7 Start-Ups Imitating Mother Nature

Flickr image via operation_janet
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Solar Ivy

A brother and sister got a bright idea when they realized ivy crawls up the walls (and everywhere else). They founded SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) in 2005 to create solar panels.

Solar Ivy has three purposes: to provide shade, turn sunlight into energy, and suck up wind power when leaves flip due to gust or a breeze.

The manmade ivy was exhibited in a 2009 MoMA show and features adjustable leaf colors, spacing, and orientation.