Why does Burt’s Bees only accept grant submissions for products that have generated revenue?

Burt’s Bees defines revenue as verifiable sales through ANY sales channel (e.g. online store, Amazon, retail stores, etc.). The generation of revenue is a key milestone in the product development process, and is a good indicator of the stage at which Burt’s Bees can add real value. By selling product to consumers, product developers are able to garner invaluable insight / feedback on their products from actual consumers. Concepts are rarely perfect in the first product execution, so having actionable consumer insight is the first step in understanding how you can make your product even better… and that’s why we’re all here — to make better products!

What do I do next if my idea has not yet generated revenue?

If your product has not yet generated revenue, we recommend market testing on websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. These websites represent flexible avenues for quick in-market testing of product ideas with actual consumers. Also, as an inventor we encourage you to network with your fellow entrepreneurs, and the best place to do this is at a local Maker Faire in your area. If you’ve never attended, check one out!

If I apply for a grant, can I use the Natural Launchpad logo in my marketing materials?

Yes, your company may use the Natural Launchpad logo in certain types of marketing materials (such as in social media and on your website) to promote the Program itself for up to twelve months after your application date. However, you cannot use the Burt’s Bees company name, Burt’s Bees trademarks, or the Natural Launchpad logo a) on your products, b) to promote your business or products, c) in a detrimental manner to Burt’s Bees, d) in a manner suggesting sponsorship, endorsement or affiliation with Burt’s Bees, or e) beyond twelve months after your application date.

One of the benefits of being awarded a grant is that I can use the Burt’s Bees Launchpad logo on my product, but the applicant terms and conditions say I can’t use the Launchpad logo on my product. Can you explain?

Building on the above answer, the Natural Launchpad logo can only be used on your product if you are one of the grant recipients. In that case, you’ll be licensed under a separate agreement to use the Natural Launchpad logo for a period of up to two years after the awarding of the grant.

If I receive a grant, what will be expected of me?

That’s a great question. Of course, we would look to you to continue building your business and to comply with the Terms & Conditions of the Natural Launchpad grant program. Beyond that, we are trying to keep the requirements light but to also stay in touch with each other. We would ask you to complete a very brief semi-annual update on your progress for the next two years after receiving the grant. And, as per the Terms & Conditions, we would ask for a right of first negotiation should you consider raising outside capital or selling the Company. We might be able to be helpful to you and – who knows – perhaps your product best belongs within the Burt’s family of products down the road.

What does access to a community of peers include?

Once we identify our inaugural ten entrepreneurs we will be establishing an online social media community.  You may share as little or as much as you want with the group, consulting one with one another or sharing war stories.  Just be aware, you may find you are in competing product categories and you may want to limit what gets disclosed.  Our hope for this group is that you’ll benefit from networking with one another as well as interacting with a group of Burt’s Bees mentors who will also join the group.

What are the key dates of the program?
  • April 30th, 2017: Last applications accepted
  • July 31, 2017: Grant Award Recipients will be notified and announced publicly
  • September, 2017 (final date tbd): Coaching day in Durham, North Carolina at Burt’s Bees HQ for Grant Award Recipients
What will we do during the day of coaching at Burt’s Bees Headquarters?

The Natural Launchpad Bootcamp will take place in July 2016. We’ve heard from entrepreneurs that their greatest areas of need are in sales strategies, retail relationships and brand building.  We’ll have some of our world-class marketers and sales people present interesting case studies and host Q&A sessions.  We’ll take you on a tour of our facility, and our sustainable business team will take you through best practices in sustainability, source to disposal.  Finally, there will be time for one-to-one conversations with our Burt’s Bees senior leaders for advice and networking. Participants will pay for their own travel expenses, which may be covered by a portion of their grant.

Why is sustainability so important at Burt’s Bees?

Roxanne and Burt our founders – an artist and a beekeeper – shared a deep appreciation of nature. They were sustainable out of necessity as resourceful, boot-strapping entrepreneurs.  Sustainability still lives on today because it’s part of our roots and is just good business. In fact, sustainability plays an even larger role in our business strategy today as industry has evolved and realized the value of sustainability for investors and future generations of consumers. For us it’s not just about a singular charitable service initiative or singular point of sustainability like being carbon neutral or having recyclable packaging.  We have a holistic view through our value chain and our approach is source to disposal.