The 2012-2013 Big Ideas@Berkeley student innovation competition will officially launch on September 5th. The kickoff will begin with an event featuring an inspiring talk by Alejandro Velez, founder of Back to the Roots (BTTR). Starting with just an idea and a $5,000 Big Ideas award, Alejandro and a Haas School colleague, Nikhil Arora, launched a successful, sustainable business that grows gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. BTTR now employs more than 30 individuals and sells its mushroom kits in 300 Whole Foods stores nationwide.
Alejandro and Nikhil have been widely recognized for their innovative and successful social venture. They have been named to Forbes “30 under 30” list, Mother Nature Network’s “Top 30 Fresh Thinkers in the Innovation Generation” and CNN’s “10 Generation Next Entrepreneurs.”
This presentation will be followed by a brief overview of the structure for the 2012-2013 Big Ideas@Berkeley Contest and a mixer.