Vanessa Pierre, a former Miami-Dade teacher, founded EcoRenew Solutions in 2017 after a trip to Haiti led her down the Google rabbit hole to learn all she could about where trash goes – and the discoveries haunted her and inspired her to act. “When we throw our trash away, it never really goes away.”
The daughter of Haitian immigrants set up a company in Haiti that pays Haitian residents for recycling plastics, aluminum and glass – all of which litters the land and sea, detrimental to the environment and public health. Then EcoRenew uses the recyclables to make landscaping pavers and potentially other products such as clothing, employing Haitians who need jobs. “So that’s why our tagline is transform your garbage to cold, because it literally is,” said Pierre, EcoRenew’s founder and Chief Recycling Officer. Pierre’s company in Miami has also been collecting plastics and recycling them, but she’d like to start making the bricks locally as well.
Pierre [pictured above] was selected as one of 10 entrepreneurs to participate in the upcoming Clean & Climate Tech Cohort of its EndeavorLAB accelerator growth program. EndeavorLAB, produced by Endeavor Miami, is a two-month specialized accelerator program that supports local early-stage companies with market-tested business models through access to seasoned mentors, workshops, exclusive content and peer support.
For Pierre, she is looking forward to joining EndeavorLAB to build relationships with fellow entrepreneurs – and learn. “I’m looking forward to learning and soaking up every bit of information on how to be a better leader in this environmental space.”
The first EndeavorLAB of the year will be powered by Future of Cities, a mission-driven organization and consortium dedicated to transforming communities through sustainable development, and supported by Silicon Valley Bank.
“This cohort of early stage tech companies is special, as they focus on tackling difficult climate change challenges affecting South Florida and other communities around the world. We are eager to support the founders to propel their businesses forward and make their impact long lasting,” said Claudia Duran, Managing Director of Endeavor Miami.
Running between March 8th and May 5th, this climate-tech focused accelerator is the result of a fundraising effort held at the “Venture into Nature” ChoZen retreat.
“Miami is one of the most at-risk cities in the nation for the effects of climate change,” said Tony Cho, CEO & Founder, Future of Cities. “Despite there being many who don’t believe the data, you can’t deny the drastic and visible changes that have occurred within the city within our lifetime, and the time to act is now.”
In addition to EcoRenew Solutions, here are the other companies in the cohort (descriptions provided by Endeavor):
- Algas Organics: Algas Organics is an agtech start up, using Caribbean seaweeds to make farming more climate resilient and profitable. The company is led by Founder Johanan Dujon.
- Carbon Limit: Carbon Limit is a Climate Tech company that is creating the most effective and profitable solutions to global CO2 pollution. The company is led by Tim Sperry, Founder & CEO; Oro Padron, Co-Founder & CMO; Christina Athena, CIO; and Angel Pedroza, COO.
- Cycle Technology: Cycle Technology, Inc is a recycling data and technology company that focuses on rewarding people for recycling. The company is led by Connor Pohl, Co-Founder & CRO; Harrison Mount, Co-Founder & CTO; and Anwar Khan, Co-Founder & CEO.
- HOPE Hydration: HOPE designs, manufacturers, installs and maintains a network of free hydration stations (tech-enabled water fountains) that allow you to refill your favorite beverages on-the-go. The company is led by Founder Jorge Richardson.
- Imagine Farms: Imagine Farms is an Indoor, Vertical, Hydroponic Farm growing a wide variety of leafy greens, herbs, microgreens, and petite root vegetables on a compact footprint in Little Haiti, Miami. The farm was established in 2018, with a dream of utilizing cutting edge technology and sustainable farming practices to share locally grown delicious and nutritious produce free from pesticides and harsh chemicals with the community. The company is led by Lisa Merkle, Co-Founder & CMO; Cheryl Arnold, Co-Founder & CEO; and Joe Cross, Co-Founder.
- Lean Orb: Lean Orb offers compostable foodservice packaging powered by data and corporate education. The company is led by Founder and CEO Anastasia Mikhalochkina.
- OBE Power: OBE Power is building the smart EV charging ecosystem at convenient locations where drivers live, work, play and learn. The company is led by managing partners Luis Paul and Alejandro Burgana.
- Own Power: Own Power is the marketplace for energy businesses. The company is led by Alex Bril, CEO & Co-Founder and Jordi Vila Verdaguer, CPO & Co-Founder.
- The Addition Company: The Addition Company addresses rising sea-levels through the convergence of three technologies: 3D Printing, material science, and sensor tech. The company is led by founder & CEO Anya Freeman.
Endeavor Miami, founded in 2013 and part of the global network, currently supports 26 companies and 46 entrepreneurs, such as Nearpod, Cameo, NovoPayment and Wyncode.
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at [email protected]
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