CyberTexas 2019 Speaking Proposals Now Being Accepted

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SAN ANTONIO, TX – May 3, 2019 – Speaking proposals are now being accepted for the 9th Annual CyberTexas Conference held August 20 – 21, 2019 at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Downtown Campus. The deadline to submit a proposal is June 21.

This year’s theme, Cybersecurity Communities Throughout Texas, exemplifies San Antonio and the entire state of Texas’ unrelenting effort to be at the forefront of cybersecurity new product creation, information sharing, threat intelligence, education, training and business development. Hosted by the CyberTexas Foundation in partnership with the UTSA Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security’s (CIAS) International Information Sharing Conference, the conference is designed to educate cybersecurity professionals, industry leaders, and next generation cyber warriors about the assets, capabilities, threats, and current and future cyber efforts found throughout Texas.CT LOGOII

The conference provides a platform for industry juggernauts to discuss cyber policy, emerging threats and risk mitigation with a concentrated interest in encouraging dialogue on protecting Texas infrastructure, training the state’s future cyber warriors and inspiring new cyber technology development. Attendees can participate in the CyberTexas Speaker’s Series, Exhibit Showcase, Cyber Job Fair and San Antonio Cyber Hall of Honor (HOH) Induction Ceremony.

In addition to a request for speakers experienced in cybersecurity, CyberTexas is seeking speakers who have experience with or are from federal, state and local governments from cities large and small, industry leaders, K-12 school systems, and higher education involved in the cyber ecosystem in their Texas community (or U.S. communities) on a broad scope of topics, including:

  • Protecting Texas Growth Industries & Infrastructure (ex. Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Energy, Water, Food Distribution, Transportation, Banking, IT, Internet and Agriculture)
  • Cybersecurity & The Protection of our Borders
  • Election Security
  • Preparing the Next Generation of Cyber Warriors
  • Cyber Workforce Development
  • Cybersecurity Threats & Risk Mitigation
  • Cyber Business Acquisitions
  • Combating Cyber Adversaries

Past iterations of the conference have focused on such diverse topics as promoting cybersecurity careers to K-12 students, the 300-year history of cybersecurity in Texas, and the future of cybersecurity in the Air Force with speakers such as 24th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber Command) Executive Director Robert Cole; 67th Cyberspace Wing Deputy Director, Robert J. Kaufman III and CyberTexas Hall of Honor Inductees; Brigadier General & CyberPatriot National Commissioner Bernie Skoch; McAfee Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Vice President, Grant Bourzikas; and UTSA President Dr. Taylor Eighmy.

The deadline for speaking proposals is June 21st. To submit a proposal, go here. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Michelle Jackson at mjackson@cybertexas.org. To register for the event, visit the UTSA-CIAS website.

About CyberTexas

Started in 2001, following the 1999 first meeting of area leaders, CyberTexas in San Antonio has been an industry pillar, championing the development of cyber careers within the Lone Star state. In that time, the CyberTexas Foundation has had an enormous impact on San Antonio’s Cyber ecosystem development. Under CTF’s leadership, in 2012, San Antonio was designated as a CyberPatriot Center of Excellence. The Conference serves as an annual meeting point for all those involved in the day-to-day development of the cyber ecosystem within the area. With 700+ attendees, spanning the scope of private industry, academia and government, the conference is supported by CyberTexas Foundation supporters: Air Force STEM, Rackspace, SecureLogix, IPSecure, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Cybersecurity San Antonio, Alamo Chapter of AFCEA, Alamo-ISSA, SA TecoSystem, TecBloc, UTSA-CIAS, UTSA-NSCC, SASTEMIC as well as a myriad of colleges (five of which have earned a designation as NSA/DHS Centers of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Education). For more information, please visit  www.cybertexas.org.

2019 USGBC Louisiana’s Forward Symposium on Sustainability Call for Speakers

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – April 3, 2019 – Speaking proposals are now being accepted for the 4th Annual U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Louisiana’s FORWARD Symposium held Friday, October 18, 2019 at Tulane University Lavin-Bernick Center in New Orleans.

The 2019 theme is, Building a Stronger Louisiana by Nurturing the Next Generation of Sustainability Leaders. The event is designed to bring Louisiana’s diverse green industry professionals together to propel the state’s sustainability conversations forward. Past events have attracted USGBC member and non-member business professionals, environmentalists, architects, educators, nonprofit leaders, and students. The symposium creates a platform where leaders can collaborate and explore what’s happening across Louisiana and how, through our collaborative efforts, we can inspire the next generation of leaders and move the state towards a more sustainable, resilient future.

