2009 Green Business Competition


This website was created in 2009 to promote a new platform via a competition that aimed at emerging green businesses in NYC .
The content below is from the site's 2009 archived pages.

Contest Details

The Green Business Competition is a groundbreaking platform to promote emerging green businesses in New York. The competition will reward investment funds to companies that have the ability to revolutionize their industry by working with our ecological resources while creating economic opportunities.

Through participation in the competition, companies will gain valuable exposure to financial institutions, venture capitalists, consumers, prominent business leaders, government officials, and the media to help ignite the green economy. The Green Business Competition will be the first competition of its kind to showcase small businesses across all industries as the foundation of New York's emerging green economy.

The competition will run from January 15th, 2009 to March 22nd, 2009.

The Green Business Competition is presented by Green Spaces, a leader in providing green entrepreneurs with work space, business services, workshops, and a networking outreach of over 4,300 environmentally and socially conscious people.

Green Spaces brings together leading green entrepreneurs by offering shared work space, resources and a community to launch their business.�

Entrepreneurs have access to a network of peers in different industries to share ideas, and a strong network of Green Business Leaders through the networking group affiliated with Green Spaces.� This hub of leading green entrepreneurs will also draw investors, clients and talent looking to break into the new green economy.


Below is a list of cash prizes and service packages the GBC will reward winning companies (additional services may be added):


1. Cash Prizes

  • 1st Place: $8,000
  • 2nd Place: $1,000


2. Office Space provided by Green Spaces:

  • 1st Place: 1 year of desk rental ($6000)
  • 2nd Place: 6 months of desk rental ($3000)
  • 3rd Place: 3 months of lounge space ($675)


3. Website Development and Support provided by Squarespace:

  • 1st Place: Design of your company's website (up to $2000)

1 year of web hosting ($360)

  • 2nd Place: 6 months of web hosting ($180)
  • 3rd Place: 6 months of web hosting ($180)


4. Legal Services provided by Mintz Levin:

  • 1st Place: Legal services ($1000)


5. Accounting Services provided by Citrin Cooperman & Company:

  • 1st Place: Accounting services ($500)


6. Public Relations Services provided by The SOAP Group:

  • 1st Place: Public relations strategy, tools, and services ($2500)
  • 2nd Place: Public relations strategy and planning ($600)
  • 3rd Place: Public relations strategy ($250)


7. Banner Advertising on Grist website provided by Grist:

  • 1st Place: Advertising on Grist website ($5000)

Note: Where and when the ad is placed is up to the discretion of Grist.


8. Networking and Business Mentoring provided by SBNYC:

  • 1st Place: Membership to SBNYC ($250)

1 Year Mentoring Relationship with Prominent Business Leader from SBNYC ($1500)

  • 2nd Place: Membership to SBNYC ($250)
  • 3rd Place: Membership to SBNYC ($250)


New York’s Green Business Competition

09/08/2009 05:20 pm | www.huffpost.com/e

Christiana Wyly, Contributor
Executive Director of the Food Choice Taskforce, Coordinator of the My Plate My Planet Initiative

Last week I found myself in Brooklyn’s Borough Hall sitting behind the courtroom podium, watching passionate young entrepreneurs present their world-changing ideas in competition for first place and grand prize in New York’s Green Business Competition.

Hosted and organized by Green Spaces, sponsored by Con Edison, GBC was established to support the most innovative small businesses in the state by offering them a cash prize plus services like office space, furniture, PR, and strategic consultation — things all small businesses need. Fellow judge Graham Hill, eco-online entrepreneur and founder of TreeHugger.com, awarded prize trophies made from recycled glass.

The initial 70 applicants were pre-screened by faculty, staff, and students of the NYU Stern School of Business until only five companies remained.  These five were diverse in size, stage, scope mission and product, but all met the underlying criteria of being New York-based companies with a focus on green products and services that benefited local and global community.

For me, the most powerful part of attending this competition was getting to hear the story behind each business.  Take the example of Green Soul Shoes, founded when entrepreneur Alastair Onglingswan visited the Philippines and watched a child cut himself on rusty wire while walking barefoot through a landfill’s mountains of used tires.  Onglingswan vowed to use the tires to provide footwear for one million of the world’s 300 million shoeless children — one pair donated for every pair sold.  It’s a noble cause is quite moving. But purpose alone does not guarantee success in today’s unpredictable economic climate, where fewer dollars means fewer opportunities for even the noblest of start-ups.

