social venture competition at UC Berkeley lures business plans
from nation's top business schools
Kathleen Maclay, Public Affairs
-- Eight finalists in the only nationwide competition for business
plans with a social conscience will compete in the final round
on Saturday, April 8, 2000, at the University of California,
Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Haas Social Venture Business Plan Competition invited teams
from the country's top business schools to submit business plans
that would yield a positive financial outcome as well as a positive
social or environmental outcome. The winning team will receive
top three winners will have their plans circulated among 150
"angel" investors from the Investors' Circle, a group
of individuals who make private equity investments based on
social dividends and economic returns.
66 teams from schools including UC Berkeley, Stanford University,
Harvard University, the Wharton School, the Kellogg Graduate
School of Management, and the Andersen School at UCLA participated
in the competition.
Technology, which produces devices allowing people with severe
disabilities to interface with computers;
Dalat, a gourmet coffee bean enterprise aimed at improving the
livelihoods of subsistence farmers in Vietnam's central highlands;
which provides a centralized, Internet-based diabetes data management
offering a comprehensive Web site with information about, and
solutions for, the environmental community;
Body & Soul, with plans to develop a nationally branded
Effects, which would introduce technology-based prevention programs
for troubled youth;
Virginia Winegrowers Association, with a program that enables
tobacco farmers to switch their crops to grapes;
manufacturers of a sport-utility bicycle with huge cargo capacity;
competition puts Haas at the cutting edge of investments in
the New Economy," said Wayne Silby, co-founder of the Calvert
Group, a Washington, D.C.-based leader in socially-responsible
investing and a competition sponsor. "The next move in
business is clearly about quantifying not just the returns to
investors, but returns to our community and society."
qualify, the competition plans had to be mission-driven, self-sustaining
and profitable, and show quantifiable social or environmental
return on investment.
top three areas covered by the plans were the environment, community
development and education. Almost half of the plans entered
involve the Internet.
panel of 19 leaders in socially responsible organizations selected
the eight finalists. A panel of eight judges will select the
top three winners on April 8.
judges involved in the competition include representatives from
organizations such as the Social Venture Network, Silicon Valley
Community Ventures, New Vantage Partners, OpNet, the Robert
Enterprise Development Fund, and the New Vista Capital Fund.
see tremendous opportunity to reinvent the economy, by moving
it away from consumptive industrialism toward a completely new
stage," said competition judge Bill Shireman, president
of Global Futures. "Internet and tech companies are a part
of this, as are many others."
only does the Haas School of Business promote a long-standing
tradition of social responsibility among its students and community,
it is also one of the nation's most entrepreneurial business
school was one of the first business schools to found a business
incubator for students and recent graduates. The social venture
business plan competition also has built upon the success of
the school's UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, which is
in its second year.
MBA organizers of the social venture competition have secured
more than $55,000 in cash and in-kind support for this competition.
Contributors include the David & Lucile Packard Foundation,
Greenmountain.com, Peninsula Community Foundation, Irwin Home
Equity, The Men's Warehouse, The Calvert Social Investment Fund,
and South Shore Bank. Also supporting the competition were Investors'
Circle, Stonyfield Farm, Honest Tea, Peet's Coffee & Tea,
Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, IDG Books, Prophet Brand Strategy,
and Net Impact.