GrowingBusiness_logoby Susanna Parker

Bethesda Green is excited to present the Investor Pitch Training Program for entrepreneurs in the green sector. This event is the culmination of our six-month finance workshop series and will put highly qualified entrepreneurs in front of active investors to receive sophisticated feedback on their readiness to seek investment.

Approximately six tech and non-tech early-stage businesses based in Maryland, DC and Virginia will be selected to present. The companies applying should have sustainable products or services and a growth-oriented business model. The Investor Pitch Training Program is ideal preparation for those getting ready to seek financing or for participation in accelerator programs such as CleanTech Open. The selection process for participating companies will be based on feasibility, scalability, business model and sustainable criteria.

The application requirements are as follows: A one page “teaser” company profile; a 3-5 page executive summary including product/service description, competitive advantage, market, revenue generation, team and sustainability; financials; a pitch presentation of up to 10 slides. Because sustainability is a key component of our judging criteria, please be sure to describe the net positive environmental and social impact of your product or service.

This program is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to perfect their pitch through experience and expert feedback. Bethesda Green’s objective with this and our Finance Workshop series has been to promote the growth of the green industry sector in the region. Robert Snyder, Bethesda Green’s Incubator Manager, points out that a major part of that growth is preparing entrepreneurs to successfully access financing. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity — submit today!

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS IS MAY 17. For more information on applying, including application materials, visit the Bethesda Green website. For questions, email Robert Snyder, Bethesda Green’s Incubator Manager, at rsnyder@bethesdagreen.org.

by Susanna ParkerBGnews_logo.

Rock Creek’s Deer Population Causes Dissent

Rock Creek Park has a deer problem. The deer population, which is approximately 73 deer per square mile, is wreaking havoc on the native flora, resulting in a loss of biodiversity. When deer populations become too big for their territory, the resulting competition for food causes the deer to go after tree seedlings, along with their preferred diet of native, low-lying vegetation and underbrush. The loss of tree seedlings and native vegetation allow invasive vegetation to take hold, and the forest begins to degrade. When deer populations are at a more reasonable ratio, such as 25 per square mile, enough seedlings survive that they can replace old trees as they die, and the forest is preserved. The problem Rock Creek Park and the National Park Service face is the method they should use to achieve that optimal population.

Many, including the National Park Service, believe that controlled hunting is the best way to control the deer population. With a closely followed program, sharpshooters could reduce the deer population to manageable and sustainable levels within 2 years. The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes the plan, calling it a “wasteful killing program.” They advocate for, and have offered to pay half the cost of, a program of administered birth control. Unfortunately the suggested vaccine does not meet the Park Service’s requirements for birth-control agents, and may in fact increase the deer’s breeding season, resulting in late-season births and increased fawn mortality. While similar birth-control programs have been successful in other parks, such as Assateague Island, the Park Service plans to go ahead with the controlled hunting. Nick Bartolomeo, the park’s chief of resource management, points out that while large predators roamed the park many years ago, “[they] wouldn’t be tolerated if they were here, so we have to take action.”

For the full article and infographics on deer population, visit The Washington Post.

Apply for a Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award!

Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award winners are recognized for their strong commitment to sustainable practices, measurable results, and continual improvement. Gain recognition within your community, your organization and among peer institutions by applying for an award today. Leadership Winners are presented with a certificate, receive recognition through press and social media, notification to elected officials, and will be featured in a video. Just share five environmental practices and one measurable result that you employ in your office space and in your organization’s activities and events. Click on the link below to download the application. Applications are due April 30, 2013.

Maryland Green Registry Application

Upcoming Bethesda Green Events

  • Developing an Investor Package, Bethesda Green Finance Workshop Series for Green Businesses. April 25, 8 am – 10 am, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Suite 200.

In the fifth installment of the Bethesda Green Finance Workshop series, our panel will discuss approaching investors with a solid plan for success. Investors often require documentation of concrete business plans, including documents geared toward each stage of engagement, “teasers,” and detailed descriptions of business and financial models. The panel, featuring Joseph Chirico of Capital One, Barry Michael of Focus Investment Banking, and Cheryl Heusser of Snyder Cohn, will address both how to develop these documents, and how to use them effectively. Admission is $15; please RSVP to rsynder@bethesdagreen.org.