The deadline for speaking proposals is July 1, 2019. Additional information on the FORWARD Symposium and instructions on submitting a speaking proposal are available here.

For more information about speaking and sponsorship opportunities contact Michelle D. Jackson at events@prsolutionsllc.org.

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About USGBC Louisiana’s FORWARD Symposium

USGBC’s Louisiana’s FORWARD Symposium is now in its fourth year. The 2018 event attracted over 175 business and academic leaders from across the country. The symposium creates a platform where leaders can collaborate and explore ways to transform how buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous Louisiana. The symposium includes a Women in Sustainability Empower (WISE) Breakfast, Educational Sessions, Leadership Lunch, and a Green Schools Presentation. Attendees can earn AIA and GBCI continuing education credits. Past speakers have included: Diana Guzman Barraza, International Energy & Sustainability Consultant, David Pogue, Senior Vice President, Global Client Care & Sustainability, CBRE, Amanda Moore, Deputy Director, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation, Anthony Mayer, CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC, Arthur Johnson, CEO, Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED), Bob Keefe, Executive Director, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), Camille Pollan, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, City of New Orleans and many others.

How the ‘Gig Economy’ is transforming the Workforce

The gig economy has revolutionized how we think about employment. Growing three times faster than the overall workforce, it affects every industry, ranging from professional and technical to convention and hospitality. Some researchers predict that more than 50 percent of the working U.S. population will be participating in freelance or temporary work by 2020.

Read More: https://www.deltapersonnel.com/2019/03/07/how-the-gig-economy-is-transforming-the-workforce/.

i.Invest National Youth Business Competition Now Accepting Applications

REV logo 11-19-18NEW ORLEANS, LA – March 1, 2019 –  i.Invest is pleased to announce that the 2019 national youth business competition is now accepting applications. Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 13 – 19, with a demonstrable product or service, can showcase their innovative ideas in a real-world business competition designed for aspiring leaders. Starting today, youth from across the country can apply to participate in a six-month web-based program that includes three rounds of scoring, virtual group coaching, and one-on-one mentoring from industry and academic leaders belonging to organizations such as, Coca-Cola United, Microsoft, USDA, and University of Maryland.

Now in its’ fourth year, i.Invest has attracted young business leaders from across the United States. Competing teams can win a share of $10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, as well as receive numerical scores and written feedback from experienced professionals who volunteer their time to help young entrepreneurs build scalable businesses. Past winners have gone on to raise over $250,000 in pre-seed funding, create jobs, enroll in the best business schools in the nation, and earn recognition from media outlets across the country. The 2018 top winner, Pulse Wearables, the creators of a medical device that allows people struggling with heart disease to monitor their heart-rate levels, joined past winners, PrepUP and Beacon Health, in earning the title of i.Invest Youth Business of the Year.

“Our goal is to attract students who have learned the fundamentals of business development and are eager to test their business model. We believe age doesn’t limit the innovator; instead, it is a key factor in what makes them creative and ambitious,” said Michelle Jackson, the competition’s executive director. “We have developed a platform that allows youth from all walks of life to show off their innovative business ideas, connect with their peers from across the country, learn from experienced professionals and win money to help them grow their business. Whether the product is urban gear or a mobile app, we welcome young leaders to participate in this year’s competition.”

To qualify for round 1 scoring, applicants must submit a concept profile, executive summary and pitch video via the Reviewr online application platform by May 1st. The application fee is $29. Scholarships are available for students from economically underserved communities through LifeSkills Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for youth and youth entrepreneurs.

All application submissions, mentoring, and scoring are done virtually. Applicants must have access to a PC, tablet or smartphone to participate. To apply, go to www.i-investcompetition.com. To become a sponsor or to learn more about the program, email info@i-investcompetition.com.

This year’s cash prizes are sponsored by ASI Federal Credit Union – New Orleans, Premier Pediatrics of Houston, VentureWalk, and PR Solutions LLC. To see a complete list of prizes visit the website.

