Nitin Rao

Global Social Venture Competition

Global Social Venture CompetitionA number of recent posts on NextBillion seem to feature the Indian School of Business, and with good reason!

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is the largest student-run business plan contest in the world, which provides mentoring, exposure and prizes for social ventures from around the world. GSVC started off at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, and since then, Columbia Business School, Yale School of Management, London Business School and the Indian School of Business have joined as partner schools. Read about the 2007 edition here.

For those of you in Asia:
This year’s Asia round for the GSVC will be held at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, with the preliminary deadline for submission of plans being Nov 15, 2007. The Asia round finals will be held at the ISB this between March 8-10, 2008, and the global finals will be held at Berkeley on April 18-19, 2008. So, if you’re sitting on a business idea, model, concept or even an existing business which has a double or triple bottomline, and would like exposure and perhaps even seed/growth capital, head over to the ISB’s GSVC Asia Round website, where you can find all the instructions necessary for submission of business plans and participation, including vital information and FAQ’s for entrants.

Some advice from Prof. Reuben Abraham, judge for the 2007 finals:

First of all, don’t be flaky and keep in mind that there is no business that can meet a second or third bottom line without meeting the financial bottom line. The judges at the Asia Round tend to be very hard nosed and you can therefore expect the same questions that you’d expect if you were to pitch the plan to a venture capitalist. The higher the social impact without sacrificing your commercial viability, the higher your chances of getting through to the finals.

Last year’s top prize at the Asia finals went to a bio-technology company from China that had patented a technology to drastically improve crop productivity while the second place went to a Thai team that had developed a new dental technology (the Thai team went to place second at the global finals). One team was also chosen on the basis of their Social Return on Investment (SROI) Analysis.

For those of you in the US:
In preparation for the 2008 competition, GSVC will hold its annual venture-student matchmaking event.

Friday, November 9, 12:00-2:00 PM (registration begins at 11:45 AM)

UC Berkeley’s Faculty Club (Seaborg Room)

The matchmaking event brings together social entrepreneurs who are interested in finding a graduate student who can help develop their business idea with graduate students who are interested in becoming intimately involved in the development of a business plan for a socially responsible business.

If you are interested in developing a business plan, searching for a team to help grow an existing venture, or looking to join a social venture, do join in for a lunch of learning, idea sharing, and networking. Please send an email to Eugene Kolovyansky with subject GSVC – Matchmaking Event by November 1. Be sure to include:

  1. Name, Organization/University
  2. Are you a graduate student seeking a venture or a venture seeking a graduate student resource?
    1. If a graduate student, please include your area(s) of interest
    2. If a venture, please include a 1-2 paragraph overview of the venture as well as a brief description of the role(s) a graduate student could play in the development of the venture.