March 16, 2004: A record number of 129 business school teams from around the world strive to create businesses that incorporate both financial and social bottom lines in the 2004 Global Social Venture Competition. The competition today announced this year's nine finalists to compete in London on April 16th for $100,000 in cash and travel prizes.
In its fifth year, the competition has grown to be a truly global partnership of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, and now London Business School. The Goldman Sachs Foundation has supported the competition for the past three years.
The record-breaking number of plans represents a 36 percent increase in submissions and a dramatic increase in international teams from business schools in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. International participation grew significantly with 33 plans submitted from teams in Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Finland, France, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, and Singapore.
Business ideas for this year's competition run the gamut from community development, education, and the environment to finance, health care, technology, and nonprofit. The three categories for the finalists for the 2004 Competition are medium growth, high growth, and social return on investment.
In this year's first round of judging on January 30, judges from Berkeley, Columbia, and London reviewed the initial plans to confirm that they met eligibility requirements. A second round of judging took place on each of the campuses of Berkeley, Columbia, and London to determine the nine finalists that will participate in the final competition at London Business School on April 16, 2004. The finalists are:
Eduaid -- Indian School of Business
Will train, advise, and offer finance support for low income neighborhood schools, initially in India
Developing Power -- University of Michigan
Will provide cost-effective, reliable energy through wind- and solar-powered microgrids for villages without electricity
Schools for Community Empowerment -- Stanford University
Will create a pilot public high school and community center that revitalizes the de-industrialized urban neighborhood of East Oakland, California
Eco-Friendly Environmental Products (EFAP) -- Rotterdam School of Management
Will manufacture organic fertilizer with high water retention properties for local farmers in arid regions, thus improving soil quality
IAM, LLC -- Columbia Business School and the New School University Will carry out real estate development and research, dedicated to improving the economic development and environmental quality of underserved urban neighborhoods
Big Clean Trucks -- University of Colorado
Will lease and maintain alternatively fueled delivery vehicles primarily for companies in the organic and natural goods industry
SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT:
Greenhands -- University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
Will distribute green fuel (liquefied petroleum gas) through existing urban retailers to high-mileage urban drivers such as taxis and couriers in the UK
Differential Dynamics -- Columbia Business School
Will develop and license mechanical engineering solutions for industries facing rising energy prices and stricter emission regulations
Distributed Generation Technologies -- Cornell University
Will create multi-fuel technologies that lead to high-margin commercial, industrial, and consumer products
This year's 129 plans came from top business schools around the world, including Harvard, INSEAD (France), Northwestern's Kellogg School, Rotterdam School of Management (Netherlands), Stanford, and the Wharton School, as well as the Haas School, Columbia Business School, and London Business School. One plan was submitted by a joint team from Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford.
To be eligible, each plan must have one current MBA student from an accredited business school on the management team. All plans must demonstrate significant social return on investment and financial self-sufficiency or profitability.
The finalists will compete for a total $100,000 in cash and travel prizes. Grand prizes are awarded in two categories: high growth and medium growth, with a third grand prize awarded for the best blended value enterprise. An additional prize is given for the best social return on investment (SROI) analysis.
For more information, visit the GSVC web site at www.socialvc.net or contact the following media relations officers:
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
Columbia Business School
London Business School
Tel: +44 (0)20 7706 6922
Fax: +44 (0)20 7724 8433
Out of hours: +44 (0)7785 816 379
The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School of Business
The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business and is also influenced by its proximity to Silicon Valley. In 1970 Haas became one of the first business schools to teach entrepreneurship. In 1991 it established The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to foster academic programs, community outreach and campus wide collaboration in new venture creation, entrepreneurship and venture capital. This emphasis on entrepreneurship, coupled with the Haas School's commitment to the social and environmental ramifications of business, which date back to its founding in 1898, creates a unique learning environment that gave birth to the National Social Venture Competition in 1999. The Lester Center has fostered the creation and development of the competition since its inception, and provides on-going support and guidance as part of its core mission to enhance entrepreneurship at the University and in the business community.
The Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School
The Eugene M. Lang Center at Columbia Business School serves as a living laboratory for student entrepreneurial ventures. The unique approach to entrepreneurship education at Columbia Business School combines a systematic integration of entrepreneurial themes throughout the core curriculum, a strong elective course program, rigorous hands-on lab courses and a commitment to making entrepreneurship a viable career option for students. Mentors, largely successful alumni, provide vigorous, high-level advice and guidance throughout the business development process and the eventual start-up. The Lang Center also supports socially responsible ventures and has created a distinctive model for developing an entrepreneurial network that has been incorporated into the National Social Venture Competition.
The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management at London Business School
London Business School is one of the world's pre-eminent business schools. Based in the heart of London it nurtures talent and advances knowledge in a multi-national learning environment. The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management (FEM) aims to make a lasting impact on the development of its partners' competitive advantage through:
The School's commitment to social venturing is long-standing and last year saw Social Venturing offered as an elective for MBA students for the first time. Aiming to give participants an insight into how social value is created, the course looks at the breadth of businesses that can be created that generate both social and economic returns as well as the variety of financial models that can be used to convert a good idea into a realisable opportunity.
The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $54 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.