POC: marketing@prsolutionsllc.org

3 HR TRENDS IN 2018 WITH STAYING POWER

Human resource departments must constantly adapt to new requirements from both internal and external challenges. A new generation of workers with very different ideas of what employment should look like has emerged. Now, more than ever, there is increased pressure on HR professionals to create a workplace environment where everyone can thrive. In order to meet current and future challenges, companies should look to these three HR trends that will have a direct impact on workforce development for years to come:

1. WORKFORCE RETENTION

Retention remains a critical focal point in 2018. For the first time in the history of the United States, the number of job openings exceeded the number of job seekers. The pressure is on HR departments to recruit and retain top talent, in addition to its other responsibilities.DAS clipped red banner

2. FLEXIBILITY

Technology has made it increasingly feasible to work remotely while remaining in contact with the office. The simultaneous collaboration created by cloud software allows employees to participate in meetings without being physically present. As a business owner, it is important to recognize that even minor flexibility can go a long way with improving employee morale and retention. You are more likely to gain retention from employees who feel in control about their workloads and schedules, which can lead to a healthier work-life balance.

3. SAFE WORKPLACE CULTURES REQUIRE OPEN DOOR HARASSMENT POLICIES

The rise of the #MeToo Movement has increased awareness regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. It is critical that your company is ready to handle these cases effectively, and that your workplace be a safe place for your employees. If you have not already done so, your human resource department should review and revise sexual harassment policies, examine the workplace culture, and establish an open-door policy for employees who feel harassed. Effective communication is the first step to solidifying a good relationship.

As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), Delta Administrative Services can help bolster your existing retention program, identify ways to build a flexible workforce, and develop communication to help address harassment claims. Contact us today at 1-800-828-6130 to learn how we help our clients cost-effectively outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll, and workers’ compensation.  As expectations for your HR grow, Delta Administrative Services is here to help.

2018 i.Invest National Youth Business Competition Winners Announced

 

Pulse Team
i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year – Pulse Wearables  Co-Founders: Anna Pertl – Munich, Germany; Richa Krishna – Los Altos, CA; and William Barkoff – New York, NY.

Today PR Solutions LLC announced the winners of the third annual i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Four teams consisting of youth entrepreneurs, 13 to 19 years-old from across the U.S. have been selected to receive cash and in-kind prizes after successfully completing a six-month web-based mentoring program and competition that included three rounds of scoring led by business and academic leaders from organizations, including: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Alerion Ventures, and Urban League of New Orleans. In addition, teams were required to complete group coaching, one-on-one mentoring, and a virtual finale pitch event. Winners were selected based on each team’s ability to develop a scalable business model using the guidance and recommendations of experienced industry leaders.

This year’s winners are:

  • First Place – Pulse Wearables. Developed by Richa Krishna, 17, of Los Altos, CA, William Barkoff, 16, of New York, NY and Anna Pertl, 17, of Munich, Germany, the Pulse Wearables’ medical device allows people limited by heart conditions to monitor their heart rate levels using a non-invasive patch that is easy to use, inconspicuous, and does not require any companion devices to operate. Prize: $2,000, title of i.Invest 2018 Youth Business of the Year, and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison, serial entrepreneur and chairman of deal flow at BlueTree Allied Angels and former President and CEO of American Eagle Outfitters.
  • Second Place – Skippit. Created by 19-year-old Brown University student, Winnie McCabe and Babson College student, Marc Baghadjian, Skippit is an iOS voice and video speed-dating platform designed to redefine online dating for people ages 19-28 who are interested in building intimate connections. Prize: $1,000 and a one-hour consulting session with Don Morrison.
  • Third Place – Trofi. Navami Jain, 17, Megan Wu, 17, Michelle Bao, 17, and Vincent Xia, 18, of Durham, NC are the creators of the Trofi online platform that enables suppliers of food by-products, such as fruit and vegetable pulp and spent grain, to connect and sell their “waste” products to livestock farmers who can then incorporate these nutrient-rich products into livestock feed as dietary supplements. Prize: $500.
  • Community Investment Award – Pumpkins Helping People. Gabriella Howard, 15, Alexandrea Howard, 13, and their younger brother, Sam, all from Canal Winchester, OH are the founders of Pumpkins Helping People (PHP), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to fight hunger through the sale and distribution of pumpkins. Prize: $250.

In addition, all the winners will receive a one-hour consultation with PR Solutions LLC, a strategic marketing and public relations firm and the founder of the i.Invest Competition; the opportunity to be a vendor and/or speaker during the #EYECON Youth Conference in May 2019 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; and the chance to participate in a “Ask the Start-Up Attorney” no-fee virtual consulting session with Cherin Law Firm located in Pittsburgh, PA.

