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  •  GSBI® ONLINE ANNOUNCES FALL 2013 COHORT

    Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013

    GSBI® ONLINE ANNOUNCES FALL 2013 COHORT

     Capacity Development Program Matches Silicon Valley Expertise with Early-Stage Social Enterprises

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 15, 2013—They don’t know each other, but for six months beginning in October, 15 social entrepreneurs from around the world will be virtual classmates in a program designed to help them in their quest to build viable ventures that help solve some of the most persistent problems of poverty.

    GSBI® Online is a mentored, training program pioneered at Santa Clara University (SCU) and targeted to early-stage social entrepreneurs. The GSBI Online Fall 2013 Cohort includes a woman who runs a tutoring service in Jordan; a Canadian who has installed simple, but effective, water filters all over the world; an entrepreneur who is franchising solar lighting in Madagascar; and a Stanford MBA who is helping women start home-based child care centers in Brooklyn. 

    “We are thrilled with the diversity of this GSBI Online cohort,” said Cassandra Thomassin, Program Director of the GSBI.  “A third of the entrepreneurs are women; the ventures are located in 10 different countries; and they work in clean energy, education, health, economic development, agriculture, and microfinance.”   

    Many of the selected entrepreneurs were referred to GSBI Online through the GSBI Discovery Partners Network, including members Echoing Green and Unreasonable Institute. The GSBI Online Fall 2013 cohort is supported in part by Applied Materials, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and Donor Circle for Africa of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. 

    Entrepreneurs receive scholarships, valued at $5000 each, to participate in the six-month GSBI Online program. Through a competitive application and screening process, they have demonstrated the potential to create significant social impact through their businesses. The Fall 2013 Cohort commences October 2013 and ends April 2014.  Program graduates will be equipped with business-plan presentations, elevator pitches, and one-year operating plans, all of which can help them procure appropriate impact capital to scale their ventures. 
     

    The Fall 2013 cohort is the third of the GSBI Online program.  To date, 30 social enterprises have completed this GSBI program.  Its sister program, the GSBI Accelerator, includes an in-residence component and helps later-stage social enterprises become investment-ready so that they can increase growth and impact.

    Each GSBI Online participant will be paired with two seasoned mentors, who serve as guides through structured, online modules that help the entrepreneurs apply core business concepts such as target market segmentation and distribution strategies to their ventures. One mentor will be an experienced Silicon Valley corporate-level executive; the other will be an in-country executive familiar with the local challenges each entrepreneur faces.

    Fast facts regarding the GSBI Online Fall 2013 Cohort

    * Average company age: 3.5 years.

    * Nine for-profit companies; six non-profit companies.

    * Geographic areas of focus include: Haiti, India, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Uganda, and the United States.

    * Impact areas include:

    ·      Clean-energy solutions

    ·      Higher efficiencies in agriculture

    ·      Education via mobile and internet technology

    ·      Low-cost and innovative technologies to improve health

    ·      Connecting the unbanked with capital 

    Cohort members

    (Enterprise Name, Entrepreneur, Geographic Area of Focus, and Sector)

    AYZH Health and Livelihood Private Limited (Zubaida Bai), Global, Education, Health

    Green Bio Energy Ltd (David Gerard), Uganda, Clean Energy, Economic Development

    Jiro-Ve (Rik Stamhuis), Madagascar, Clean Tech & Energy, Infrastructure

    MASCINCUENTAYDOS (Isabel Cristina Aranda Güémez), Mexico, Community Development

    MicroGraam (Rangan Varadan), India, Agriculture & Fishing, Microfinance

    MyRain (Steele Lorenz), India, Agriculture & Fishing, Economic Development

    Second Home Early Child Care Network (Erica Williamson), USA, Education

    Silver Linings (Phillip Cooke, SJ), Haiti, Community Development & Infrastructure

    SpellAfric Initiative (Elvis Austins), Nigeria, Economic Development, Education

    STAMP (Keneth Ndua), Nairobi, Clean Tech & Energy, Water & Sanitation

    Tadreesna (Noura Sa'd), Jordan, Education, Information & Communications Technology

    Twothirds Water Inc. (Bradley Pierik), Global, Health, Water & Sanitation

    UpEnergy (Sylvain Romieu), Uganda, Clean Tech & Energy, Environment

    Veritas Social Empowerment, Inc. (Fr. Benigno P. Beltran), Philippines, Infrastructure

