GSVC's Judges Select Semi-finalists
As America embarks on resolving today’s most pressing social and environmental problems, Columbia Business School has been ahead of the curve by joining a community that brings together field experts and student entrepreneurs across social realms for opportunities to showcase concepts, network and compete for cash prizes.
Launched in 1999, the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is an innovative partnership among Columbia Business School, the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, London Business School, Yale School of Management and the Indian School of Business. The competition aims to foster a new generation of business leaders who value the social as well as the profit potential of business. The GSVC achieves this goal by catalyzing and promoting for-profit and not-for-profit ventures that create and measure both social and financial returns.
On Friday, January 26, more than 40 student teams and social entrepreneurs gathered at the Business School for the eighth annual Mentor Day, the kickoff for the annual GSVC. Student social entrepreneurs, faculty members and administrators partnered to facilitate the event, which offers entrants the opportunity to network with potential mentors in the field. Similar mentoring events are held at other partner schools.
Riddhi Doshi ’08 facilitated the Mentor Day program and introduced Professor Murray Low, executive director of The Entrepreneurship Program, who offered welcoming remarks that set the tone for the event. “Columbia Business School joined GSVC six years ago at a time when the topic of global warming was not at the forefront in the media,” he said. “Today, the business world’s perspective is shifting, as companies look for ways to continue growing and make a contribution to the greening of our global environment. Columbia was among the pioneers in this field, looking at entrepreneurship as an editorial process — constantly changing and redefining what success looks like to the world. Our purpose here is to identify those uncut diamonds and help turn them into gems.”
Mentor Day begins the process of finalizing the business plan in preparation for the semifinal judging round which took place on March 23rd. This year’s semifinalists selected by the School’s East Coast Regional Semi-final judges are:
Good Health Clinic Network (GHCN), a franchise network of sustainable, primary care clinics for mid to low income patients in rural areas. (Healthcare)
Yvonne Lu ‘07
Marie Charles, M.D., M.I.A.
StormFisher Biogas, a renewable energy production through biogas from agricultural and food processing industry applications. (Environmental)
Ryan Little, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada 2006
Christopher Guillon, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada 2006
Bas van Berkel, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Wetern Ontario, Ontario, Canada 2006
The team selected with the best SIA (Social Impact Assessment):
MSignS, a mobile speech to sign language translation. (Technology)
Judy Yu, University of Michigan, PhD (current)
Michael Barfuss, MBA Ross School of Business, Michigan University, 2007
Jason Gilbert, University of Michigan, PhD (current)
The semifinalists will compete in the GSVC final event in Berkeley, CA on April 13th, where cash prizes will be awarded to the business plans showing the highest, most integrated financial and social returns as well as an award for Social Impact Assessment (SIA).
For more information on the GSVC, visit www.socialvc.net.