The applicants were judged not only by their potential for social and economic impact, but also according to presentation skills, industry analysis, market size, finances, goals, management team and overall business model.

Third place went to DBA — a sustainable high design firm looking to redefine the aesthetics of green design. Their first product being a sleek, sexy 99% biodegradable pen. The second place prize went to E.C.O. Incorporated for living up to their name by reinventing the pizza box (their patented design is made from 100% recycled materials and comes pre-perforated to split into four plates and a tray for leftovers).

The grand prize winner and obvious belle of the ball was Gotham Greens, an urban agriculture operation.  Futurists have long depicted urban utopias with lush landscapes bursting from the balconies and rooftop vegetable gardens - but Gotham Greens is finally cultivating the soil necessary to bring this vision to fruition (both figuratively and literally).  With a 400K grant from the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Program Opportunity Notice 1236 (“Energy Productivity in Innovative Local Food Production Systems”) — and now their prize package from this competition - they will be producing 30 tons of fresh organic fruits and vegetables a year.  Their hydroponic farm, currently under construction will grace 12,000 feet of skyline in Jamaica, Queens.  About 70% of produce will go directly to Whole Foods Market’s New York stores, who have already signed onto the privilege of becoming their 1st customer. Whole Foods Market will promote them as part of their local food commitment.

According to Gotham Greens, New York City imports more than $1 billion in vegetables each year, with a majority for NYC’s rapidly growing population. The population increase will bring economic growth but also put pressure on the city’s infrastructure, creating challenges in food security and transport, as well as nutrition. NYC is the 4th largest energy user in the US — with less than 15% of its primary energy requirements met from in-state resources. If Gotham Greens can keep it up, they will be pioneers in a new model for  local, sustainable urban food production.

Just between all of you and me (wink), I’d keep an eye on one company who went home without a prize. I was particularly inspired by Jonathan Santiago’s new company ReFab, a recycled furniture enterprise based in South Bronx.  Inspired by the mission of Sustainable South Bronx (their founder, celebrated green-jobs advocate Majora Carter, sits on ReFab’s advisory board), Santiago’s vision is to help revitalize post-industrial communities by creating “green-collar” design and manufacturing jobs while transforming urban waste into valuable consumer products.

Through ReFab, entrepreneurship is leveraged to solve two of the greatest human challenges, poverty and pollution.  It’s hard to overstate the importance of companies like ReFab, which — like Green Soul Shoes and Gotham Greens - are turning “trash” into useful goods and giving people work in the process.  National budgeters predict a 10.5% unemployment rate in a frighteningly near future.  Over six hundred thousand people lost their jobs last week, and finding a new livelihood is only getting harder.  In January, Van Jones, special advisor on green jobs to the White House, told The New Yorker‘s Elizabeth Kolbert:


“Your goal has to be to get the greenest solutions to the poorest people.  That’s the only goal that’s morally compelling enough to generate enough energy to pull this transition off.  The challenge is making this an everybody movement, so your main icons are Joe Six-Pack - Joe the Plumber - becoming Joe the Solar Guy, or that kid on the street corner putting down his handgun, picking up a caulk gun.”

Thanks to the opportunities offered by contests like New York’s Green Business Competition, and bright and bold entrepreneurs like the contestants, this future is more likely every day.







The following companies will present at the Award Ceremony on May 14th and only three will be chosen as winners.

Environmentally Conscious Organization E.C.O Inc. is a design, licensing, manufacturing and subcontract management firm, dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging. e.c.o. is marketing its first product, the "Green Box' (U.S. Patent 7051919), a pizza box manufactured from 100% recycled and recyclable material. The top of the “Green Box” breaks down into convenient serving plates and the bottom of the box converts easily into a handy storage unit, thus eliminating the need for disposable plates, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and plastic bags. The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin.

DBA is a New York based product development company founded in 2008 with the goal of developing unique products that combine aesthetic strength, technical innovation, and ecologically effective principles. DBA's wares are distinguished by an honest simplicity and a heightened sensitivity to user needs. Furthermore, DBA is committed to the awareness and application of responsible materials, efficient construction, and intelligent packaging.

Gotham Greens is creating NYC's first commercial scale, rooftop hydroponic farm. The 12,000 ft2 facility will grow over 30 tons of premium quality, pesticide-free vegetables each year for the NYC retail and restaurant market. The farm will combine technically sophisticated Controlled Environment Agriculture techniques with unique energy saving innovations. Gotham Greens addresses ecological and public health concerns surrounding conventional agriculture, including long distance food transport and food safety, while bringing New Yorkers delicious, local produce year round.