    Village Energy Limited (Paola de Cecco), Uganda, Clean Tech & Energy

    Details about each enterprise can be found here

    About GSBI®

    GSBI is the signature program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The mission of the Center is to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity.  GSBI programs prepare social entrepreneurs for appropriate capital so that they can build sustainable, scalable organizations that solve problems for people living in poverty around the world. The GSBI leverages Silicon Valley startup acumen and expertise to eradicate poverty through its GSBI Accelerator, GSBI Online, and GSBI Network programs. The Center’s impact capital program encourages interested but uncommitted capital to enter the impact space, and drives impact investing into underserved sectors. The Center’s education program provides practical, social justice learning opportunities for students and faculty with social enterprises. For more information about the Center and GSBI programs, visit http://www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/

     

    Media Contact
    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121
    Beverly Nuako | CSTS Marketing | bnuako@scu.edu | 408-551-6048

     

     

      

     

     

  •  SPIRITUALITY, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS, AND IMPACT INVESTORS

    Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

    SPIRITUALITY, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS, AND IMPACT INVESTORS

    In The Power of Unreasonable People, John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan articulate what makes social entrepreneurs seem so unreasonable, including: a drive to transform dysfunctional systems; insane ambition; enormous emotion that fuels them; the ability to see the future, and create it; and incorporation of social benefit into the value equation. They quote Muhammad Yunus, “the future of the world lies in the hands of market-based social entrepreneurs.” Many of us who are working to help social entrepreneurs overcome barriers that appear insurmountable endorse this future.

    It is evident, however, that social entrepreneurs often face challenges far beyond the complexities of launching a Silicon Valley venture. What drives social entrepreneurs to pursue these unreasonable endeavors, to imagine the impossible, and to make their dreams real? Viktor Frankl quotes Nietzsche in his landmark memoir Man’s Search For Meaning, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

    “Why?” is thus a fundamental vocational discernment question for social entrepreneurs, and by extension, for impact investors and other stakeholders in the broader social enterprise ecosystem.

    Santa Clara University, in the heart of Silicon Valley, fashions future leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world. The Jesuit tradition in which Santa Clara’s educational paradigm is rooted emphasizes “men and women for others” and a “preferential option for the poor”; Chris Lowney’s Heroic Leadership articulates four unique values of Jesuits that form the core of what he calls “leadership substance”: self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroic ambition. These characteristics aptly describe many social entrepreneurs I know.

    Indeed, every great spiritual and religious tradition is built upon a belief that there is a greater good, or a why, that transcends personal success, wealth, or power. While conceptions of God or gods vary in many dimensions, the universality of helping the poor and living righteously illuminates a core tenet of humanity. More and more, young people today are choosing careers with meaning; meaning is often influenced by individual spirituality. In fact, Time magazine reported in 2007 that Generation Y workers want to “spend their time in meaningful and useful ways.”

    This year, meaning is one of the themes at SOCAP. The track will focus on “the intersection of money and meaning” in both spiritual and non-spiritual terms. We are convening a session entitled Impact Investing and Spiritual Belief:  Breaking the Persistent Cycle of Poverty. Panelists from different spiritual traditions will explore resonance between their faith and vocations in the broader social enterprise and impact investing ecosystem.

    From the Desk of Thane Kreiner
    Executive Director, Center for Science, Technology, and Society

  •  Social Enterprise Accelerators

    Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

    Social Enterprise Accelerators

    Just as it takes a whole village to raise one child, it takes a global support network to help one social entrepreneur reach their vision.  That isn’t because social entrepreneurs are as needy and tender as children. Instead, it is because social entrepreneurs have such large visions of transformative change that they can’t achieve them single-handedly.  (Not to mention that their visions and passion are so exciting that many of us can’t help but want to be a part of the solutions they are working towards.)

    One of the best supports for social enterprises looking for a boost to get to the next level of their venture is participating in one or more of the growing number of social enterprise accelerator programs available.  As the field of social entrepreneurship has mushroomed over the last decade, so has the offering of accelerators.

    Today’s plugged-in social entrepreneur is bombarded by invitations to apply to accelerator programs, but each has its own timeline, format, and focus. Some accelerators such as the Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) – with which I’m affiliated – and The Unreasonable Institute source participants globally. Depending on their location, entrepreneurs can also apply to localized programs such as Villgro’s SEED program in India and Village Capital’s programs in places as diverse as Nairobi and Hawaii.  Accelerators like the GSBI have been around long enough to see some of our ventures go on to achieve dramatic success, like Kiva (’06) and VisionSpring (’06).  The next big success stories are surely among the hundreds of ventures participating in accelerator programs today, and it will be satisfying to see them break into the limelight.

