April 23, 2014, Missoula, MT – The National Forest Foundation (NFF) announced an expansion of the 2014 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge, an opportunity for teams to compete for $100,000 in prize money for innovative, market-based solutions to natural resource challenges.
Sponsor Craig R. Barrett, former Chairman and CEO of Intel and Vice Chairman of the NFF Board of Directors, described the purpose of this competition as “stimulating new ideas and cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders.” He added that winning entries will demonstrate a significant commitment and ability to take an idea forward to implementation.
Among dozens of business plan competitions around the country, the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge offers a unique opportunity to match innovative market strategies to the pressing needs of America’s 193-million-acre National Forest System. Managed for multiple public values, these lands often generate controversy as natural resource managers face challenges not contemplated when the first National Forests were established over a century ago.
Barrett’s experience at the helm of Intel Corporation influenced his decision to devote substantial resources to encourage the development of market-based solutions that solve forest restoration challenges: “In four decades as a business leader, I’ve seen a lot of innovative ideas, but not enough of them have been directed at the challenges facing our National Forests. As a Board Member of the NFF, I saw an opportunity to channel this intellectual energy towards solving our nation’s critical natural resources challenges.” The competition offers a $75,000 cash award to the winning submission and a $25,000 cash award to the first runner-up in the final stage of the competition.
Following a pre-proposal review, up to ten finalist teams will make presentations to a judging panel of distinguished national experts and receive feedback on the feasibility of their projects. In addition to Craig Barrett, the review committee is comprised of Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S.D.A Forest Service; Mike Brown Jr., Founder & General Partner, Bowery Capital; Hal Salwasser, Professor and former Dean, Oregon State University College of Forestry; William J. Possiel, President, National Forest Foundation.
The Challenge is open to teams comprised of representatives from for-profit and nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, and students, staff, or faculty at nationally accredited colleges and universities.
Business ideas developed for the Challenge should be original and not substantially financed by others. Consistent with Barrett’s keen interest in generating ideas that can and will be implemented, the judging panel will look for concepts that clearly articulate a specific natural resource challenge and apply market-based strategies to address that challenge in a way that will benefit the National Forests and Grasslands.
Qualifying pre-proposals must be submitted by 8:00 AM MDT on Monday, June 16, 2014. For information on the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge, visit http://www.nationalforests.org/conserve/grantprograms/barrett-prize/.
About the National Forest Foundation
Founded by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation works to conserve, restore and enhance America’s 193-million-acre National Forest System. Through community-based strategies and public-private partnerships, the NFF enhances wildlife habitat, revitalizes wildfire-damaged landscapes, restores watersheds, and improves recreational resources for the benefit of all Americans. The NFF’s Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences national conservation campaign is uniting public and private partners to conduct large-scale forest and watershed restoration and revitalize ecosystem resiliency in iconic National Forest System sites around the nation. To learn more, visit us at www.nationalforests.org.