As we tick down another year and look back at all the milestones of the past year and plan for the next, it is time to also consider some of the wonderful organizations that are making an impact around the world.
Here is my list of a dozen that are making a difference in no particular order. Most of them are young organizations that are just getting started and an opportunity for you to get involved and help them on their way.
Greentown Labs http://greentownlabs.org/ An incubator for clean technology ventures that allows entrepreneurs to get down and dirty constructing their next generation green machines. Setup as a nonprofit and collaborative, Greentown provides a unique location for startups that need to build stuff.
Sol Solution http://www.sol-solution.org/ A nonprofit that helps underprivileged schools to save on expenses by installing solar solutions to offset their electricity expenses.
Social Capital http://www.socialcapitalinc.org/ Social Capital inc has worked over the past 10 years to strengthen communities by connecting diverse individuals, neighbors and organizations and bringing them together through civic initiatives
ABAN http://www.aban.org/ Is a young organization that I came across during a visit to University of North Carolina that was started by a team of passionate students that works with the street girls of Accra to help them learn a trade, make a living, and secure a future as well as helping them transform their city into a healthier environment.
Space with a soul http://www.spacewithasoul.org/ is another innovative nonprofit that provides shared office space and services to nonprofits. A great landing place for emerging nonprofits as they get started.
Peace First http://www.peacefirst.org/site/ Peacefirst works to build a safe and productive environment at schools by teaching students the skills of conflict resolution and civic engagement.
Samarthanam http://www.samarthanam.org/ Samarthanam is a nonprofit registered in India and the US that provides quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training to help empower the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged in India. It runs a free middle school for underprivileged youth including the visually handicapped.
Merrimack Valley Sandbox http://www.uml.edu/mvsandbox/default.html Launched in 2010 November by the Deshpande Foundation, the Merrimack Valley Sandbox works with students in the Lowell/Lawrence area through partnerships with colleges and community organizations to build leadership and entrepreneurship within the Merrimack Valley.
LifeCity http://mylifecity.com/ LifeCity helps encourage green businesses in Louisiana through its membership organization where customers get discounts to green businesses and products and green businesses certified by LifeCity get greater visibility and support from LifeCity members.
Peacetones http://peacetones.org Peacetones supports talented, unknown artists from developing nations build their careers while giving back to their communities.
Vision Aid http://visionaid.org/ VisionAid works to help people with visually related disabilities in underserved areas to lead a life of independence and dignity.
Ummeed http://ummeed.org/ is a nonprofit that works with children with developmental disabilities in Mumbai and is one of the few that helps bring professional support to this segment of society in India.
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.
It is real exciting the see the lineup of speakers that will be at the upcoming ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs on October 30 at Northeastern University. ForSE 2010 brings together social innovators, leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to share new technology and business ideas with the potential for significant social impact.
Don’t just take our word for it – see what others are saying about the speakers who will be at ForSE 2010.
Of Prof. Ramesh Raskar and NETRA, his low-cost, cell-phone based, optometry solution, Xconomy.com says, “Camera Culture: Ramesh Raskar, perhaps the Doc Edgerton of the future, dreams of creating “femto” cameras that operate at a trillion frames per second”
Seeding Labs CEO Nina Dudnik has been chosen as a 2010 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and presented at the recent PopTech last week in Maine. “PopTech Social Innovation Fellows are visionary change agents who are incubating high-potential solutions to pressing global challenges.
Pradip Sarmah, Ashoka Fellow and Founder of Rickshaw Bank, an NGO that provides micro-finance to Indian rickshaw drivers, invited to participate at MIT D-Labs
Jose Gomez-Marquez, another fabulous speaker in the Health track, is named by Smart Planet as “master of invention” in their news piece about his many inventive creations.
For the fourth year, TIE Social Entrepreneurs Group together with Northeastern University’s Social Enterprise Institute and the Netimpact Undergrad organization will be hosting ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs. ForSE 2010 brings together social innovators, leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to share new technology and business ideas with the potential for significant social impact.
We have a terrific line up of keynote speakers and panelists this year including
Prof. Kasturi Rangan, who is co-chair of Harvard’s Social Enterprise Initiative and Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing
Gianfranco Zaccai, co-founder, Chairman, President and Chief Design Officer of Continuum, a design consultancy that has delivered significant designs for social impact globally.
We are excited to note that two of our invited panelists – Dr. Una Ryan and Sam White – were subsequently listed as one of Boston’s top 15 Innovators by the Boston Globe. Also participating are Pradip Sarmah, Ashoka Fellow and founder of the Rickshaw Bank; Josh Biber, Executive Driector, Teach for America; Brian Milder, Managing Director, Root Capital; and many others. Four tracks on Health, Sustainability, Technology and Education promise engaging conversations with committed leaders delivering significant social impact. An Unconference session after the panels, allow you to continue the conversation with the panelists in a more informal setting.
And if you know of promising social entrepreneurs, this year we have our second Pitch contest where they can refine their pitch, test their ideas and wow a panel of seasoned judges. Click here for info on the Pitch Contest.
Sign up soon as we have limited attendance to 250 registrants and we have consistently sold out in past years. More details of ForSE 2010 at the website at: http://www.forumse.org You can register at the TIE Boston site.
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 andis 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 →