  • Greening the National Capital Region: The Commercial Real Estate Commitment to Building Green, Tuesday, April 30, 5:30 pm – 8 pm, 7550 Wisconsin Avenue.

Bethesda Green is currently launching a Green Building and Sustainable Development seminar series to help participants understand green trends impacting the commercial building sector. To kick off the series, Bethesda Green has partnered with NAIOP MD/DC to highlight Bethesda’s newest commercial office building: Akridge’s 7550 Wisconsin Avenue. Come tour the building, see the green infrastructure, and network with those passionate about sustainable development in Bethesda. Admission is $30, and includes light fare, beer & wine. Please RSVP to Sharon D’Emidio at sharon@bethesdagreen.org by Thursday, April 25.

  • Bethesda Green’s Fourth Annual Solar & Green Home Expo, Saturday May 11, 10am – 3pm, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Suite 200.

Join us for our fourth annual Solar & Green Home Expo, an information-packed showcase event featuring many green home expert services and solar providers. The goal of this event is to provide homeowners and other interested parties an opportunity to get the latest information about area services and incentives to green their homes. Local area green home businesses will display their services throughout the Bethesda Green office space while individual workshops related to greening your home will be conducted throughout the day. To learn more about this free community event, visit the event page here.

Upcoming Partner Events

  • GreenWheaton’s Green Drinks Networking Happy Hour, Thursday April 25, 5 pm – 8 pm, Limerick Pub, 11301 Elkin Street, Wheaton

Join GreenWheaton and local environmentalists for an evening of networking and casual conversation. This month’s special guest is Reuven Walder of Ecobeco, who will be discussing energy efficiency initiatives and incentives for home and business.

  • The Green Network of Montgomery County’s Damascus Wastewater Treatment Tour, Saturday April 27, 10 am – 2 pm, 23730 Log House Road, Damascus

For the first time, the Damascus Wastewater Treatment Plant will be open for public tours! Join members of the Green Network of Montgomery County to explore the plant. Winner of numerous awards, the tour will provide you with the opportunity to see how Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission treats your water. For more details, visit their Meetup page here.

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.

by Susanna Parker

Climate Change Could Cause Major Shift in Coral Reef Communities BGnews_logo

Climate change and the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may result in conditions less favorable to reef building stony corals. The buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has had the effect of increasing oceanic acidity worldwide. When carbon dioxide reacts with water, atmospheric carbon dioxide transforms to carbonic acid. That acid damages hard corals, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a protective outer shell. Softer corals, cousins to the reef building corals, lack the hard outer skeleton that is damaged when the water turns acidic. The changing conditions could lead to a change in the makeup of coral communities. When you combine the less favorable conditions with the softer corals’ ability for rapid colonization, softer corals may out-compete hard corals.

Stony corals are an important member of the underwater ecosystem. Their protective outer layers help provide shelter and habitats for many reef organisms, such as clownfish. Though it covers less than 1 percent of the ocean floor, hard coral reefs support about 25 percent of all marine life. Soft corals do not provide the same shelter to marine organisms, and their dominance could result in a major shift in the underwater environment.

For more information about carbon dioxide and coral reefs, please read the full Huffington Post article.

Obama to Designate Five New National Monuments

Sources from several prominent environmental groups say that President Obama will designate five new national monuments, including one in Maryland commemorating Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railway. The other four monuments are the First State National Monument in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, Washington state’s San Juan Islands National Monument, and Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio. The Antiquities Act, which allows the president to protect federal lands without congressional approval, was rarely invoked by President Obama during his first term. After an internal Interior Department list of potential monument sites became public, House Republicans threatened to repeal the act. Obama therefore kept his first four national monument designations to areas of cultural or historical significance.

Two of Obama’s new designations – San Juan Islands and Rio Grande del Norte – are ecologically valuable. Environmentalists have shown vocal support the president’s move, and local communities near all five monuments support additional federal protections. In Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley, and Democratic Senators Barbara Milkulski and Ben Cardin had all lobbied President Obama to establish a monument commemorating Harriet Tubman’s work. Brian O’Donnell, the executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, praised Obama’s actions, saying “…we are grateful for President Obama’s leadership in advancing conservation at a time when it’s desperately needed.”

