Three local start-up businesses that best address sustainability challenges were awarded a total of $6,000 from the Walton Sustainability Solutions Festival, a program under the Global Institute of Sustainability's Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. The ventures are supported by SEED SPOT Phoenix, part of the national SEED SPOT program that works with entrepreneurs to bring their socially minded products, technology, or services to market. Innovative HITECH Healthcare Solutions, awarded $3,000, is developing mobile-friendly apps that connect patients with health care providers for more efficient and satisfactory care. Guardian NPX, awarded $2,000, was chosen for its all-natural, FDA-approved lice removal treatment that lowers student absences. Box Play for Kids was given $1,000 for creating eco-friendly toys out of boxes and recycled stickers. Each winner will be attending the 2014 Sustainability Solutions Festival during Feb. 17-22 in Tempe and Phoenix. "We are very excited to make these modest awards to these three inspirational, blossoming ventures," says Patricia Reiter, director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. "Each of these companies creatively address environmental, social and economic challenges through their products and their business plans."