The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award, honoring natural products pioneer and plant-based visionary Greg Steltenpohl, is officially accepting entries for its first annual $100,000 grant for early-stage ventures in the food space. The founder of Odwalla and Califia Farms, who died in March 2021, devoted his life to changing the food system through business.
Each year, The Greg Steltenpohl Pragmatic Visionary Award will present a $100,000 annual prize to an early-stage food venture to enable or expand the accomplishments, reach and impact of their work. Interested entrepreneurs can submit their applications at pragmaticvisionaryaward.org. The deadline is Nov. 30, 2022. Innovations in any capacity of the food system from “soil to soul” are eligible. Alongside the merit of the team and its strategy, plant-centric initiatives will be evaluated for their embodiment of four core entrepreneurial principles that Greg championed throughout his career: systems entrepreneurship, pragmatic vision, ethical leadership, and creative transformation.
“Our industry and world are better off because of Greg, and this Award seeks to encourage and support innovators, entrepreneurs, and change makers creating the more positive, plant-centric food system he dedicated his life to building,” said Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield and a 30-year friend.
The award will be presented annually in March at Natural Products Expo West and is hosted in collaboration with the Plant Futures Initiative, Greg’s last entrepreneurial collaboration before his death. The Plant Futures Initiative is a non-profit social venture that connects college and graduate students with experiential learning opportunities with a network of innovative food and agricultural enterprises. It is dedicated to accelerating transitions to sustainable and healthy food systems and growing the future leadership needed to guide the way. Grant recipients will participate in a documentary case study to share and inspire others to implement ways of transforming the world of entrepreneurship, capitalism and culture.