Award Winning InStove Idea Takes Off
In 2014, Institutional Stove Solutions, a US 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization launched InStove Mfg. Ltd., as a benefit company dedicated to producing InStove’s best-in-class stoves, and the discovery of new markets. After winning two Oregon Angel Investor competitions: the Northwest Social Venture Society’s “Fast Pitch” and the audience choice award at the Southern Oregon Angel Conference, InStove Manufacturing Ltd. launched at the home of board member Barbara Aldave in Eugene, Oregon.
This venture was launched to create a sustainable model where manufacturing, done under the auspices of a “benefit corporation,” seeks new markets for InStove technology--sales of which supports the non-profit--while the non-profit dedicates itself to public education on the dangers of open-fire cooking, and to generating support for placement of stoves and allied renewable energy technology in the developing world.
The hybrid business model (For-profit/Non-profit) follows a trend led by some of the most successful social ventures including Embrace Global (a fellow “Sustainia” laureate this year). In these models, non-profit organizations launch allied for-profits to help manage the development, sales and licensing of intellectual property, and leverage the benefits of the for-profit model (ability to attract capital, government support, ability to sell to new markets/build partnerships, etc.). InStove Manufacturing has received support from several Oregon-based business development groups including Business Oregon, OregonBEST, and the Small Business Development Center of Lane County.
InStove’s unique model has been written up as a case study by Dr. Yuwei Shi, Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and founder of the Frontier Market Scouts program at the Center for Social Impact Learning, to teach students about the hybrid business model. The case has been picked up by the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program: the Center for Social Impact Strategy and will be part of their curriculum in the 2015-2016 academic year.
InStove is not only making the world cleaner and safer through our technology, we’re helping the next generation of leaders learn how to change the world—and to do it sustainably.
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