Haas Newsroom

Nine Teams to Compete for $45,000 at Global Social Venture Competition in New York on April 7

March 20, 2006

Media Contacts:
Ute S. Frey
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Green energy, fair trade, and reduced waste products are among the nine international business ventures that will compete at the finals of the 2006 Global Social Venture Competition in New York on April 7.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC), which was founded by Berkeley MBA students in 1999/2000, has grown into a global partnership between the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School in New York, and London Business School.

GSVC requires all competitors to have a current MBA student on their management teams and to demonstrate both financial and social or environmental bottomlines for their ventures.

Indian School of Business participated as an affiliate to the partnership for the first time this year. More than one third of the total 113 business plan submissions this year came from India, and two are represented among the finalists.

Of the 113 teams that submitted business plans 51 were considered in the semifinal round. Each of the partnership schools chose 3 teams to advance to the finals. Venture capitalists, social entrepreneurs, and leaders in the philanthropic community comprised the judging panels at each school.

The nine finalists will compete for more than $45,000 in prizes on April 7 at Columbia Business School.

These nine teams are advancing to the final round:

Adura Technologies (University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business) provides a lighting management solution for commercial buildings that can be scaled from single offices up to large campuses and save businesses over 50% on lighting electricity costs.

Advanced Transit Enterprises (Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business) seeks to commercialize heavy truck aerodynamics technology that improves fuel efficiency of trucks by 8% and could reduce global oil consumption by over 20 million barrels annually.

African Leadership Academy (Stanford University, Graduate School of Business, and South Africa) aims to develop future generations of African leaders and entrepreneurs at an academy where talented 15-to-18-year-old students from all 54 countries in Africa will spend two years developing their skills in preparation for entering the world's finest universities.

Aqua Siam (Mahidol University, College of Management, Thailand) seeks to solve the problem of untreated industrial wastewater, initially in the pulp and paper industry, and to promote continuous improvement in environmentally sustainable industrial practices.

eSafal (Indian School of Business) deploys information technology to develop a virtual community that will increase farmer income in rural India plans by linking agricultural industry players to each other and to knowledge resources.

The Highland Tea Company (Columbia University, Columbia Business School) is an importer, manufacturer, and distributor of Kenyan specialty teas with the goal of contributing to Kenya's economic growth through a Fair Trade for Tea program.

MicroPlace -- formerly SeedCapital.org (University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business) endeavors to provide a web-based marketplace for microfinance investments.

Mobile Medics (Columbia University, Columbia Business School) is a traveling healthcare service providing private sector, high quality, and affordable medical care through mobile clinics to villagers in rural India.

Strategems (Indian School of Business) plans to cultivate energy plantations on wasteland, creating jobs and converting agricultural and other wastes into reliable and affordable electricity for rural India.

GSVC was the first in the nation to reward business plans with quantifiable social and financial goals. It is supported by The Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Omidyar Network.

For more information on the GSVC, visit http://socialvc.net.