    For those of us lucky enough to spend our days (and nights) thinking about how to help more social entrepreneurs help more people, the messiness of the impact accelerator landscape leads to a lot of questions.  How can we reach more entrepreneurs?  How we can guide the right entrepreneurs to the right program at the right time?  How can we maximize our impact on the enterprise?  Not to mention, how can we cover our costs of helping these enterprises? My work with the GSBI centers on answering these questions by strengthening and expanding our program offerings.

    These were among the questions we discussed more broadly at the Innovations in Capacity Development for Social Enterprise panel that I moderated at the SOCAP13 conference earlier this month.  The panelists were SEED’s PR “Guns” Ganapathy, Unreasonable Institute’s Teju Ravilochan, my GSBI colleague Cassandra Staff, Village Capital’s Victoria Fram, and the World Bank Development Marketplace’s Drew vonGlahn.

    Last year’s report, Bridging the “Pioneer Gap”:  The Role of Accelerators in Launching High-Impact Enterprises, looked at 52 impact-focused accelerators and found that 73 percent are less than five years old. Fortunately, the accelerators are evolving together and are collaborating.  In 2011, Halloran Philanthropies recognized the accelerators’ role in global social impact and began bringing us together for pre-SOCAP work sessions to foster collaboration. There are some tangible outcomes, like the creation of a common application questionnaire that is being used by Village Capital and GSBI among others to make it easier for busy entrepreneurs to apply to our programs.  To simplify further, these accelerators are also migrating to a common platform called F6S for the application process.

    With so many accelerators and competitive application processes, it can be hard for a social entrepreneur to choose the right program at the right time.  The entrepreneur has to prioritize between applying for an accelerator program over, say, applying for a grant or bidding on a project. Smart entrepreneurs will do their own diligence on an accelerator to see if what is provided will be right for them at their current stage.  Fortunately most accelerators give quite a bit of detail about their programs, mentors, and past participants, through which, prospective applicants can gauge the fit before applying. 

    Each accelerator targets a specific type of enterprise.  Villgro’s new SEED program focuses exclusively on helping for-profit Indian social enterprises raise their first outside investments. Unreasonable Institute provides mentorship, capital, and a global support network through a multi-week in-residence experience. GSBI takes an in-depth business model-centric approach and provides seasoned mentors with Silicon Valley start-up experience.  Village Capital’s program is built around peer-to-peer support and guaranteed investment for the best ventures from each cohort.

    The World Bank Development Marketplace brought another innovative model to the panel discussion.  After more than a decade of giving grants to promising enterprises, the Development Marketplace has made a commitment to providing capacity development services to their grantees. In order to avoid reinventing the wheel, they are partnering with existing accelerators in an interesting experiment. As part of their latest competition in India, on top of the cash grant, they have assigned an additional dollar amount for capacity development and will allow each entrepreneur to use those funds to retain the services of a vetted group of service providers.

    The Development Marketplace’s new model creates value and efficiency for all parties, and it points to a potential opportunity for overcoming a limitation that most accelerators face today.  Of the accelerators studied in the Bridging the Pioneer Gap report, 74 percent rely on philanthropy. This limits our own sustainability and scalability. Villgro is piloting another approach, which is to charge a success fee, in which entrepreneurs who successfully raise investments are required to pay the accelerator for the services they received.

    The upcoming Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)-funded study, Making the $-Value Added Business Case for Incubator/Accelerator Services, conducted by I-Dev International, will give more insight into these issues and surface ways for accelerators to strengthen their programs to keep up with the growing demand for their services.

    Given the flurry of research, collaboration and action, social entrepreneurs can expect a ‘smarter’ and more efficient accelerator space rising to meet them.


    From the Desk of Andrew Lieberman
    Director of New Program R&D

    Republished from NextBillion.net
     

  •  SOCAP in Review

    Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

    SOCAP IN REVIEW

    The Center reinforced its position as a thought leader and practitioner in social enterprise. Read about our role in mentoring entrepreneurs and advancing impact capital.

