Five teams of student entrepreneurs from Georgia Tech, including a number of Scheller College MBA candidates, will advance to the regional semifinals round of the 2014 Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) on March 25. Georgia Tech is hosting the semifinal round for the Eastern U.S. Region.
The GSVC is an international competition where students pitch ideas for socially-oriented business plans, and compete for $50,000 in prizes to turn their plans into reality. “Georgia Tech’s first-ever hosting of the Eastern region GSVC is an important honor, reflecting the Scheller College’s growing international prominence,” says Dori Pap, assistant director of the school’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
The GSVC, founded and sponsored by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, also involves 12 partner universities in the U.S., Canada, India, China, and elsewhere. Tech became a partner school in 2012.
The initial round of the competition for the Eastern U.S. Region received 53 total submissions, of which 20 were selected to continue on to the semifinals. Competitors came from other top schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Duke, and Johns Hopkins.
Pap, who manages GSVC outreach for the Eastern region, explained that Tech’s impressive showing in the first round reflects not only the effectiveness of local networking efforts, but also the fact that another Georgia Tech competition, Ideas to Serve, often steers potential competitors toward the GSVC.
Georgia Tech teams advancing to the semifinal round include:
- Vayando, which connects travelers with local entrepreneurs and craftspeople in emerging economies, creating economic opportunity.
- NeuroCruitnent, an online platform that eases recruitment for later-stage clinical trials.
- CyborFusion, a glove technology that helps restore the use of hands in people who’ve suffered from strokes and other health issues.
- FoodLoop, a software app that encourages both the minimization and recycling of food waste.
- AnemoCheck, an affordable testing technology for anemia, costing 25 cents per test.
While the Eastern Region semifinals are held at Tech, the University of California-Berkeley will host a similar contest for the Western Region. Two semifinalists from each of the 12 global regions will then compete in the finals at Berkeley April 9-11.
The five Georgia Tech teams got to meet each other on February 20 at a Mentor Mixer, which included a panel of faculty and business people who listened to each team’s two-minute pitch and provided guidance on improving them.
Georgia Tech panelists at the Mentor Mixer included A. B. Short, president of Encore Professional Services; Darrell Glasco, managing partner of Social Mission Architects; Kathleen Kurree, CEO of Fusion Advisors; William Whitaker, analyst for GrayGhost Ventures; and Margi Berbari, director of Georgia Tech’s TI:GER (Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program.