GreenSoul Shoes works with local artisans to produce recycled products. For every product sold, a pair of shoes is donated to an underprivileged child around the world. Our initial shoe line uses only 100% reclaimed scrap tires and inner tubes.

Re-Fab produces furniture and lifestyle goods through a unique business model that optimizes environmental, social, and financial returns. Our vision is to help revitalize post-industrialcommunities through the creation of “green-collar” design and manufacturing jobs by turning urban waste into valuable consumer products. The business will begin in the South Bronx and expand to similar communities in Philadelphia, Hartford, and Baltimore.

Eight years later, where are these finalists? Google searches end in zero results or defunct websites. Compare that to Online-Casino-Party.co where the business model is green by default, since the operation is entirely online and uses eco friendly hosting. Revenue is generated as the site refers players to slots at casinos where they have a relationship entitling them to a cut of the losses of each player referred. The business is driven by search engine optimization and augmented by social media, where traffic numbers correlate to revenue. They are primarily focused on online casinos offering US slots for obvious reasons. Different foreign casinos have restrictions related to the laws of each country, but since the relationship is with the affiliate partners, the hassles associated with currency are handled by that entity. So no problem, growth is green, and they, unlike many others, are still in business. Pretty impressive considering how many companies are created with high hopes and enthusiasm, but simply don't survive after two, five or tens years. Even this site's domain registration was allowed to expire after the 2009 competition. However the intent of the competition is to be applauded and three winners did get to take home some helpful prizes.


The Competition

I. General Requirements

Each business must meet the following requirements in order to compete in the Green Business Competition. Failure to meet all requirements will result in a disqualification.

1. Eligibility

  • Business must be a legally registered for-profit company (Partnership, LLC, S-Corp or C-corp) with operations in New York State.
  • Company revenue must not exceed $10 million.
  • Members of the current Green Spaces Executive Board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) and Volunteer Committee are not eligible to compete.

All questions about eligibility should be referred to Brad Holmes at bholmes [at]greenspacesny.com

2. Application

  • There is a $25 application processing fee for each entry.
  • Each business is required to submit a completed application by 11:59 pm on March 22, 2009. Participants that submit incomplete applications will automatically be disqualified. Absolutely no late documents will be accepted.
  • In addition to each application include the following:
    • Management team member resumes, wherein each individual's resume must not exceed two pages in length.
    • Format the resumes into ONE Microsoft Word document.
    • At the top of the document include the name of your company, one contact person, and all necessary contact information (address, phone, e-mail address).

3. Business Plan and Mentoring Program

  • The proposed business should be fundable.
  • The proposed business should not be in violation of any intellectual property rights.
  • Competition participants are not to contact GBC judges or students during any part of the competition without the expressed written consent of the GBC.
  • The GBC will offer limited mentoring assistance for applicants who want it. Assistance includes help with your business plan and/or filling out the application. Mentors will have NO contact with any judge or NYU student once the competition begins. The mentor's opinions are strictly their own and will not add any advantage in the scoring process of the competition.

II. Judging Criteria

All Submissions will be judged by standardized criteria. The principle evaluation measures will be the inherent economic value of the business and the impact the business has on the community (socially, environmentally, and economically) as it achieves its growth objectives. In other words, is the business sustainable? For this competition, sustainabilityis defined by creating and innovating new business strategies and activities that accelerate positive social change, protect and preserve environmental integrity, while enhancing business performance.

Judges will grade the submissions based on a score of 1 to 4 (1=poor, 2=fair, 3=good, 4=excellent) for each category.

Each business will be judged on the following categories:

I. Overview - 15%

  • Does the company provide a clear and concise explanation of the business?
  • Does the business have a viable, unique and realistic mission statement?
  • Does the company have a well thought out plan of how to use the prize money?

II. Company Analysis and Environmental Impact - 25%

  • Does the company clearly define the problem it is addressing or solving?
  • Will the company's product or service ultimately save the consumer money or be competitively priced?
  • Does the company thoroughly explain how its service or product will positively impact the community socially, economically, and environmentally?
  • If a product company, how well does the company evaluate the entire life cycle of the product (including souring of raw material to consumer disposal of product)?
  • Has the company taken steps to implement in-house environmental practices and programs in its place of operations?

