Announcing Winners of the 2015 Innovation Ecosystem Awards

2015 Global Innovation Summit. February 17–19 • Silicon Valley, CaliforniaSecond Annual Rainforest Recognitions: the Innovation Ecosystem Awards


We’re proud to announce the winners of the 2nd annual Innovation Ecosystem Awards! They will be recognized at the Global Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley on February 17-19. The Rainforest Recognitions are the world’s leading contest for companies, organizations, and communities that exemplify the broadest spirit of innovation, by transforming the systems around them.

Come to the Global Innovation Summit! In addition to meeting the award winners, you’ll get the latest insights, practical tools, and case studies on how innovation ecosystems are being built everywhere.

Congratulations to our contest winners!

Below are the 2015 Innovation Ecosystem Award Winners (in alphabetical order):


AMPION is a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation in the emerging world. We empower entrepreneurial minds to become successful change-makers in their communities and boost private sector growth for development.

We bring together entrepreneurial minds from the fields of IT, design and business who join our 5 day bus tours from around the world. Teams self-organize around exciting ideas for new ventures, and work hard to launch a business and pitch it to a jury of experts and investors at a grand finale.

Calvert Foundation for the “Ours to Own” initiative

Ours To Own is a growing movement of people making small investments — $20 or more — to strengthen the cities we live in and love. We are reclaiming the basic concept of investing: pooling together smaller amounts of money to create bigger impact, for the common good.


The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is a private/public partnership established in 1983 committed to recruiting, expanding and supporting newly forming quality companies that bring jobs to the region and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks-Tahoe

Fund Good Jobs

Fund Good Jobs is a philanthropic investment vehicle. We provide the support and capital small businesses need to grow and create good jobs. Fund Good Jobs is born out of small business’s pressing need for capital. The Fund bets on high need, high growth companies by providing tailored investments ranging from $100K to $2M. These impact investments are designed to help growing businesses maximize the number of good jobs they can create.


Kudumbashree strives to develop the model of a micro finance led financial security process into a more comprehensive model of local economic development under the aegis of local governments. This would hopefully sustain the transformation of the local governance agenda from welfare to entitlement. Such a transformation does not come about easily and requires rewriting established administrative and development practices. It requires the community acquiring voice and being heard. It requires institutionalizing processes that allow for participation and meaningful contribution. It is through the realization of citizenship that Kudumbashree would be able to significantly address issues of equity and justice.

Nisolo Shoes

Nisolo means not alone.

As consumers, we are not alone in the world. We recognize that our small choices have a big impact somewhere else. As producers, we are not alone. We have access to the global market and fair compensation for our work. We are a team of makers, doers, and storytellers working together to facilitate a healthy connection between consumers and producers in the global marketplace.

Upstate Venture Connect

Our experience living and working in successful startup ecosystems informs our efforts to build the Upstate NY startup community. UVC partners with entrepreneurs and business/higher education leaders to craft and implement programs that are critical for growing startup communities. UVC built programs share several goals:
•    Increase seed capital availability;
•    Maximize creative collisions between people of diverse skills;
•    Promote knowledge sharing and network connectivity;
•    Ensure long-term sustainability.


Our mission is to unleash the power of entrepreneurship for good.
Entrepreneurs are a powerful force for making our world what we want it to be. By nature, they question fundamental assumptions, they contemplate unlikely solutions, they dare to do the impossible. Entrepreneurs are impatient. They notoriously believe things can be done faster, better, cheaper. They want results now.

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