April 16, 2008
Winner of environmentally friendly innovations competition to receive $20,000
Tempe, AZ - On Apr. 18, 2008, students from Arizona State University (ASU) will travel to the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, Ark. to compete in the “Better Living Business Plan Challenge.” The competition was created to provide students around the world an opportunity to invent sustainable products or business solutions and present them to a panel of Wal-Mart executives, government officials, suppliers and environmental organizations. In addition to gaining an audience with some of the top business and sustainability leaders in the US, the winning school will receive $20,000.
“Wal-Mart is committed to fostering innovation at all levels-in our stores and supply chain, in our communities and throughout the retail industry,” said Jim Stanway, senior director of Wal-Mart's Global Supplier Initiatives - Energy. “We created this challenge to give students a forum to showcase their best ideas and to help us learn from some of the brightest minds in the world.”
Wal-Mart has invited students from nine leading universities to submit business plans on topics ranging from clean air, water and soil, to energy efficient and healthy products.
ASU looked to its Global Institute of Sustainability and School of Sustainability to find a group of students who could exceed in the competition. A judging panel of ASU faculty and staff, a Wal-Mart executive, local venture capitalists and industry leaders listened to presentations from student entrepreneur groups and selected the Green Taxi Cab to represent ASU at the national competition; four students were selected to represent ASU after winning a preliminary competition in March.
Designed as an environmentally and socially responsible taxi company, Green Taxi Cab is Arizona's first all-hybrid taxi service. The company was founded by ASU student Andrew Nelson, a supply-chain-management senior who received funding for the start-up through ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative.
“I feel that Green Taxi Cab will excel in the competition because the business model encapsulates the true meaning of sustainability. Green Taxi Cab is a rare kind of business that has the potential to completely revolutionize an industry in a very positive way,” said Nelson.
According to Jay Golden, assistant professor at ASU's School of Sustainability and director of the National Center of Excellence for SMART Innovations, who is also coaching the students: “Being invited as
one of a select group of leading academic institutions focused on bridging sustainability and entrepreneurship is an honor for our faculty and students.”
During the “Better Living Business Plan Competition,” student teams will present their business plans to a panel of judges made up of executives from Wal-Mart and other leading companies and non-government organizations. Two teams will move on to the final round where Wal-Mart president and CEO Lee Scott and other Wal-Mart executives will select the winning proposal and present the students with a check for $20,000; the runner-up will receive $10,000. Winners will be publicly announced on Monday, Apr. 18, 2008.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
About ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability
The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU's sustainability initiatives. The Institute advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the US, offers transdisciplinary degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental, economic and social challenges. For more information visit the Global Institute of Sustainability at http://sustainability.asu.edu or the School of Sustainability at http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu.
About ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative
The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative harnesses the entrepreneurial energy and creativity found in ASU's student body. Made possible by the $5.4 million donation of Orin and Charlene Edson to the ASU Foundation, the Initiative provides funding, training/networking, and office space for teams of ASU students to explore their innovative ideas in partnership with faculty, researchers and successful entrepreneurs in both the university and private sector.
Kory Lundberg, Wal-Mart
Lauren Kuby, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University