Whole Trees & Stony Creek Colors featured in Forbes

Redefining an industry, crossing industry lines and challenging gender disparities – that’s what caught Geri Stengel’s attention at Forbes about Amelia Baxter of Whole Trees Architecture and Structures and Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors, two of our most recent USDA CATP and Ag Innovation Showcase companies. Stengel’s article, Women And Nature: A Powerful Combination for the Planet and Business Growth, sums up what we’ve been noticing about women in ag as well.

In her article, Stengel highlights how women are driving innovation and business growth in the “sleepy” industry of agriculture. Using Whole Trees Architecture and Stony Creek Colors as case studies, she introduces her audience to two businesses that have broken into the agriculture industry in atypical ways; using cuts of wood conventionally discarded to build sustainable and beautiful homes (Whole Trees), and replacing pollutant dyes in the textile industry with naturally grown indigo in the U.S. (Stony Creek).

Larta Institute worked with both companies through our 2014-2015 Commercialization Assistance Training Program for their USDA Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant. We also coached them through their presentations to the industry savvy audience at the Ag Showcase in September, where Whole Trees won the Best in Show award, and Stony Creek was a close runner up.

Being able to see our alumni companies not only thrive, but affect tangible social impact in our world is what inspires us to continue working with entrepreneurs. We have previously earmarked these two companies as companies worth watching, and will continue to keep our eye on them.