Offering $50,000 in prizes, the GSVC aims to identify the most innovative and promising social enterprise startups from around the world. Three rounds of judging determine the winner based on these criteria:
- business potential (33%),
- social or environmental impact (33%),
- likelihood of success (33%)
Last year’s competition attracted more than 500 entries from 40 nations. The first-place winner, Drinkwell, developed a technology and a business model for water filtration systems that protect people from arsenic in groundwater.
Berkeley-Haas’ Institute for Business and Social Impact is leading this year’s competition. The global reach of GSVC is being highlighted by Thammasat Business School in Bangkok, Thailand. The network partner will host the global finals in 2016, being held for the first time in Asia, and outside of the US in more than 10 years.
In the first round of judging, each of the GSVC’s 13 business school partners will advance a select number of ventures that will then compete in a round of regional semi-finals. The top teams from each regional finals will then travel to Bangkok for the final round in April.
One crucial point: teams are expected to present their concepts based in large part on the “Lean Launch” methodology pioneered by Steven Blank. Instead of presenting elaborate business plans, for example, teams are expected to base their pitches on executive summaries of their business models, along with summaries of interviews with stakeholders and resume information. Teams can get resources on the Lean Launch approach here.
The GSVC’s focus is on true startups with both a sound business model and quantifiable social or environmental benefits. The ventures must be less than 2 years old; have received less than $250,000 in investment funding and less than $500,000 in lifetime revenue; and graduate business students have to play key roles.
|Operations||Less than 2 years in operation|
|Investment Funding||Less than $250,000|
|Lifetime Revenue||Less than $500,000|
|Team||Teams must include at least one graduate business student or recent alum.|
Their business models will be evaluated for their financial sustainability and scalability, as well as on how well they target a clearly defined social problem and offer a clear value proposition to customers and other stakeholders. The winning ventures will be those that best integrate social and financial impact.
Modified from a post on the Institute for Business and Social Impact blog.