FreeGreen, a company started by five Cornell alumni that creates free, sustainably designed home plans, won the eighth annual Johnson School BR Ventures Business Idea Competition.
For their prize, the company received $10,000 and 20 hours of free legal help from BR Legal, Cornell's entrepreneurship legal services program. Results of the competition were announced in April during the Entrepreneurship@Cornell celebration.
Alumni David Wax, MBA '04; Ben Uyeda '05; Emilie Chin-Dickey '05; Jordan Goldman '04, M.Eng. '05; and Stephanie Horowitz '05 founded the Massachusetts-based company in March 2007. The group first met as student-team leaders for the 2005 Cornell Solar Decathlon Team.
After graduation, they founded a company in October 2005 called Zero Energy Design, which is a custom residential design firm. FreeGreen was eventually a spinoff of that company.
"We were always trying to come up with new business ideas to grow the company in different ways," said Wax, the company's CEO. "FreeGreen was the best one we came up with."
FreeGreen's mission is to encourage progressive building practices by providing free green home plans for everyone. They give away online house plans, while working with green-product vendors on an advertising basis to specify their products into the plans.