There is no denying we are in the midst of a cultural revolution. The modern age has brought with it countless opportunities (i.e. instant information, easy international travel, global interconnectedness, cat memes), but also new problems (i.e. sustainability, overpopulation, food scarcity). In order for start-ups to work smarter and gain an advantage in the growingly competitive market, it seems a focus on sustainability is important to success. Although some entrepreneurs have struggled to adapt to changing market demands, these five entrepreneur teams are disrupting industry with their sustainable companies:

1) Soylent

Soylent uses modern science and technology to provide affordable products that give the nutrients required to thrive. Founded by Rob Rhinehart, Matt Cauble, John Coogan, and David Rentln, Soylent is changing the way people can eat on a budget.

Currently, people have two options when deciding on meals — they can eat affordably or they can eat nutritiously. Soylent is successfully putting an end to this dilemma. Each Soylent product is a complete blend of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and micronutrients. Currently, they sell a drink, a coffee-infused breakfast shake, a bar, and a powder. For only $2.69 per bottle, the Soylent drink provides 20% of an adult’s daily recommended nutrition!

Soylent’s Range of Drinks, Breakfast Shake, and Powdered Food

The entrepreneurs at Soylent have created a product that utilizes sustainable and affordable products to change the way we look at dieting and nutrition security.

2) Pyur Solutions

Entrepreneur Nandeet Mehta is changing the way we deal with pests. Whereas the current market for pest solutions is dominated by harsh chemicals, Pyur Solutions has created effective pest control solutions using only botanical oils and other plant-based materials.

Pyur Solutions’ Founder Nandeet Mehta

Mehta realized that the current pest control market was dominated by harsh synthetic chemicals, and that these were being used to treat many products used in our daily life — our produce, linen, clothes, and homes. In a market where synthetic pesticides are being banned and shown to cause cancer, Mehta created Pyur Solutions to provide consumers with effective pest solutions that killed bugs fast without harmful residues.

Each of Pyur Solutions’ products is non-toxic, organic, bio-degradable, plant based, and additive free. They are truly disrupting the pest control industry with their extensive line of products.

Although Pyur Solutions is helping individuals kill pests in an environmentally friendly manner, the folks at Chirps Chips have a different idea.

3) Chirps Chips

Chirps Chips founders Rose Wang, Laura D’Asaro, and Meryl Natow want you to eat your bugs. Chirps Chips is a new type of chips made with sustainable cricket flour.

The idea was inspired by African cultures that eat insects as a form of protein more sustainable than traditional meats. These entrepreneurs understood that amany individuals would feel uncomfortable eating whole insects, and decided to make Chirps Chips as a way to introduce Americans to this sustainable source of protein.

Two of Chirps Chips’ Founders, Rose Wang and Laura D’Asano with Chirps Chips

Chirps Chips was one of the most successful food Kickstarters ever done, and is revolutionizing the food industry by bringing in an entirely new and sustainable market alternative.

4) Modern Meadow

The team of over 50 entrepreneurs at Modern Meadow are bringing green science to the leather industry. Using genetic engineering, Modern Meadow has figured out how to “grow” leather.

Modern Meadow is removing the need for companies to kill animals to make quality leather products. They are now able to biofabricate leather of different structural and aesthetic properties so that they can enable new design and performance possibilities while minimizing harm to animals and the environment.

Modern Meadow is truly disrupting the leather industry, and they may just change the way we look at fashion altogether.

5) Back to the Roots

Back to the Roots started when entrepreneurs Alejandra Velez and Nikhil Arora learned in one of their classes that they could grow mushrooms from used coffee grounds. This initial curiosity has turned into an entire line of products that is helping individuals become sustainable urban farmers.

Back to the Roots sells a line of products that allow people to grow a variety of fresh produce in their own homes. They sell basil, cilantro, dill, and sage that grows right out of a can; a self-watering tomato plant that grows in a mason jar, a mushroom farm that grows out of a cardboard box, and many more products.

Back to the Roots’ Garden-in-a-Can Line of Products

Back to the Roots allows any individual to become a sustainable urban farmers for a low price, and this ingenuity is paying off.

Now clearly there is no “secret ingredient” to success, and there is no one sole factor that will determine what companies gain market traction. But these five entrepreneurial teams have shown that focusing on a product that is environmentally friendly and sustainable allows to more easily pull in consumers. This is one way you can work smarter and make your startup more successful with less wasted effort.

Originally published at