a friend’s suggestion, that her story should lead the way.
https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/article/This-Extreme-Extrovert-Started-a-13731665.php

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

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

Founder and CEO 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. She established the company during her junior and senior years at Harvard, and simultaneously won Harvard’s Women in Business Competition, Harvard’s i3 Innovation Challenge, and the Resolution Project’s Social Venture Challenge, helping to kickstart the support needed to grow the business.
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

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

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. CleanChoice Energy Community Solar will make 1.825 MW of proposed community solar capacity available to consumers. The overall portfolio represents the largest opening of community solar ever in Washington, D.C. CleanChoice Energy Community Solar customers have the opportunity to save money on their utility bills with no upfront costs while supporting local solar projects. CleanChoice is accepting subscribers from anywhere in the District.
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

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

Durham-based Optimal Solar Takes Top Prize at Black Founders Exchange

As winner of the pitch contest that concluded the Black Founders Exchange Program at American Underground on Friday, Parker was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet potential investors, as well as an offer to join venture capital firm Backstage Capital’s three-month incubator program.
https://grepbeat.com/2018/10/01/durham-based-optimal-solar-takes-top-prize-at-black-founders-exchange/

Meet the tech whiz building robotic teddy bears to comfort sick kids

The experience sparked the idea for Jerry the Bear, an adorable robot teddy that simulates symptoms of Type 1 diabetes — including fluctuating blood sugar, bathroom urgency and feelings of dizziness. It’s designed so kids can better understand their own health and help normalize their experiences.
https://nypost.com/2018/09/27/meet-the-tech-whiz-building-robotic-teddy-bears-to-comfort-sick-kids/

Tippy Tippens and All Things Good

I hadn’t heard the term social entrepreneurship before coming to New Orleans. When I did, it really clicked with me – I realized that this is exactly what I want to do. To use my design skills to do good for the world, to help change things for the better. It inspired me to start my company, where all of our products give back and are made of eco-friendly materials.
https://dno.la/blogs/journal/do-your-thing-tippy-tippens-and-all-things-good

Ayzh founder Zubaida Bai on the ‘birth kits’ helping women in rural India have hygienic deliveries

Ayzh (pronounced ‘eyes’) is a for-profit venture that is perhaps best known for its JANMA birthing kit. The kit, which is aimed at rural women in areas where healthcare and sanitation are often a low priority, includes the tools necessary to have a hygienic birth in the presence of a doctor or midwife. The expectant mother is given the jute purse after delivery for her own use, which Bai sees as an advocacy tool that furthers the movement for cleaner births.
https://www.firstpost.com/life/ayzh-founder-zubaida-bai-on-the-birth-kits-helping-women-in-rural-india-have-hygienic-deliveries-5236291.html

Venture Out: Shivani Siroya, CEO of Tala

Shivani Siroya founded Tala after spending time in emerging markets and found that mobile tech is the best way to solve this problem she was passionate about. Tala provides microloans to people in emerging markets who are unable to secure credit through traditional banks. They use nontraditional data pulled from mobile phones and have extended credit to over 1.3 million customers.
https://www.nasdaq.com/article/venture-out-shivani-siroya-ceo-of-tala-cm1024377

Give People Some (Micro) Credit—and Transform Their Lives

These individuals didn’t have credit scores. So I looked at other things. I lent to one woman, for instance, who I knew saved 30 percent of her income every month for her son’s computer class. I’d observed that she bought her inventory every third Thursday of the month, and that people in her community spent more time in her store than a
https://www.wired.com/story/wired25-melinda-gates-shivani-siroya-credit-loans/

Why Is Funding a Challenge for Women-Led Agtech Companies?

Based on her experiences and observations she believes “female investors are less likely to invest with a ‘herd mentality’ that I find most investors gravitate towards.” She continued, “I, personally, find women to be more open minded to unique business models that have the potential to resolve larger problems than the same acute problem often chased by multiple investors.”
https://www.precisionag.com/service-providers/business-management/why-is-funding-a-challenge-for-women-led-agtech-companies/

Donnel Baird Wants to Build an Actually Ethical Billion Dollar Company

Donnel Baird has a more complex business than most start-up founders. His company BlocPower aims to scale green energy across American inner cities by updating millions of older buildings while hiring from vulnerable populations. It’s a public benefit corporation, so it’s for-profit and focused on the bottom line but also committed to energy efficiency, renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and economic development and job creation in low income communities.
https://www.eater.com/2018/11/9/18072638/start-to-sale-donnel-baird-blocpower