Mary Vincent, Cornell University
This year's Net Impact Conference theme was 'Advancing Sustainable Global Enterprise: Changemakers, Innovators, and Problem Solvers'.
I moderated this year's Net Impact Conference Panel on 'The Future of Organics: Big Business or Not?' with Panelists: Sarah Endline, Founder and CEO, Sweetriot and Jessica Rolph, Founding Partner and COO, HappyFamily. Sarah has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors from The University of Michigan. Sweetriot started by sourcing their cacao directly in Latin America, using recyclable, reusable packaging which features emerging artists, using all-natural, healthy ingredients for their dark chocolate ‘peaces.’ Happy Family aims to change the way babies and children are fed by offering nutritious alternatives to over-processed foods; they launched in five stores in 2006 and are now selling in over 5000 stores including Target, Whole Foods, and Babies R Us. Jessica is a Trustee for RSF Social Finance and received a BA and MBA from Cornell University. Both Sarah and Jessica are inspiring and successful entrepreneurs!
The panel topics ranged from what inspired them to start their businesses to how they plan for Profit, Marketing and Branding Strategies, Financial Pitfalls, and Production Efficiencies. Audience questions ranged from investment interest to organic product trends. I discussed Organic Food and Beverage Sales Trends, Food Carbon Facts from the UN Climate Change Report, the EatLowCarbon.org Website, Slow Money Investing book, new Organic Farmers Business Handbook, and the upcoming NRDC Growing Green Awards 2010.