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Green Business Competition Awards

Last night I attended Green Spaces Green Business Competition awards at Borough Hall in Brooklyn. This competition looked to promote emerging green businesses in New York that have the ability to revolutionize their industry by working with our ecological resources while creating economic opportunities. 70 companies with revenue under $10 million entered this years competition. 5 were chosen to present their business to the panel of judges (and the audience) last night. 3 winners were then selected.

1st place: Gotham Greens

Bringing New Yorkers local, sustainable produce grown in the heart of NYC

Gotham Greens’ premium quality, pesticide-free vegetables and herbs will be grown in sterile rooftop greenhouses using clean, renewable energy and captured rainwater.

This company is now building their first 12,000 sq ft rooftop hydroponic garden in NYC. This facility will grow over 30 tons of premium quality, pesticide free vegetables each year for the NYC retail and restaurant market. They will be delivering extremely high quality vegetables the same day that they are picked. We’re not talking about genetically modified week old food shipped halfway around the world. We’re talking about something picked in your ‘back yard’ and potentially eaten the same day. They have been running a test site floating out in the river for the past three years and the response has apparently been incredibly enthusiastic, due largely to taste.

The environmental impact is also not to be ignored. Hydroponic farming consumes far less water than traditional dirt farming, as the water is recirculated continuously. They will also be capturing and utilizing rain water. The facility also uses solar panels for most or all of the energy requirements. Any excess energy generated will be fed back into the grid. Nutritionally, these crops have the potential to be far more nutrient dense than traditional crops, the vast majority of which are being grown in soil that is severely depleted, lacking many of the minerals necessary for a truly healthful crop to be grown.

So we’re talking local, organic high quality vegetables all year round. Their presentation was very impressive and everything from their business plan to logistical operations to distribution all intensely researched and ready for production.

2nd place: Environmentally Conscious Organization Inc.

Environmentally friendly pizza boxes! This company has designed, patented and significantly marketed an environmentally friendly pizza box alternative sourced entirely from recycled cardboard. With over 3 billion pizza’s being consumed in this country each year and 70% of those requiring a box that is usually made from 60% recycled material we’re talking about a great deal of avoided waste. The utility designed into the box also enables it to easily fit into a recycling bin 8” in diameter or greater, eliminates the need for serving plates and aluminum foil or plastic wrap for storage. Check out the video here:

3rd place: DBA

DBA is a New York based product development company focused on aesthetics, technical innovations and ecologically effective principals. Their first product is an ‘eco-pen’. This pen is made from 98% industrially compostable materials. They’re basically made out of potatos. We use an astronomical number of disposable pens each year. Their pen is a beautiful option that utilizes a unique ink which, unlike other pens on the market, is not petrochemical based. It is an almost food grade alternative that represents the majority of the innovation in their design.

I was at this event thanks to Sarah Pace of The Rabbit Mafia who catered the event with all locally sourced kickass hors d’œuvres. Good stuff.