“The i.Invest competition was a wonderful experience,” said Pulse Wearables co-founder, Krishna. “We loved the mentorship we received from several business leaders both through one-on-one and group sessions. It helped us identify what is truly essential in building our business and focusing on our goals. I also appreciate how well i.Invest was organized and how smooth it was for young entrepreneurs from all over the country to participate. I would love to thank everyone who was part of i.Invest for providing a supportive environment for young entrepreneurs like myself to try without fear of failure.”

To learn more about each team, visit the i.Invest blog.

The 2019 competition will start accepting applications on March 1st. Applicants must be between the ages of 13-19 and have a demonstrable product or service to compete. The application fee is $29. To receive event updates, sponsorship information and to view the list of mentors and judges visit, the i.Invest website or contact Michelle Jackson at mjackson@i-investcompetition.com.

About PR Solutions LLC

PR Solutions LLC is a strategic marketing and corporate event planning firm that specialize in working with new and established ventures to build viable business models and to integrate innovative marketing tools into for-profit and nonprofit business strategies. PR Solutions is the parent company of the i.Invest competition. i.Invest is a grassroots effort that receives funding and support from donations to LifeSkills Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, and the entrepreneurial community. The program’s 2018 principal sponsor was Premier Pediatrics of Houston. To learn more, visit www.prsllc.org.

3rd Annual USGBC FORWARD Symposium Seeks to Build A Greener Louisiana

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USGBC Louisiana’s Symposium on Sustainability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Event set to bring green industry leaders together to discuss how to move Louisiana’s sustainability efforts forward.

New Orleans, LA – October 2, 2018 – On Friday, October 19th, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) of Louisiana will host its third annual FORWARD Symposium on Sustainability at Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year’s theme, “Shared Value, Equity & Growth: Designing a Strategy for a Sustainable Future,” will bring green industry professionals from across the region together to discuss how to move the state towards a more sustainable, resilient future.

The symposium attracts business and academic leaders regionally including member and non-member environmentalists, architects, educators, nonprofit leaders, and students. The one-day event offers presentations and discussions about green building in and around Louisiana and provides professionals with the opportunity to earn American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) continued education units. The event will also include the Women in Sustainability Empower (WISE) breakfast, green school workshop, educational sessions, Sustainability Leadership Awards Luncheon, and a Tulane LEED building tour.

“Making Louisiana a greener, healthier place to live, work, and learn is our mission,” said Monica Gonzalez, the organization’s Chair. “FORWARD is an opportunity to showcase the great sustainability work happening across the region, to share best practices, and to create a collaborative platform that allows us to move conversations on Louisiana’s sustainability forward.”

The event day will kick-off at 7:30 a.m. with the annual WISE breakfast featuring keynote, Diana Guzman-Barraza, an international Energy & Sustainability Consultant who was featured on former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality broadcast on climate change. Guzman-Barraza’s presentation, “The Way Forward: Greening Louisiana for a Shared, Sustainable Future,” will be followed by a panel discussion comprised of women influencers, including: Guzman-Barraza, Donna M. Barry, Manager, Facilities Planning & Operations, Entergy Services, Inc., and Melissa Gibbs, Business Development & Small/Disadvantaged Contractor Outreach, Gibbs Construction.

The Sustainability Leadership Awards Luncheon from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. will feature keynote speaker David Pogue, Senior Vice President, Global Client Care & Sustainability, CBRE. Pogue’s presentation, “What Do You Want to Be Known For?” will be a challenge to corporations to demonstrate a more direct integration between corporate responsibility efforts and outcomes and their business activities. Pogue will also address the process CBRE and others have taken to identify and create sustainable solutions.

During the Leadership Award Luncheon, the USGBC will recognize individuals and teams who have demonstrated exceptional efforts to help green Louisiana.

Educational sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Other speakers include: Amanda Moore, Deputy Director, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation; Camille Pollan, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, City of New Orleans; Arthur Johnson, CEO, Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED); Z Smith, Director of Sustainability & Performance, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and Bob Keefe, Executive Director, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). To view the complete agenda, go to the USGBC website.