III. Industry Analysis, Market Size and Trends - 25%

  • How well does the company define and understand its target market?
  • Has the company performed comprehensive market research that is conclusive and supportive of the proposed offering and strategy?
  • How well does the company explain its competitive advantage over existing products and services?
  • Does the company have a well thought out strategy (sales and marketing) to drive market uptake?
  • Has the company anticipated barriers of entry into their targeted market and does it have a plan to overcome them?

IV. Financials and Goals - 20%

  • How well does the company explain its revenue model?
  • How realistic are the company's financial targets and is it able to meet them?
  • Does the company accurately anticipate risks and does it have a strategy to minimize them?
  • Does the company provide a realistic forecasted magnitude of financial success (revenue and profitability)?

V. Management Team - 15%

  • Does the company's management team have the necessary skill set and experience to successfully bring the product or service to market?
  • Does the company have the ability to recognize weakness in its management team and does it have a plan to overcome them?

III. Judging Process

1. First Round of Judging - Student Round

  • After the submission deadline has expired at 11:59pm on March 22nd, 2009, all applications will be reviewed by graduate business students at New York University Stern Business School with the guidance of Prof. Jill Kickul.
  • Students will grade submissions based on a score of 1 to 4 (1=poor, 2=fair, 3=good, 4=excellent) for each judging category (see above for judging categories).
  • With the guidance of Prof. Kickul, the students will analyze each application and submit the 10 highest scores to the panel of expert judges.
  • To ensure consistent scores, each application will be reviewed by two students and those scores will be averaged. If in the case of a wide discrepancy between the two students' scores, a third student will be asked to evaluate the application and an average of all three will be considered the final score.

2. Semifinal Round

  • Approximately 10 finalists (the number of finalist is subject to change depending on the amount of applicants) will be invited by email or telephone to compete in the Semifinal Round.
  • Semifinal applicants will present their business application in randomly selected groups comprised of at least 2 judges (may include additional judges that are not part of the GBC panel of experts) and 2 students. These presentations will be closed to the public and will focus on the participants' presentation skills.
  • Finalists may also be asked to submit full business plans (10 pages or less) or any other additional information prior to presenting to the judges and students.
  • Five finalists will be notified by e-mail or telephone a week after the conclusion of the semifinal round.

3. Final Round Live Presentations

  • The day of the award ceremony, the finalists will be invited to stand before the GBC panel of judges and give a ten minute presentation and answer questions from the judges.
  • The final pitches will be open to the public, but participation will be limited to the judges and the finalists.
  • The final results and winners will be announced at an award ceremony that same evening.

The Green Business Competition Team

Jennie Nevin Founder, Green Spaces Co-Founder, Green Spaces Innovation Institute

After receiving her MBA, along with taking graduate Environmental Studies coursework, she worked at Merrill Lynch Private Banking Group in NYC to manage portfolios for institutions and families with at least $10 million in assets at the firm. In 2005, Ms. Nevin launched Green Leaders, one of New York City's first educational green networking groups to bring together change agents crossing all industry groups seeking to make the world more sustainable. Green Spaces was officially founded on May 28th, 2008and is now a leading hub for green entrepreneurs drawing in talent, consumers and investors to the emerging green economy in New York City. Green Spaces brings together leading green entrepreneurs by offering affordable work space, shared resources, and a community over 4,000 green minded people to launch their business.


Brad Holmes Partner, Green Spaces Director, Green Business Competition Co-Founder, Green Spaces Innovation Institute

Brad Holmes is a partner at Green Spaces, a collaborative work space to launch green entrepreneurs. He is also the director of New York's first Green Business Competition which is a groundbreaking platform to promote and reward companies that have the potential to revolutionize their industry by creating green jobs while preserving our ecological resources.

Brad is also the co-founder of The Green Spaces Innovation Institute, a non-profit organization that provides educational and business services to young individuals and entrepreneurs looking to foster a career in the emerging green economy.

Brad has over 10 years of experience in editing, producing and directing countless hours of television programs such as the Sundance Channel's Big Ideas for a Small Planet and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.Brad grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and has lived in New York for over 8 years.


Marissa Spano Event Coordinator, Green Business Competition

Marissa is a NY-based events professional who has been involved in vegetarianism, yoga and sustainability since the age of 12. Here at The Green Business Competition, she helped launch and coordinate our 1st Annual Competition. Her specialties include securing sponsorships, goodie bag inclusions, establishing relationships with vendors and being involved on the marketing side of the Competition. In her spare time, this registered yoga instructor teaches classes in and around NYC. She recently sold her Award-Winning Yoga Studio in NJ to immerse herself in marketing and events full-time. Her recent launch of soulspeekermedia (www.soulspeekermedia.com) supports her creative and resourceful nature and puts her in touch with mom-and-pop businesses. She has a strong network and believes anything is possible when it comes to entrepreneurs and business. In Q2 of 2009, she will be launching green earth events (www.greenearthevents.org): a worldwide directory of events and concierge resources for event locations. Feel free to visit the site and register for more information or membership. Her hobbies include: cycling, traveling, yoga, reading non-fiction, and collaborating with creative minds. She can be contacted at mspano@greenspacesny.com.


