I realized t has been a very long while since I last wrote an article for my blog. I hope to get back in the swing of things again.
To kick things off here is thought-provoking article that was in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Why Can’t We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?
It raises several issues about how we could allow charities to operate differently and perhaps more effectively. Some excerpts from the article – recommend you read the entire piece. What do you think?
We have two separate rule books: one for charity and one for the rest of the economic world. The result is discrimination against charities in five critical areas. Continue reading →
Image via CrunchBase
Last year I had the opportunity to participate as a judge and mentor in the inaugural competition, MassChallenge. This is a serious business competition that has shown it can attract top quality concrete job creating ideas from round the world. Over 450 entries applied and 110 finalists were incubated for 3 months including free office space, introductions to VC, funders, customers and team resources. Sixteen finalists split $1 Million including $100,000 for the top finisher. Seeding Labs, profiled elsewhere on my blog, won $50,000 as the Social Impact finalist and also was offered free office space for another nine months.
If you have a venture and are looking to make it to the next level I strongly encourage you to apply to the 2011 accelerator. If you have any questions please reach out to the organizers at email@example.com or apply online at www.masschallenge.org/enter. Continue reading →
Posted in mobile technology, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, Startup, Venture Capital, venture philanthropy
Tagged Barack Obama, Boston, business ideas, business plan competition, entrepreneurship, innovation, Massachusetts, MassChallenge, Social Business, Social Entrepreneur, social entrepreneurship, Social Impact, social Innovation, startup, Sustainable ventures
Pitching SE- How Great Leaders Sell Smart Ideas
Pitching SE is your opportunity to refine your pitch, focus your ideas and wow a panel of seasoned judges. A panel of experienced non-profit and social investors will evaluate your pitch, and provide feedback and constructive advice.
You don’t need a business plan – just a business idea with significant social impact.
Your idea can be for a non-profit or for-profit or any combination.
It needs to be early stage/less than a year old – operations started after September 1, 2009.
How to apply
Applicants should be a registered attendee for ForSE 2010 and is required of all applicants, It is non-refundable if you are not selected. Applicants should mail the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11.59 pm EST October 21, 2010.
- Name of organization.
- Names of team members.
- School affiliation (if applicable).
- A two page (1000 word) Executive Summary of the business idea.
- Brief bios (1-2 para) of team members. This will not be counted towards the 2 pg limitation. Continue reading →
Posted in Conference, non-profit, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, Venture Capital, venture philanthropy
Tagged Boston, Conference, elevator pitch, ForSE 2010, Northeastern University, Pitch contest, Social Ecosystem, Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneur, Social Impact, social Innovation, startup, Sustainable ventures
To help jumpstart job growth in Massachusetts, a unique public/private partnership, Masschallenge.org, was launched earlier this year. By unveiling what it claims is the world’s largest business plan competition; the folks at MassChallenge are hoping to attract hundreds if not thousands of interested entrepreneurs. While most business plan competitions have been university based in the past, MassChallenge intends to go mainstream with entries accepted from all quarters. With the intent of raising serious money – a target of $25 Million for the first year – it hopes to change the way plans are run by providing the winning teams with $1 million in seed funding. It hopes to run six parallel competitions in the following areas:
- Healthcare, and Life Sciences
- IT, Software, and Gaming
- Clean Technology and Energy
- Social Development and Non-profit
- Open Category, Seed Stage
- Open Category, Expansion Stage
The one on Social Development and Non-profit caught my eye as it is along the lines of what we have been discussing on this blog. As I had said in some of my earlier posts, early stage social innovators sorely need a jumpstart as they face a tougher time raising funds than a for-profit. More importantly, Massachusetts has grown to be a focal point for social innovation attracting the best and brightest to the exciting programs offered in all the leading universities. Coupled with the incentives from MassChallenge and the Massachusetts Government, we have the opportunity to create a new growth cluster in the state. We have an opportunity to retain the top talent attracted to the programs in the area and to channel them to building the next generation of innovative social enterprises here in Boston.
I recently wrote a more detailed article for the MassChallenge.org blog that outlines this and am excerpting it below. Continue reading →
Posted in Investment, non-profit, Philanthropy, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, sustainable development, Venture Capital, venture philanthropy
Tagged Boston, business plan competition, ecosystem, Massachusetts, MassChallenge, Masschallenge.org, non-profit, Philanthropy, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, social entrepreneurship, Social Impact, social Innovation, Social Investment, Sustainable ventures, venture philanthropy
Panel Description for ForSE 2009
As a number of young entrepreneurs launch their social enterprises, one of the areas they all struggle with is attracting socially conscious investors. A challenge for all is how to evaluate a social focused business on metrics other than strict return on investment. A number of innovative organizations have tackled this problem from different perspectives, developing alternate metrics, scorecards and criteria that weigh the benefits from an investment beyond cold dollars and cents. The panelists, all significant actors in this arena, either invest or provide access to social investors and will highlight several interesting approaches that funders use in evaluating social investments.
- Prof. John Whitman, Professor, Babson College
Register for ForSE 2009 before rates go up!
Posted in Conference, creative capitalism, Investment, non-profit, Philanthropy, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social Innovation, sustainable development, venture philanthropy
Tagged Babson college, Conference, ForSE, New Profit, Philanthropy, Social Business, Social Ecosystem, Social Entrepreneur, social entrepreneurship, Social Impact, social Innovation, social Innovation forum, Social Investment, Sustainable ventures, venture philanthropy