To attend the educational sessions, WISE breakfast and Leadership Luncheon, ticket prices are $125 for members and $150 for non-members. To attend the WISE breakfast only, the cost is $50. Students can attend the educational sessions for a special rate of $5. To learn more about USGBC Louisiana and the FORWARD Symposium, visit www.usgbclouisiana.org. For sponsorship opportunities visit, FORWARD sponsorship page.

About USGBC Louisiana

USGBC Louisiana is a chapter of the USGBC. The organization’s mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous Louisiana. The board executive committee members include: Monica Gonzalez, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Chair), Alejandra Guzman, New Orleans Business Alliance (Vice Chair), Richard Longman, WHLC, Architecture (Treasurer), Dru Lamb, HermanMiller (Secretary), Casius Pealer, Tulane School of Architecture (Special Counsel), and Amber Beezley, Tulane University (Ex Officio).

For more information:

Contact: Michelle Jackson

USGBC Louisiana Media Liaison

c. (678) 548-2461

events@prsolutionsllc.org

CyberMaryland Addresses Critical Risks in “The State of Cyber”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Annual event held during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month offers educational sessions led by industry experts, job fair, capture the flag competition and technology showcase.

Baltimore, MD – October 4, 2018CyberMaryland will host its eighth annual conference on October 9th and 10th in Baltimore, Maryland. The event, presented by the Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC) and The National Cyber Security Hall of Fame, hosts over 800 attendees from across Maryland and around the United States.  Attendees representing more than 50 government agencies, 250 cyber companies, colleges and universities and international partners such as Australia and Canada will participate this year. The agenda will focus on workforce development, U.S. Cyber Command, cyber education, technology & innovation, NSA Cyber, risk management, employment opportunities and student competitions.

This year’s conference, themed “The State of Cyber,” will take place at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As professionals come together to discuss the most critical risks our nation faces, key topics will be addressed by presenters, including, the Honorable C.A. ‘Dutch’ Ruppersberger, U.S. House of Representatives (MD); Christopher Krebs, Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Marianne Bailey, Deputy National Manager (DNM) for National Security Systems (NSS) and Senior Cybersecurity Executive, National Security Agency (NSA) and Captain Ed Devinney, Director, Corporate Partnerships and Technology Outreach, U.S. Cyber Command.

“The CyberMaryland conference provides an annual networking platform for our community to get together in a face-to-face environment,” said David Powell, Event Chair. “As Maryland’s cyber ecosystem continues to evolve, it is important to the people behind the work to know each other, understand where opportunities exist and learn how we can support one another in securing the future. This is a gathering spot for anyone supporting cyber innovation, education, employment, technology development and government partners who are interested in playing a part in solving cyber problems.”

CyberMaryland Conference also features nationally recognized speakers and panelists on multiple tracks. New this year is a track dedicated to senior leadership from the U.S. Cyber Command who will provide an overview of their organization and discuss how businesses can engage with the Command to provide products and services to support their emerging technology needs. In addition, during the track, key leaders will introduce the new DreamPort initiative, a state-of-the-art facility and program designed to lead the development of unparalleled capability in cyber security, collaboration on the development of solutions and tools to help U.S. Cyber Command address cyber threats.

The Technology Showcase Exhibit will highlight the latest capabilities from cyber companies such as CyberSponse, Fortinet, CenturyLink, Anomali, Bridges, Eaton’s, Infoblox, KeyW Corp, MILVETS, TrainACE, DreamPort, Attivo, Point3 Security, ProObject; government agencies such as DHS, NSA, GSA and US Cyber Command; academic institutions such as UMUC, UMBC, UMBC Training Centers, Purdue University Global, George Washington University, Anne Arundel Community College, Capitol Technology University.

Cyber job seekers can attend CyberMaryland’s Job Fair on October 9th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with leading cyber security companies, network with other security professionals, and have their resume reviewed by human resource managers and staff. This year’s participants include, Bank of America, FEDDATA, Jacobs, Leidos, NSA, Parsons, Perspecta, Raytheon, SAIC, and the US Cyber Command.

Another highlight of the conference is the Maryland Cyber Challenge, sponsored by U.S Cyber Command’s “DreamPort,” and using the Point3 ESCALATE Competition platform.  Registered teams have participated in two qualifying rounds of challenges during the month of October which demonstrates their ability to work together, understand both simple and complex vulnerabilities, defensive operations and gamified offensive operations. The finals, to be held on October 9th, will feature eight high school and 12 college teams.  The Champion and First Runner-Up for each category will be announced during the closing session on October 9.