Marissa Feinberg Co-Founder, Green Leaders Global

Marissa has a life-long work history dedicated to the betterment of society and culture. Previously, Marissa worked for Felissimo Universal Corporation of America and did Partnership Development for DESIGN 21, focusing on socially responsible design and building its membership to 350 organizations globally. Marissa also worked for General Electric, publicizing its community initiatives worldwide during her time at the GE Foundation.

Marissa has degrees in public relations, marketing, and Spanish from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Through her commitment to cultural iniatives, Marissa also worked in Partnership Development for Felissimo's Japan Brand and JapanC, in journalism as Managing Editor of Focus Magazine and The Distinguished Tourist Magazine. She has also worked in publishing for Random House, The Princeton Review and Jon Wiley & Sons. During her free time, Marissa dedicates herself to causes. She is a member of Fashion Delivers Associate Board, BPeace, and Friends of Hillary.


Freida Orange Consultant, Green Business Competition

Freida Orange has spent her career working in film and television. She has been Assistant to Martin Scorsese, a publicist for Miramax/Dimension Films, Associate Producer for Oxygen Sports and Associate Producer on the independent feature film BOTTLEWORLD. As a publicist, she worked on the award wining films FAHRENHEIT 9/11, PAPERCLIPS, KILL BILL VOL. II, SPY KIDS 3, BAD SANTA, COLD MOUNTAIN and THE AVIATOR. She worked for Martin Scorsese and Sikelia Productions for three years on films such as THE DEPARTED, SHINE A LIGHT, NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN and the upcoming Paramount Pictures feature SHUTTER ISLAND starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams. Freida is a life-long tennis player and has served as Tennis Liaison at the U.S. Open for CBS Sports from 2001 through 2008. She actively supports THE INNOCENCE PROJECT as a member of their Young Professionals Committee. Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Ms. Orange holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens.


Roberto Rhett Deputy Director Green Spaces Brooklyn

Roberto has a strong financial services background having worked as a Financial Consultant for A.G. Edwards and as an Internal Auditor at Ernst & Young. Roberto recently joined the Green Spaces team to assist with operations, business development and programs including the Green Entrepreneur Workshops and the Intern Rotation Program.


Te Baybute Designer Green Spaces Brooklyn

T Baybute is a New York based Graphic Designer and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Advertising Design. After being exposed to so many wonderful creations, he decided that the communication is the true art and elected to pursue his degree in Advertising Design. T arrived in New York at the beginning of the year and is pursuing a career creating advertising for socially responsible institutions and causes. For the 'Green For Good' Launch Party of the Green Business Competition, T Designed materials like the slideshow, posters, nametags, and gift bags as well as helped to coordinate the event
His professional portfolio is available at http://tebaybute.net



Graham Hill
Founder, TreeHugger.com, VP Interactive Planet Green at Discovery Communications

Graham Hill, a New York City resident is the founder of TreeHugger.com, which in 4 short years has become one of the most respected and trafficked environmental sites on the web. TreeHugger.com was recently acquired by Discovery Communications, and added to the family of networks as part of its Planet Green multi-platform, global environmental initiative. Additionally, Graham owns a product business that sells a New York souvenir he designed which sells in 150 stores. Graham has a Bachelor of Architecture with distinction from Carleton University in Ottawa and did advanced studies in Industrial Design at E.C.I.A.D, Vancouver.

Daniel I. DeWolf Member, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Daniel is a member in the Corporate practice of the New York office and Co-Chair of the Venture Capital and Emerging Companies practice group. Daniel brings a unique blend of talent and expertise to Mintz Levin's venture capital and emerging companies practice. In addition to his active legal practice, he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the NYU Law School, and he has a wealth of experience as an active venture capital investor having co-founded Dawntreader Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in New York. Daniel is also the Co- Editor of Venture Capital Forms and Analysis, a leading treatise on venture capital published by the Law Journal Press.

