Author: Timothy Nordvedt
Announcing the 2018 NewCo Honors Nominees
We’re in the final stretch leading up to NewCo Shift Forum and are pleased to announce the nominees for the NewCo Honors, our annual awards for organizations doing well by doing good. Nominees are all market leaders and well-known names in their respective sectors, but what makes them significant through the NewCo lens is their commitment to leading in a new market with significant positive impact. They are the embodiment of business on a mission. NewCo Honors are given annually for actions in the previous year.
All of these organizations are “NewCos” based on our editorial narrative, which we have written about extensively, refined, and clarified over the years. They are a new kind of company, one that measures its success by more than profit. They are purpose-driven, information-first, networked, and, most importantly, on a mission.
The NewCo Honors process is exciting and collaborative. Our editorial team convenes with a group of entrepreneurs, investors, members of the media, and big thinkers (the list is here). We collectively nominate companies from our individual orbits and provide extensive background information about these organizations and what they accomplished in the year prior. If a judge is involved in a company nominated by other judges, that judge recuses him or herself from voting in that company’s category. We categorize each nominee into groups for each of the three yearly NewCo Honors. Winners will be announced at Shift Forum on February 26, 2018 (here’s the conference agenda).
BigCos typically have been around for at least ten years or have gone public and are often significant incumbents in their industry. Last year the award was given to Unilever, which has become a global leader in sustainability and social responsibility — particularly with its commitment to the environment, and to preserving the culture and missions of the smaller companies it has acquired (Dollar Shave, Seventh Generation, and more).
The nominees for 2018 BigCo of the Year are:
- Airbnb, for their platform’s efforts to relieve housing pressures during disasters and their work to provide aid to refugees.
- Chobani, in respect for the leadership of their founder and CEO and for their commitment to communities.
- Panera Bread, for their commitment to clean food and for $100M donated each year to fight food insecurity.
- Patagonia, for being “the original NewCo”, back when doing well by doing good was not a thing, and for its meaningful stance against the White House’s position on public lands.
- Safaricom, for being a leader in Africa for top-notch treatment of employees and for support of African entrepreneurship.
- Salesforce, for its groundbreaking 1–1–1 philanthropic policy and for Mark Benioff’s example that a CEO can be a force for social good.
This category is closest to our heart as our media business was launched as a festival of new kinds of companies who opened the doors of their offices to welcome the community for short interactive sessions. NewCos are less than ten-year-old startups taking on big problems, disrupting their vertical, creating new work environments, and keeping the BigCos on their toes. Last year the award was given to Tesla for using the power of business and technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. This year the nominees for NewCo of the Year are:
- Boundless, in recognition of its efforts to simplify the US immigration process.
- Brandless, for totally reinventing retail and giving away 250K meals to needy individuals since its launch.
- Guayaki, for leading the alternative beverage category from the heart, supporting anti-recidivism, and developing an all-electric fleet of distribution vehicles.
- KIND, for the many facets of company philanthropy, including their KIND People program.
- Nurx, for helping women in “contraceptive deserts” get access to affordable and anonymous birth control.
- Warby Parker, for their effort to get schoolkids eyewear and their “buy one, give one” model of philanthropy.
These organizations have doing good built into their existence. Last year the winner was Defy Ventures for serving formerly incarcerated individuals through an entrepreneurship, leadership, and training program. This year our nominees for this category are standouts in their decision to tackle some of the most daunting problems faced by humanity. The nominees for this year’s Non-ProfitCo of the Year are:
- Donorschoose.org, for giving over $100M to teachers to support their creative learning programs in our nation’s public schools.
- Management Leaders for Tomorrow, for developing business leadership capabilities in underprivileged individuals.
- Path Forward, for supporting organizations with programs to help women re-engage in the workforce after time spent caregiving.
- Pledge 1%, for its unique platform which creates a structure for companies to commit 1% of their equity and 1% of their time on philanthropic activities.
- Techstars Foundation, for their work funding organizations focused on increased diversity in entrepreneurship.
- The Nature Conservancy, for their important work as a “Nature Banker” and for an investment partnership with Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in supporting companies that positively impact the planet.
- Venture for America, for developing youth entrepreneurship in a wide range of cities and socioeconomic groups.
- YearUp, in recognition of their workforce retraining/retooling work in various US regions.
We will announce the winner in each category on February 26th. Keep an eye out here in our Shift publication for a write up of the winners. Congratulations to all the nominees!