Rob Katz

Global Social Benefit Incubator Accepting 2009 Applications

GSBISanta Clara University is known in social entrepreneurial circles for its work helping to organize and judge the Tech Museum Awards – a showcase for social entrepreneurs, mostly from developing countries. Less well-known about the school is the Global Social Benefit Incubator, run by SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society and a host of Silicon Valley volunteers.

The GSBI, under the guidance of Professor Jim Koch, selects 15-20 enterprises from developing countries and provides an 8-month mentoring process. The mentoring culminates with an intensive 10-day process in Santa Clara, where entrepreneurs work with their mentors, other experts, and each other to prepare themselves to succeed upon their return home. Applications for the fully-funded 2009 class of entrepreneurs are available now over at Social Edge.

Note: The first application exercise is due this Friday, January 16 – don’t delay, start your application today! participated in the 2008 GSBI, with Staff Writer Al Hammond and Managing Editor Francisco Noguera traveling to Santa Clara to help mentor the class. Francisco captured a number of the entrepreneurs on video – they are must-watches for anyone interested in the program.

Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of the program. It’s worked in the past with BoP leaders like Bal Joshi, Graham Macmillan and Matt Flannery. Last year’s class included Deepinder Mohan, a water entrepreneur of some repute and Tevis Howard, who I later met at Pop!Tech.

If you – or someone you know – has launched a company working for and with base of the pyramid communities, consider applying to the GSBI for 2009. You won’t regret it.