Want to compete? Keep your creative juices flowing.
Ori Sivan and Joe Silver co-founded Greenmaker Supply Co. to market sustainable building supplies to mainstream builders, contractors and homeowners. To help people unfamiliar with sustainability make more informed choices, Sivan, 31, developed a set of guidelines called "Seven Seeds of Sustainability" that explains trade-offs between water and energy conservation, low toxicity, recycling, renewability and other issues.
The innovation helped Greenmaker reach $1 million in sales in 2006, its second year in business, and compelled Illinois' governor to select the 12-person Chicago company as one of the state's most innovative. Sivan is now focused on keeping Greenmaker innovative. "The vision," he says, "is to become an engine of innovation."
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