Haas Newsroom


Global Social Venture Competition Draws Record Numbers

Budding Social Entrepreneurs to Present Business Ideas at Tenth Annual Contest at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business


April 13, 2009


Media Contact:


Ute Frey

(510) 642-0342



Fifteen teams of budding entrepreneurs from around the world will pitch business ideas with a positive social or environmental impact at the 10th annual Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) finals at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on April 24, 2009.


The teams will present their business plans to judges at the Haas School’s Andersen Auditorium from 8:15 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.


This year’s finalists hail from France, India, Indonesia, Mali, New Zealand, Thailand, the UK, and the US. The business plans range from solar-powered pasteurization for rural areas to solutions to counterfeit drugs to youth employment services. Nearly half of the plans are healthcare related.


The competition is followed by a one-day Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California, on April 25. Jonathan Greenblatt, a corporate executive, social entrepreneur, and faculty member at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, will give the keynote speech. For details, go to: www.gsvc.org/symposium.


This year, GSVC attracted a record 300+ plans from more than 100 universities in 23 countries, compared to 240 plans submitted in 2008. Of those, 15 teams were selected in regional finals around the world to advance to the 2009 global finals at the Haas School.


Ten global finalists will compete for the $25,000 first prize, $10,000 second prize, and $5,000 third prize.


All participating teams must also demonstrate social impact or value creation in financial terms as part of their business plans. Judges will award a $5,000 prize for the best Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to one of the five SIA finalists.


In addition to prizes, all finalists will receive invaluable, written feedback from judges representing social enterprises, venture capital, and nonprofit organizations, and academia.


The competition was founded by five Berkeley MBA students in 1999 to help create and support viable new businesses and nonprofit organizations whose goals include measurable positive impact on society or on the environment – commonly known as the triple bottom line.


In its ten years, the competition has grown into a global partnership with Columbia Business School, London Business School, Indian School of Business, Thammasat University (Thailand). It is supported by outreach partners from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), ESSEC Business School (France), ALTIS—Postgraduate School Business and Society at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano (Italy), Yale School of Management, and a consortium of business schools in Korea (Social Venture Competition Korea).


The ten 2009 GSVC global finalists are:


• Avi Clinics—telemedicine to transform rural healthcare in India
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, USA


• Castor & Pollux—a diagnostic kit for leptospirosis
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Chulaongkorn University, Thailand


• EFB (EcoFaeBrick)—construction bricks made of cow dung in rural Indonesia
Prasetiya Mulya Business School, Indonesia


• Gearch—search engine and portal that applies search revenues to tree planting in tropical countries
London Business School, UK


• Mauka—call center to identify jobs for unemployed Indian youth with basic training in a trade
Columbia Business School


• mPedigree Logistics—mobile and supply chain solutions to address the global counterfeit drug markets Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA


• Pesinet—a nonprofit prevention and early-care system for countries lacking medical resources
ESSEC Business School, France/Mali


• Pioneer Healthcare—a “Hub and Spoke” hospital model for rural India
Indian School of Business, India


• SolarCycle—solar stoves and pasteurizers using low-cost reflective material in rural areas
George Washington University, USA


• Ummeed—improving awareness and access to affordable sanitary napkins in rural India
SP Jain Institute of Management Research, Mumbai, India


Five teams will compete for the top Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Prize. They are:


• ArtIsAn Art—Program to eliminate poverty and build sustainable livelihoods for artisans
Indian School of Business, India


• AutoTB— Improved diagnostics for growing tuberculosis epidemic
UC Berkeley, USA, and University of Cambridge, UK


• Brightmind Labs— Computer games that help autistic youth recognize and respond to emotions
University of Auckland, New Zealand


• The Cambodia Project— high-quality secondary education for underserved children in Cambodia Columbia Business School, USA


• GoalSpring—Service for customers to increase their credit score while reducing credit card debt
Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, USA


For more information about GSVC andthe Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship go to www.gsvc.org.