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Alumni Entrepreneurs Keep the Earth Green and Stay in the Black
Jul 23, 2018 | by Kristin Maffei | Dartmouth Alumni News
Passion for the outdoors and stewardship of the environment is a trait common among Dartmouth students, many of whom spend hours hiking Mt. Moosilauke, hitting the slopes at the Dartmouth Skiway, and canoeing the Connecticut. Although business success and environmentalism may seem to be at odds with one another, these six entrepreneurial alumni are finding ways to bridge the gap between profitability and sustainability, creating businesses that do good while doing well. ...
Anna Stork ’08 (right) and co-founder Andrea Sreshta invented LuminAID’s solar lighting technology just after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The technology allows for the lights to last for more than 100 hours on a single charge, a tremendous improvement for a disaster victim’s safety and comfort. In addition to her philanthropic work providing these alternative light sources to more than 250,000 people facing emergencies, Stork has also created a profitable business, selling the solar lamps to hikers, campers, and other adventurers who understand the value of lightweight, sturdy energy sources.
Although Stork and Sreshta met and created their prototype in graduate school, Stork says that her engineering courses at the Thayer School of Engineering, combined with a healthy liberal arts background, helped her start get her start with LuminAID.
“I appreciated being able to mix and match courses with the modified major and define my own path that best fit my interests and what I wanted to learn. I love that each student at Dartmouth takes courses in such a spectrum of disciplines and that this is encouraged,” she says. “This support and encouragement for a wide range of disciplines promotes entrepreneurship and creates more well-rounded, capable entrepreneurs.”
Like other sustainable entrepreneurs, Stork says that being environmentally conscious doesn’t hinder profitability. In fact, it’s the very opposite. She says, “Our customers value an environmentally and socially responsible supply chain and will choose LuminAID over someone else because of the materials we use and the efforts we put into being environmentally responsible.”
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