Christiana Wyly; Environmental Entrepreneur

Christiana Wyly is an environmental advocate and a venture partner at Satori Capital, an investment firm focused on sustainable investing, providing conscious capital and helping to grow the market for products and firms dedicated to a sustainable future. Christiana's unique perspective as a twenty-something businesswoman has landed her on the cover of Kiplinger's and inside The New York Times, WIE Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, The Herald Tribune and Treehugger.com, among others. In addition to contributing regularly to the HuffingtonPost.com's "Green" column, Christiana is a frequent lecturer. Her recent speaking engagements include the Green Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Conscious Capitalism Conference in Austin, Texas, Hollywood Goes Green in Los Angeles, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

Christiana is also active with a variety of non-profits. She holds a Founders Circle position at FLOW, the organization co-founded by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey that promotes entrepreneurial initiatives focused on creating sustainable prosperity. She also serves on the L.A. Committee for Global Green USA.

As a young girl, Christiana inspired her father, Sam Wyly's, environmental education, which ultimately led him to found one of the largest clean-energy companies in the country, Green Mountain Energy. It was this experience that showed her how business can be a powerful force for change. Christiana remains actively involved in the company, and she and her father are in the process of coauthoring a book about its creation and its ongoing mission and success.

Arthur Kressner Director of R & D, Power Supply, at Con Edison of New York

Arthur ("Artie") Kressner manages a professional staff, developing technology for the transmission, distribution, control center operations, substations, customer operations and energy efficiency business units. This research is focused on the development and demonstration of new power delivery equipment, software models, sensors, feasibility and engineering studies. Artie has been in leadership roles at local, state and national levels in areas of energy policy, energy efficiency, customer end-use and various national environmental and public health programs. Artie has published papers and articles in peer reviewed technical journals and industry magazines related to energy efficiency, information technology, management and computer modeling.

Michael Block;CEO, Kinetix, & Co-founder of the Sustainability Practice Network

As CEO and principal of Kinetix, Michael oversees company strategy development, infrastructure and operations. He is responsible for business development and implementing Kinetix marketing initiatives. His strong belief in the need for community among sustainability professionals led him to co-found the Sustainability Practice Network, an interdisciplinary forum to further the goals of corporate sustainability and sustainable development. Prior to starting Kinetix, he was CEO of Avalanche Systems, a leading creator of digital communication solutions that was twice voted top ten interactive agency by AdWeek Magazine and was acquired in 1998 by Omnicom. Michael was a finalist for Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997.

Jeremy BentonPresident & CEO, Impact International

Jeremy has fifteen years of international experience working in the Learning and Development and Organization Development industry. He has worked with over 100 corporate, government, and not-for-profit clients across all sectors. Jeremy joined Impact in 1998 and has an in-depth knowledge of their services, business, and clients. Impact is a global leader in sustainable business transformation and people development. Their learning journeys and training solutions inspire new thinking and generate the meaningful dialogue needed to create and develop sustainable enterprise. Jeremy was responsible for setting up Impact USA in 2001. He is a member of the Board of Directors and in his current role of CEO is responsible for the US business.

Imke Oster

Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation Green Sector Development

At NYCEDC, Imke currently leads New York City's effort to attract more green business and green jobs to the five boroughs. Prior to heading NYCEDC's green sector development efforts, Imke managed a number of international consulting engagements focused on identifying new market and growth opportunities for mainly Fortune 100 firms. In this capacity, she spent six years with the Monitor Group in London and New York, covering a wide range of industries and functions. Imke also serves as an environmental commissioner for the town of Montclair, NJ and as a member of the Board of a non-profit organization in NYC -Comprehensive Development Inc. Imke chairs the Strategic Planning committee of the Board.

Professor Jill Kickul
Director of the Stewart Satter Program in Social Entrepreneurship in NYU's Stern's Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Jill R. Kickul joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations in July 2008. She teaches courses in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship and is the Director of the Stewart Satter Program in Social Entrepreneurship in NYU Stern's Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. Professor Kickul's primary research areas of interest include innovation and strategic processes within new ventures, micro-financing practices and wealth creation in transitioning economies, and social entrepreneurship. She is the author of Entrepreneurship Strategy: Changing Patterns in New Venture Creation, Growth, and Reinvention, and has published more than 50 publications in entrepreneurship and management journals.


Board of Advisors

Marc Alt, President & CEO, Marc Alt & Partners

Katie DeWitt, Economic Development Corporation

Arrun Kapoor, Senior Associate, SJF Ventures

Ann Goodman, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Women's Network for a Sustainable Future