Green Island, NY – Eight years after winning the premier international green business plan competition, Ecovative Design CEO and Co-founder Eben Bayer is returning to judge the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.
Bayer, the only prior winner on the panel, will join four others in selecting the most promising eco-friendly business idea among five finalists from four countries. The selection panel is chaired by José María Figueres, the former President of Costa Rica and current Chair of the Board for Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room. Company presentations and final selection will be held on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is scheduled to attend this 10th edition of the largest annual and international green business plan competition.
Inspired by former President Bill Clinton, through its affiliation with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge describes itself as: “an annual international competition that rewards products/services/technologies that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity. The jury will look for business plans that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle, directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and score highly on convenience, quality and design. The winner gets EUR 500,000 to bring his/her business to market. The runner-up will receive EUR 200,000. The Dutch Postcode Lottery works for a greener, fairer world by supporting charities in the Netherlands and abroad.”
Bayer and Ecovative co-founder Gavin McIntyre built the company on the breakthrough idea to use the mushroom component mycelium—what they call “nature’s glue”—to grow high performance products that are safe, healthy, and certified sustainable.
“Ecovative’s success is proof of the transformational power and potential of this competition. Winning the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge was one of the key nucleation points in Ecovative’s history. It not only gave us the resources to move out of the Rensselaer Incubator and into our future; building our first plant, in Green Island NY. It also brought us a global audience to share our vision to mainstream the manufacturing of grown healthy materials, biofabricated with living organisms,” Bayer said. “I am honored to return as a judge, reviewing the next generation of entrepreneurial ideas to create a safer, healthier planet.”
In conjunction with his participation as a judge of the Green Challenge, Bayer also was among the speakers at the September 9th groundbreaking for the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s new headquarters. Ecovative’s MycoFoam™ insulation will be incorporated into this eco-friendly green building—being designed and built with circular economy principals in mind.
“Eight years ago we came to the Green Challenge with a vision for using our Mushroom® Materials to replace toxic plastics with biofabricated products—including insulation and packaging—that are healthy and sustainable. The Dutch Postcode Lottery’s decision to incorporate Ecovative’s grown insulation into its new headquarters design is a powerful affirmation of the progress we have made and the potential of their commitment to drive green innovation,” Bayer said.
Ecovative is a leading biomaterials company growing high performance, premium, award-winning products that are safe, healthy, and certified sustainable. Products include MycoBoard™ panels for furniture and construction, MycoFoam™ packaging materials, and other consumer goods in its biofabricated Ecovative Interiors line. Ecovative products enable customers—including Fortune 500 companies, international mills, and furniture makers—to meet their design, production, and delivery needs while achieving sustainability goals. Founded in 2007, the pioneer and world leader in mycelium-based biomaterials uses biology to grow materials with exceptional properties unattainable through conventional chemistry.