UC Berkeley is hosting the final stage of the Global Social Venture Competition, in which 18 teams from around the world compete for a portion of $50,000 in prize money.
Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in partnership with business schools around the globe, GSVC allows business enterprises that address social issues to compete for funds they can use to implement their ideas.
“Teams … are using entrepreneurship to scalably solve significant real-world problems, from preventing malaria to providing clean water,” said Andre Marquis, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at Haas and director of the competition.
According to Marquis, the initial pool of competitors consisted of 600 teams from nearly 40 countries.
On Thursday, the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and six of the 18 teams were selected to continue to the second day of competition. CSA Munching Box, Faso Soap, Pulpworks Inc., Reel Gardening, Carbon Roots International and TOHL are the top six teams that advanced after yesterday’s judging.
Team proposals are judged on social impact, likelihood of success and quality of the business idea, said Laura Tilghman, a GSVC student co-chair and MBA student.
GSVC runs in three stages, starting with an executive summary in which teams interested in competing submit a writeup to their regional competition, said Jill Erbland, senior program manager at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. Regional coordinators then choose teams from this applicant pool to go on to submit a full business proposal as part of the regional competitions.
The competition was founded at UC Berkeley 14 years ago and has been held annually since, said Nick Cain, a student co-chair of GSVC.
According to Cain, there are nine regional finals around the world — one of which is in Berkeley — and each sends two teams to the global finals. There is no limit on the number of people per team, but each group must contain a graduate student and cannot represent a business more than 3 years old, Cain said.
The final winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the International House on April 12. The first-place team will receive $25,000, the second-place team will receive $15,000 and the third-place team will receive $7,500. Additional prizes include a “People’s Choice” award of $1,500 given to one of the top six teams and a “Quick Pitch” award of $1,000 for which the audience votes among the other 12 teams after hearing a 90-second pitch, Cain said.
Prize money is raised through a sponsor network that includes investment firms from the Bay Area and the Lester Center on campus, according to Cain.
Contact Christine Tyler at [email protected].