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Every year, dozens of social venture startups enter annual competitions sponsored by universities, government agencies and other organizations. Winning these contests often means a cash prize and technical assistance, as well as welcome attention from potential new investors and customers.

The competitions provide a snapshot of the diverse ways creative young business people around the world are striving to do good by doing business. Often these entrepreneurs have developed a deep understanding of a specific local problem in order to come up with a solution that will succeed on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

Guardian Sustainable Business assembled a list of the coolest startups winning technical assistance and cash for their new social ventures.

Environment: Sampurn(e)arth

In this year’s Global Social Venture Competitionat the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Mumbai-based Sampurn(e)arth Environmental Solutions earned the $25,000 grand prize for a nuanced business approach that encompasses customer service, cleaner energy generation, recycling and social justice.

The startup sells bio-digesters and composters to corporate offices, hotels and university campuses, and then operates them for the customer.

Waste: REEcycle

Another winning startup, REEcycle, has its eye on a different solid waste stream. Founded by a team of students from the University of Houston, the company acquires used electronics from e-waste recyclers.

Energy:KAir Battery

Because renewable energy sources like the sun are intermittent, low-cost energy storage is considered crucial to the industry’s growth. Ohio-based KAir Battery is developing a potassium-air battery that it describes as using safe materials, efficient, and able to store more energy per volume than existing battery technologies.


The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Thursday, 14 August 2014

(Source: The Guardian)