New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council and InnoCentive's Green Business Winners

Multicultural Businesses Winning Green Tech Products and Services -- Solar Flying Airship, Biodegradable Desk Accessories, Organic Fertilizer and Youth Sustainability Leadership--Saluted at The Council’s Sustainability Summit on October 9 in NYC
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Sept. 20, 2012 - PRLog -- The New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council (The Council) and InnoCentive, Inc. will salute the four innovative multicultural business winners of the 2012 Sustainability Summit Innovation Challenge – Driving Sustainability & Diversity on October 9 at The Council’s 2012 Sustainability Summit: Be Eco Sharp at Sentry Center, 810 Seventh Avenue in New York City.

There was great interest in the Innovation Challenge, which sought out unique products or services that could aid a sustainable supply chain, bring benefits to urban and rural communities and promote job creation. The competition was open to Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBEs) and diverse organizations nationwide, which aspired to highlight their innovation, build capacity, and develop supplier relationships with large publically traded corporations and public sector agencies. In addition to the recognition, each of the four winners will receive a monetary prize of $2,500.

The winners in the sustainable product category:

AirShip Technologies Group, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is developing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which reduces aircraft weight and eliminates the need to carry onboard fuel due to renewable solar energy with rechargeable ultracapacitors. “There’s a familiar pattern in reinvention. Rethinking answers to problems leads to a new technology coming along to fill a long-standing need,” said Ben Berry, CEO, AirShip Technologies Group. “But as it becomes widely implemented, questions arise over how best to use it and how it may affect the rest of the world.”

Selco Industries, based in Holland, Ohio and Garfield, NJ, has created a green line of desk accessories  “Selco Industries has a reputation for innovative products and is proud to offer Forever Green desk accessories,” Ruby Hill, CEO, Selco Industries,  the only minority and women-owned filing products manufacturing company in the U.S. “Made from a blend of environmentally friendly materials that are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable, this line is ideal for businesses striving to reduce landfill impact and practice environmental responsibility.”
The winners in the sustainable service category:

Re-Nuble, based in Lorton, Virginia, is creating organic fertilizer by capitalizing on the large volume of food waste that is produced by restaurants, hotels, schools, grocers and corporate campuses. “Re-Nuble became an extension of my passion for environmentalism,” said Tinia Pina, founder and CEO, Re-Nuble, Inc. “Re-Nuble seeks to redefine waste” by embracing a new model in which discarded food is recycled into green energy and organic fertilizers. Localized and community oriented, our approach creates a closed loop system of less pollution, more jobs, cleaner energy, and more
sustainable farming.”

Green Competitive Advantage, based in Stamford, Connecticut, has created an education leadership program for at risk youth and motivating them to participate in the green economy.  “The inspiration behind creating my company’s sustainable service came from my leadership experiences while serving in the U.S. Army coupled with my lifelong passion for education,” Howard Jeandenis, principal, Green Competitive Advantage. “Green Competitive Advantage offers a transformative process for students and a platform which corporations can use to nurture young people into global citizenship.”

To showcase innovative and sustainable products and services by minority and diverse businesses, The Council, which serves as an advocate for MBEs and global corporate members--including more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, partnered with InnoCentive, the pioneer in open innovation, crowdsourcing, and prize competitions, to execute the Challenge. The competition reflected the critical need to encourage and support corporations and government in identifying and using innovative products and services from emerging domestic market vendors, to reward their sustainability efforts and to recognize their impact on job creation.

“The goal of the Innovation Challenge was to identify inventive American multicultural and diverse entrepreneurs with emerging, innovative, next generation green technologies that are either too small or not well-established, but also have the ability to create supply chain efficiency; job creation; and benefits to targeted urban communities for fait accomplish.”  Kevin V.G. Wells, General Counsel and Director of Compliance for The Council. “We really appreciate InnoCentive and our judging panel in helping us to accomplish that task. The four companies selected exemplified not only entrepreneurial spirit, but also the overall sustainability profile with valuable solutions. Our Sustainability Summit will also have the top 50 semi-finalists of the Challenge on October 9th.”

“Highlighting and encouraging sustainable and diverse commercial ventures in every community is key to the economic health of our country,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “Connecting innovative small and medium businesses to large corporate decision makers is essential to job growth and the expansion of our economy. The Council’s approach in going beyond a monetary award to showcasing the Challenge winners will hopefully serve as an inspiration for others.”

The judges for the 2012 Sustainability Summit Innovation Challenge – Driving Sustainability & Diversity were: Kevin E. Brooks, CEO & president at THiNKGREEN! Global Advisors, Inc.; Leisha John, Americas director, environmental sustainability at Ernst & Young; Dr. Kevin Lyons, supply chain and environmental management and policy at Rutgers University; Jonathan Powers, Obama Administration’s federal environmental executive; Emily Reyna, senior project manager at Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps; Mark Szollar, managing director, diversity & recruitment advertising at New York Times; Apple White, vice president at BNY Mellon; K.O. Ansa B. Yiadom, director of strategic initiatives global procurement & operations at Pfizer, Inc.; Majora Carter, 2011 Peabody award recipient/public radio host, environmental justice advocate and economic consultant; and Don Carli, senior research fellow at Institute for Sustainable Communication. The competition sponsors were: AIG, BNY Mellon and Con Edison. Please check out

About The Council
The Council, an award-winning affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, certifies Asian-American, African American, Hispanic-American and Native-American-owned businesses to be eligible to compete for major corporate contracts. The Council has over 200 corporate members, encompasses Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions and government agencies including New York State, New York City, and the State of New Jersey. The Council jurisdiction spans from New York to Trenton, New Jersey. Currently, there are approximately 1,300 New York and New Jersey minority-owned businesses with annual revenues from $100,000 to $2 billion that are certified by The Council. For more information, contact The Council at 212-502-5663.

About InnoCentive
InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, network of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Eli Lilly & Company, Life Technologies, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before. For more information, visit the website or call 1-855-CROWDNOW.
Source:NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 01, 2012
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