MBAs launch second annual social venture competition
Ute Frey, Haas School of Business
- The Haas Social Venture Competition, the only nationwide
business plan competition for ventures combining social and
environmental impact with traditional financial profit goals,
is gearing up for its second annual competition. It will be
judged by a panel of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists
experienced at building businesses with dual bottom lines.
will hold a launch event at the Haas School of Business at
the University of California, Berkeley, today (Monday, Nov.
20) from 6 to 8 p.m. Will Rosenzweig, founder of the Venture
Strategies Group and the Republic of Tea and a judge at last
year's competition, will speak. The launch event, in the Wells
Fargo Room of Cheit Hall, is open to the public.
venture competition was initiated last year by a group of
Haas School MBA students inspired by the potential of business
to innovate solutions to complex social and environmental
issues. The competition promotes the creation of profitable
social ventures and strives to change the way businesses measure
inaugural competition succeeded to attract 66 teams from 23
of the nation's top business schools, including the Haas School,
Harvard University's Graduate School of Business, Northwestern
University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Stanford
University's Graduate School of Business, UCLA's Anderson
School, and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
The top three winners received cash prizes and had their business
plans circulated among 150 angel investors from the Investors'
Circle, a group of individuals who make private equity investments
based on social dividends and economic returns.
team was UCLA's easyDiabetes, which streamlines the exchange
of diabetes data and provides targeted diabetes information
for patients online. In doing so, the team strives to reduce
the number and severity of medical complications resulting
from lack of current information available to diabetes patients.
The easyDiabetes team projects revenues of $26 million and
a cumulative social return - the savings from reduced medical
complications in diabetes patients - of $95 million within
second prize was shared by University of Washington's Ripple
Effects, an interactive software program that helps troubled
teenagers develop social skills, and by UC Davis's Xtracycle,
which designs and manufactures sport utility bicycles with
large cargo space.
year's event, competition finalists have begun investment
discussions with Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the Flatiron Fund,
the Virginia Tobacco Commission and others. To date, one team
has received over $500,000 in seed investment.
organizers define a social venture as a business enterprise
a quantifiable social or environmental bottom line incorporated
into its mission and objectives
demonstrate a significantly greater social or environmental
impact than comparable firms in its industry
of the competition will include Rosenzweig and Jed Emerson,
president of the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund and a
Harvard Business School Research Fellow. Both individuals
judged the competition last year.
Social Venture Competition