The CyberMaryland conference attracts a host of cyber-savvy professionals annually. To learn about the conference or to register, visit www.fbcinc.com/e/CyberMDConference/.

ABOUT CYBERMARYLAND

Launched in 2011, The Cyber Maryland Conference is driven by a public-private partnership guided by a volunteer Industry Advisory Board consisting of business leaders, top educators, and public sector representatives. Timely and informative, this issue-driven event provides an annual forum to unite private sector businesses, federal, state and local government, academia and the developing workforce. The conference is supported and funded by over 100 private companies, educational institutions and government organizations. The Federal Business Council, Inc. (FBC http://www.fbcinc.com) has produced The Cyber Maryland Conference from its inception, providing capital, personnel and expertise to launch and grow the program. More than 1,700 people participated in 2017. Now in its eighth year, the Conference will continue to address the security challenges facing our nation’s digital infrastructure, reinforce Maryland’s position as the epicenter of cybersecurity, and help fulfill Maryland’s responsibility to support America’s cybersecurity mission while maximizing the benefits to and opportunities for Maryland. For more information, please visit www.thecybermarylandconference.com.

For additional information:

Contact: Michelle Jackson

CyberMaryland Conference Media Liaison

c. (678) 548-2461

events@prsolutionsllc.org

 

Durham, NC Teen Entrepreneurs Turning Pulp into Profits with Online Sustainability Platform

Trofi Team Pic

Navami Jain, 17, Megan Wu, 17, Michelle Bao, 17 and Vincent Xia, 18 of Durham, North Carolina are one of this year’s competitors in the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Their company, Trofi, is a sustainability-driven venture that aims to reduce food waste while simultaneously offering new nutritional value to livestock farmers and their animals.

Tell us about your business.

Trofi’s online platform will enable suppliers of food by-products, such as fruit and vegetable pulp and spent grain, to connect and sell their “waste” products to livestock farmers who can then incorporate these nutrient-rich products into livestock feed as dietary supplements. After the products are reserved online, suppliers and farmers can negotiate all the details of the transaction, thus making the process convenient for farmers while offering a sustainable waste disposal method for suppliers. For just a small subscription cost each month, suppliers and buyers gain access to effortless connections, increased opportunity for transactions, and a chance to boost their green corporate image.

What inspired the creation of Trofi?

As students from a residential high school, we often go to local smoothie shops and juicers. As we watched the workers create our delicious drinks, we also noticed how much pulp comes from each drink. In fact, a standard 16 ounce of cold-pressed juice yields 4.5 pounds of pulp waste which, as we later found, contributed to the astonishing 175,000 pounds of pulp waste that ends up in landfills each year. After stumbling across an article that told of the incredible story of tons of orange pulp and peels turning nutrient-deprived land into loamy soil after years of decomposition, we wanted to see what fruit pulp could be turned into. Recognizing this problem, we seek solutions to reduce or repurpose this form of food waste besides just composting, which still has some environmental repercussions. Living in small towns in NC, we frequently visit Farmers’ Markets for fresh produce and local meats, eggs, or other dairy products. Supporting these farmers is important to us; therefore, we want to connect these two parties together. Waste from one source could be a hidden gem for the other.

How will Trofi impact the world?

Trofi offers benefits for both suppliers and buyers of the food byproduct items, as well as overall environmental benefit for the local communities. The suppliers – local juice stores, breweries, and other businesses – are able to reduce costs spent on waste disposal while recycling the nutrients that would otherwise be the “waste products” of their business. The buyers – local farmers – are able to enrich their animals’ diet with natural nutrients by paying a small price. Thus, both suppliers and buyers are connected to simultaneously promote sustainability at the highest level. Furthermore, because both suppliers and buyers are local businesses, we are supporting and promoting an economic exchange.

What are the next steps for Trofi?

Trofi currently does not have investors and is in the process of becoming an LLC to begin seeking investors. We would like to work towards incorporating an educational tool for farmers and suppliers on the online platform. While feeding animals food scraps isn’t a new concept, the research and educational tools can bring more awareness to this practice and better cater to the different needs of various types of livestock. We are seeking $8,000 to extend the functionality of our web-based platform, begin development of a mobile platform, and for marketing.

To stay abreast of Trofi’s progress in the i.Invest Competition, sign up for our newsletter at www.i-investcompetition.com. To provide support as a mentor or investor, email info@i-investcompetition.com.