The Environmental Media Association (EMA) created the Future Innovator of the Year Challenge to accomplish the following goals:
- Bring likeminded individuals together and spread awareness about environmental issues affecting everyone’s daily lives.
- Seek out the most important innovations moving us into a circular and sustainable economy with business solutions in all sectors.
- Promote game changing entrepreneurs by exposing them to a room full of private and public corporations, incubators, funding resources, and those passionate about the environment.
- Provide a pedestal for companies and start-ups to showcase the work they are doing to make a real sustainable difference.
- Support eco-driven entrepreneurs with necessary resources to aid their cause.
- Outnumber the numerous devasting green issues we are currently facing today with originative solutions.
- INNOVATORS: EMA invites all early-stage innovations that fit into the model of a green and sustainable economy to submit an online application through the EMA website. Applications are thoroughly reviewed by an expert panel of diverse entrepreneurs. The top six cutting edge finalists are selected and announced.
- EXPOSURE: Six finalists are invited to attend the first day of EMA’s IMPACT Summit where they present their pitches. IMPACT is a premier two-day sustainable business summit that takes place each year in Los Angeles. The summit includes keynote speeches, one-on-one conversations with thought leaders, panel discussions and networking activities. The audience consists of scientists and entrepreneurs with actionable solutions, corporate leaders ready to implement and influencers eager to raise awareness. After the presentations, a judges’ panel (names listed below) selects the top three innovations that exemplify the greatest potential and align with EMA’s mission. The three finalists deliver a final pitch on the second day of IMPACT.
- Judges include Debbie Levin, EMA CEO, David Margulies, CEO of New Pacific Realty, Mike Sullivan, Owner of LAcarGuy (the #1 Hybrid Car Dealer in North America), Drew Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of JUST, Angus Mitchell, Co-Owner of John Paul Mitchell Systems, and Mark Yamauchi, Sustainability Strategy Manager at Toyota Motor North America.
- NETWORKING: The competitors have the opportunity to network and brainstorm with CEOs, Chief Sustainability Officers, scientists, influencers, artists, and others attending the summit.
- RESOURCES: EMA announces the winning innovation at the close of IMPACT Day Two. The winner is rewarded with a $50,000 Grant and one-on-one guidance and assistance from the EMA Advisory Board on an as-needed basis in order to grow and develop their organization.
Through The Innovator of the Year Challenge, EMA provided six eco-driven organizations with a platform to underline important green causes and inspire many to take steps towards cultivating a greener lifestyle. The competitors engaged directly with IMPACT attendees and made connections with leaders from the business, environment, education, and entertainment industries. Over the last year, EMA has worked alongside Amy Keller and the PurePlus+ team to divert fruit and vegetable waste in order to reduce environmental impact and cost.
PurePlus+ creates a plant-based powder that can be used as a nutrient boost for companies to integrate into foods and beverages. They upcycle the 20 percent of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. that never leave the farm or are turned away as not achieving the premium standard for companies. At the rate in which they are moving, PurePlus+ will make perishable produce last three years longer while using 100 percent clean and renewable energy in the process. There is 34 billion tons of fruit and vegetable waste produced annually in the U.S. – which accounts for 50 percent of all food waste. This product is designed to provide necessary supplements while also significantly reducing our carbon footprint through the extraction of nutrients.
Video for EMA Innovator of the Year Challenge