It started back in April, when startups from all over the world were invited to submit their innovative business ideas in construction products, advanced materials, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability to Saint-Gobain. From a total of 168 entries received by the competition deadline in July, the field was narrowed to 39 semi-finalists, and then ultimately to the 8 finalists who will compete in the final round at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco.
Each of the competitors went through a stringent review process by a panel of in-house and outside experts, which included representatives from Saint-Gobain, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. Green Building Council — Northern California Chapter, and Webcor Builders.
As part of the finalist selection process, the panel considered a variety of criteria in deciding which of the businesses offered the best strategic fit with Saint-Gobain. Factors included technical potential, market/business potential and management team potential. The judges also considered the startups’ potential for success in the market as well as the potential for partnership with Saint-Gobain. The semi-finalists were ranked, evaluated, and then re-ranked based on input from both Saint-Gobain’s internal team and the outside experts. The resulting 8 finalists represent the most promising of the startups and will have the opportunity to present their innovative business ideas to Saint-Gobain in a live speed-dating format at Greenbuild on November 15.
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