Babson bumps up competition prize to $30,000

Meliza Solan Surdi · September 11, 2008 · Short URL:

Clean tech startups are taking the lead with their votes

The final week of a competition is always fun to watch as the voting ramps up. In a few days, the $30,000 Babson Innovation Competition on Vator will draw to a close. Yes, that's right. The organizers upped the prize by another $10,000. 

The winner will receive $20,000 in cash and $10,000 in services. The top three finalists will present at Babson College on October 2, 2008, during the Babson Forum Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The judges will be taking into account the number of votes on the Vator platform.

It's far from over. I've seen newcomers enter Vator competitions in the final days and take the lead by attracting a couple hundred votes in no time. 

Here are the top five, based on votes as of September 11.

 Leading the pack with 95 votes is Environmentally Conscious Organization. This company takes an environmental approach to food packaging and has a patent on its first product, "Green Box," a new pizza box made from 100% recycled material. 

Ball & Buck has 90 votes.  This startup creates organic, high-quality clothing for the outdoor enthusiast. Note to B&B: Put up a video pitch on Vator, so we can check out the clothes and the people behind the idea! 


  IMTopics has 79 votes. The NY-based startup appears to be at the conceptual stage. Its goal is to enable people to share topics that are important to them. This is a great idea. Of course, it's quite a crowded space. Other startups, like FriendFeed and a new site with a lot of traction, called Socialmedian, are doing a great job enabling people to share stuff across the Web.

GeneWeave Biosciences has 76 votes. The company says it's "creating a 10-minute disposable MRSA test that requires no lab, technical training, or even electricity."


 GiftVentures has 45 votes. The Henderson, Nevada-based startup is reinventing gift giving. Giftventure is a personal treasure hunt. A child receives personal letters from a fantasy character that lead to a gift you hide. When the gift is discovered, it is no longer just a present; it is a well-deserved reward at the end of an exciting and educational journey!

Remember, it's not over, until it's over!

These are just the top five based on votes. In a few days, it may be all different.

Good luck to all the participants! It's not too late to enter. And, for those just watching, don't forget to cast your votes.





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GeneWeave Biosciences


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Environmentally Conscious Organization, Inc.


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Our Product.  The Green Boxis a pizza box made from 100% recycled material.  The top of the Green Boxbreaks down into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The remainder of the box converts easily into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for plastic wrap, tin foil and plastic bags.  The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin.  Made from a standard pizza blank, the Green Boxrequires no additional material or major redesign and can therefore be produced at no additional manufacturing cost.

About Us.  Environmentally Conscious Organization Incorporated (e.c.o.) ( is a design, licensing, manufacturing, subcontract management and logistics firm dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging.  The patent for our first product, the ‘Green Box’ was issued in May of 2006.  In addition, e.c.o. has two outstanding patent applications to cover any possible work-around of this design.


Ball and Buck


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 Ball and Buck's mission is to sustainably create all organic high quality clothing for those who love being outside. Whether hiking the Appalachian trail, sailing off the Maine coast or hunting in Georgia, we hope that you wear your B&B clothing in good faith, with the knowledge that you are not only helping the nature that surrounds you, but becoming part of it.Ball and Buck is an all organic conservative clothing line.  We are dedicated to creating impeccably designed organic clothing of the highest possible quality.  Our goal is to market the environmentally friendly lifestyle and consuming behaviors to conservative college students, and other members of their generation, who feel that the"green" movement has ignored them by being associated only with the Democratic Party.  We believe that conservative students do not want to concern themselves with global warming or environmental issues, because they do not want the "liberal" or"hippie/ treehugger" stigma that comes with environmental awareness and protection.  At Ball and Buck,our end goal is to change that stigma and to teach these college students that"Conservation is Conservative." The first line is our cornerstone collection, the backbone behind our brand - our“On Field Line”, which is all organic waxed cotton outerwear.  Waxed cotton is the natural alternative to synthetic weather-proofers like Gore-Tex.  We are making fully lined organic cotton blazers, peacoatsand raincoats.  The second line complements the first, and is the “Off Field Line” and is a collection of products that are intended to be worn under the "On Field" jackets and coats. This line includes tennis shirts, oxford shirts, seersucker pants and other casual, traditional clothing items. Their design and colors are created to be worn in perfect conjunction with the different pieces of outerwear we make.  The third line is part of our marketing plan, and not one that we will be pushing as a Ball And Buck line.  We willbe making 100% organic cotton promotional t-shirts for universities and campus organizations in order to promote the importance of organic clothing and marketour brand through free t-shirts. This service includes all design work, so we are an incredibly easy solution for organizations to use - our t-shirts only run $.50 to $1 more per shirt than conventional cotton t-shirts, and the benefits are obvious and vastly outweigh the added costs.  Ball and Buck believes in the importance of helping nature, and giving back to help maintain the beautiful American landscape so that future generations can continue to enjoy the traditions like hunting, fishing, camping and sailing,that we have grown up with.  For these reasons, we will be donating a portion of our revenue to American land conservation.  Along with land conservation, Ball and Buck is partnering with several non-profits such as the REP (Republicans for Environmental Protection), Be Carbon Neutral,and Real Hunters Real Conservation. 

We are working on creating a College Rep Program in the southeast, targeting large schools such as the University of Virginia and Wake Forest.  Our Reps will be responsible for spreading our brand, selling our merchandise, and creating an exciting buzz around our company.  We are also planning on having several launch parties at Wake Forest, Virginia Tech,  and Babson College. 

We are not only starting a clothing line, but also a lifestyle brand - and are demonstrating to our peers that it is possible to still dress and act in traditionally preppy ways, but to do so while being conscious of the environment and respecting nature.


Joined Vator on

We have re-invented gift giving. Giftventure is a personal treasure hunt. A child receives personal letters from a fantasy character that lead to a gift you hide.

When the gift is discovered, it is no longer just a present; it is a well-deserved reward at the end of an exciting and educational journey!


The company is an opportunity to build a scalable, protectable, high-margin, and viral entertainment services company as the first mover around a new product category called Giftventure. The company uses proven technologies in a patent-pending manner to address a new market ($2.2B) that is comparable to the greeting card industry ($10B). There are numerous expansion opportunities as well, such gift bundling (e.g., partner with Amazon), merchandizing (e.g., custom wrapping paper and lunch boxes), corporate promotions, children’s destination web site and international development.

What's important to you?


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 Buisness Model - "iMtopics" will allow internet users to share topics that are important to them. Using video content, blogs and comments the user will be able to communicate thoughts on the topic that is of interest or importance to the user and share it with the web. This social media network will allow users to share information about resources and organizations that provide assistance or services pertainting to the topic.

  Widgets - "Wi2u?" stands for What's important to you? this widget will be placed on all registered users page on "Wi2u?" will allow the users to track and view the amount of money that has been generated from "Topics Coffee" and donated to the organization being sponsored for the month. This widget will also provide information for the user on the upcoming topics, shows and latest news on iMtopics.


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