For more information, please read the full Washington Post article here.

Upcoming Green Events

  • Bethesda Green Finance Workshop Series for Green Business, “Due Diligence: Evaluating a Potential Investment”, Thursday March 28, 8am – 10am, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Second Floor

The fourth installment in Bethesda Green’s Finance Workshop Series will address the substance and process of the due diligence investment evaluation. Advice will also be given on how entrepreneurs should conduct due diligence on the potential investor. Speakers include John May of New Vantage Partners, Mahesh Konduru of Potomac Energy Fund, and David Levine of Geostellar. For more information, and to RSVP, please visit Bethesda Green’s Program Page.

  • Non-Native Invasive Plant Removal Class, Wednesday April 3, 6:30pm – 9pm, 3030 12th Street NE

Join Rock Creek Conservancy and Casey Trees for an educational session on non-native invasive plants. Learn how to identify and control species of non-native invasive plants, including garlic mustard, mile-a-minute, and bush honeysuckle. Once you’ve learned all about invasive plants, you’ll be ready for the Rock Creek Clean-up on Saturday April 6th! For more information, and to RSVP, please visit here.

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.

by Susanna Parker

Public Comment Sought on New Fertilizer RegulationsBGnews_logo

In accordance with the recently passed Fertilizer Use Act of 2011, Maryland’s Department of Agriculture has created new regulations on lawn fertilizer applications. The regulations, along with some proposed changes to non-agricultural commercial fertilizer requirements, were published in Saturday’s Maryland Register. The regulations are part of the Department of Agriculture’s larger efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Those nutrients, often found in fertilizer, can cause algal blooming in water sources, and can eventually lead to dead zones like the one at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

If the regulations are adopted, they will be included in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Urban Nutrient Management Training Manual, and will take effect October 1, 2013. Seeking resident feedback, MDA has designated a 30-day public comment period, ending February 25th. For more information on the regulations, please visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

India Seeks to Turn Municipal Waste to Clean Power

Solving what might be India’s largest looming crisis, an Indian corporation has announced plans to build a power plant that will run on municipal waste. While the growing amount of waste generated in India is a problem, it is also a potential resource. India’s cities generate 55 million tons of solid waste, and 38 billion liters of sewage each year; a waste-to-energy plant could solve the problem of increasing waste while contributing clean energy to India’s power infrastructure.

Waste-to-energy power plants are still rare in India – however, they have seen success in European countries including Germany, where startup Angion Energy has developed a gasification process that can turn trash into energy. If India’s power plant succeeds, it could contribute clean energy to India’s growing demand, which will soon reach levels equal to Europe and the United States. For more information, please read the full Washington Post article here.

Upcoming Green Events

  • “What Investors Are Looking For & How to Pitch” presented by Bethesda Green Finance Workshop Series & Venture Forum, Thursday, January 31, 8 am – 10 am, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Second Floor, Bethesda MD

Bethesda Green is proud to present the second in a series of workshops aimed at developing the green business economy of Montgomery County. Designed to enhance access to financing, educate entrepreneurs, and bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs, Bethesda Green seeks to improve the likelihood of successful deals and new businesses. Thursday’s workshop will address what investors are looking for in an early stage company and how to effectively pitch to them, presented by a moderated panel with speakers from the local business community. General networking and light refreshments will be available at 8 am, the program begins at 8:30.

Tickets are $15, and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.

  • Meet the Greens! Monthly Networking Happy Hour, Thursday February 7, 5 pm – 8pm, Chef Tony’s 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda MD

Join us for casual conversation, social networking, and presentations by representatives of green organizations in Wheaton, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Poolesville, and Annapolis – hear how they got started, and learn where they’re headed!

There is a $10 entry fee at the door; proceeds will be shared with the participating green organizations. Chef Tony’s will offer complimentary appetizers and a glass of wine. Please RSVP through the Bethesda Green Meetup.

  • Fields of Green Internship Fair, Saturday, February 9, 10 am – 2 pm, at Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue, second floor above the Capital One Bank.

Looking for an internship or job in the environmental sector?  This is the event for you.  Numerous employers will be interviewing promising candidates on the spot.  More info can be found here.

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.