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NFF – Barret Foundation Business Concept Chanllenge

March 17, 2014


Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge

Innovation in Natural Resource Management


$100,000 available for innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues benefitting U.S. National Forests and Grasslands

Electronic Pre-Proposal Deadline:
8:00 AM MDT on Monday, March 17, 2014 



Barrett Foundation Prize

The Challenge

The forests and grasslands that comprise our nation’s 193-million-acre National Forest System provide a diverse array of goods and services, including wood products, fish and wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and recreational opportunities ranging from developed ski areas to remote wilderness destinations. Managed for multiple public values, these lands often generate controversy as natural resource managers face challenges not contemplated by the founders of the National Forest System more than a century ago.

The National Forest Foundation works with the U.S. Forest Service and other partners to leverage the best thinking, conservation capacity, and community action to measurably improve the health of our National Forests and Grasslands. We are committed to engaging diverse interests and communities in addressing the challenges of forest management through innovative solutions. Increasingly, we recognize that durable solutions for public resources require a strong market-based foundation in order to succeed and provide lasting benefits for society.


The Need for Innovation

We established the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge to encourage and reward innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues affecting National Forests and Grasslands and to cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurial natural resource and business leaders. The Challenge offers an interactive learning experience for interdisciplinary teams, as well as an opportunity to develop and launch new business ventures to address natural resource issues. The Challenge provides a unique opportunity to develop and implement investable ideas with tangible benefits for National Forests and Grasslands.

The objectives of the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge are:

  • To develop and launch market-based solutions that satisfy multiple goals of forest health, sustainable use, and economic development, including job creation
  • To stimulate creative thinking to address problems and identify opportunities that benefit the National Forests and Grasslands
  • To educate students and their partners about the practical steps necessary to design and implement market-based solutions to natural resource challenges
  • To prepare students to work with interdisciplinary partners in response to complex natural resource challenges

The Award

The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge offers a $75,000 cash award to the winning submission and a $25,000 cash award to the first runner-up in the final stage of the competition. Through a multi-step evaluation process, each team participating in the Challenge develops and articulates a market-based strategy and measurable objectives for addressing a natural resource issue affecting the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. The business concept must reflect real opportunities and address financial, operational, and organizational aspects of implementation. The finalist teams will make presentations to a judging panel of diverse national experts and receive feedback on the feasibility of their projects; winning teams will be introduced to venture capital professionals to explore opportunities to fund implementation of their concepts.



March 17, 2014
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