Regional Finalists Announced in Global Social Venture Competition
New Haven, Conn., April 5, 2007 — Five teams of student social entrepreneurs presented their business plans at the Eastern U.S. regional final of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) hosted at the Yale School of Management on March 30. Two teams — Feed Resource Recovery from Babson College and PictureRx from Emory University — were selected by a panel of judges to advance to the final round of the eighth annual GSVC at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where they will compete for $45,000 in prizes and the attention of potential funders on April 13.
The Global Social Venture Competition is the first student-led business plan competition that supports and promotes social ventures — enterprises that integrate both profits and social impact. Started by MBA students at the Haas School of Business in 1999, the competition has expanded into a partnership between Haas, the Yale School of Management, Columbia Business School, London Business School, and the Indian School of Business.
About the regional finalists:
Feed Resource Recovery (Babson)
Feed Resource Recovery provides the food industry with cost-effective waste disposal solutions that capture and reuse valuable nutrients and energy from previously discarded food waste, mirroring nature’s regenerative cycles. Feed Resource Recovery’s on-site waste conversion systems produce renewable energy and organic fertilizer from the food waste generated by supermarkets and restaurants. Employing the intelligence of nature, Feed’s systems redefine the meaning of garbage and break the wasteful cycle of food production in the United States, where more than 40% of food is simply thrown away.
PictureRx simplifies health information and addresses the $73 billion problem of low health literacy. Through patent-pending software, PictureRx enables providers to quickly produce Picture Prescription Cards, which use pictures to help patients understand what they're taking, how to take it, and what it is for. In the process, PictureRx improves adherence and reduces medication errors.
Feed Resource Recovery and PictureRx competed with the following teams from Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern and Thunderbird:
EcoInsure is a startup insurance company serving the needs of the land conservation community. Its primary product will be insurance covering the legal costs of enforcing and defending conservation easements. Conservation easements — legal agreements permanently limiting development of a property — are an increasingly popular tool for conserving private lands. However, many easement holding organizations (primarily land trusts) currently do not have the financial capacity to enforce or defend their easements in court.
Innovators in HOPE (Duke)
According to leading research on investment in global health, the highest burden of disease in low and middle income countries is caused by low birth-weight, prematurity, and birth trauma. Through the development and sale of the HOPE Incubator, Innovators in HOPE’s vision is to save lives and prevent infant illness in these countries. HOPE Incubator seeks to provide Least Developed Countries with infant incubation technology that is radically more affordable than the available alternatives and extremely effective for our target population. The HOPE Incubator will comply with all essential features for the adequate medical care of infants while also being battery powered, more easily repaired, and significantly less expensive than the new, used, and refurbished units currently found in developing world hospitals and clinics.
Planting Empowerment (Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Thunderbird)
Planting Empowerment (PE) is the managing body and operator of partnerships that will invest in hardwood timber production in Panama. PE's four founders, all former Peace Corps Volunteers who worked in rural Panama, realized that poor Panamanians' agricultural current practices often lead to unchecked deforestation, soil degradation, and the loss of important biodiversity. By leasing the land of rural Panamanians for reforestation initiatives, PE offers them an alternative: an economic incentive not to deforest.
The team’s presentations were judged by Norah McVeigh, SOM ’90, Managing Director, Financial Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund; Michael Havard, Vice President, Marketing, Newman’s Own; and Arjan Schütte, Associate Director, The Center for Financial Services Innovation, An Affiliate of ShoreBank Corporation.
The regional final was sponsored, in part, by the Yale School of Management's Program on Social Enterprise through a generous gift from Joanne Landau ’84. Additional support was provided by the SOM Alumni Association and the SOM Net Impact Club.
For more information on the GSVC, visit: www.socialvc.net