    The eighth Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP13) took place earlier this month (Sept 3-6) at Fort Mason in San Francisco.  SOCAP focuses on the space between philanthropy and traditional capital markets. Over the past six years this gathering has grown to be the flagship conference in social investing and draws over 2000 social entrepreneurs, corporations, philanthropists, NGOs, and impact investors who believe you can invest with the goal of making a positive impact, while also making positive financial returns.

    The Center was well represented at SOCAP. We co-hosted a reception with ANDE, Opportunity Collaboration , and the World Bank that drew over 400 attendees and guests. At our booth on the main floor of the conference facility, we promoted GSBI Online, GSBI Accelerator, and our Impact Capital program.

    Most importantly, the Center submitted three panel proposals for the conference, and all three were selected with capacity attendance. John Kohler moderated Impact Investing: Keeping the Investor and Entrepreneur Happy. Thane Kreiner hosted Impact Investing and Spiritual Belief:  Breaking the Cycle of Persistent Poverty; and Andy Lieberman organized Innovation in Capacity Development for Social Enterprises.  Read these and other blogs here.

  •  We Did It! SOCAP 2013 Winners Announced!

    Monday, Aug. 12, 2013

    The Center for Science, Technology, and Society would like to thank all of our supporters who voted for our panels for SOCAP 2013. All three of our panels were accepted out of 128+ submissions! Your efforts helped us make it to the top and we could not have done it without you.

    Santa Clara SOCAP Panels

    For more Information on SOCAP13, please visit http://socap13.socialcapitalmarkets.net

  •  Can we Keep Both the Investor and Entrepreneur Happy?

    Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013

    Can we Keep Both the Investor and Entrepreneur Happy?

    I met Emily Stone of Maya Mountain Cacao in Nicaragua early this year.  She is bright, energetic, and laser focused on building prosperity for cacao farmers in Belize.  We were both participating in a business 'boot camp' hosted by Agora Partners.  I had an opportunity to speak to the 30+ Agora entrepreneurs about new forms of financing constructed to better fit their reality, in this case, the Demand Dividend concept we have been pioneering at Santa Clara University.  Emily immediately grasped the advantages, as did several other entrepreneurs.  A 'venture debt' vehicle that only pays out from a minority share of free cash flow, a sensible upside for investors but then extinguishes all claims and leaves company ownership in the hands of founders and employees.  It also recognizes the agrarian nature of many developing economies and allows for variable payments, not installment debt with a revenue sweetener.  She also liked the 'honeymoon' feature which, like equity, allows the investment to work for the enterprise first before seeking to be paid back.  Emily became an advocate.  Equity financing for Maya Mountain was not in the cards.

    Two principals at Eleos Foundation, Andy Lower and Jim Villanueva, were also fans of the Demand Dividend concept and Jim found himself inspired by the great work Emily had already done.  She was intent on expanding Maya Mountain to Guatemala with the same success recipe that was already working in Belize - working with cacao farmers, pruning and renovating dozens of farms, planting scores of new trees and working with the farming communities to improve yield, quality and reforestation of the mountains.  Expansion financing came together quickly - based on the Demand Dividend structure.

    Can we keep both the entrepreneur and investor happy?  So far, yes!  But come here their story and commentary on leading impactor sector participants as we discuss the role of structured exit financing for impact investing.
     

    From the Desk of John Kohler
    Director, Impact Capital

  •  CSTS Executive Director and Founding Director will both speak at BOP Summit 2013

    Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013

    Two Center for Science, Technology, and Society directors will speak at the BoP Summit 2013: Creating an Action Agenda for the Next Decade at the University of Michigan (www.bop2013.org), set for October 21-23 in Ann Arbor. While there’s lots to celebrate about inclusive business, there’s also plenty to question, ponder and reconsider - especially when it comes to barriers to success and the inability to replicate successful business models across industries and geographies. Registration for the summit is open, but spaces are limited. The three-day event will be limited to 200 practitioners who will:
    1. Take stock of what is known thus far about the BoP domain
    2. Identify critical success factors and on-going challenges that must be overcome
    3. Determine an action agenda that builds upon existing successes and addresses current limitations
     
    for more information and registration for the event, Follow this link http://www.bop2013.org/
     
    Thane Kreiner, PhD, is Executive Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The Center's mission is to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its signature Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™) program has helped more than 180 entrepreneurs build sustainable and scalable ventures that deliver essential goods and services to the poor. Collectively, these enterprises have positively impact the lives of nearly 100 million people in base of pyramid communities worldwide. In addition to leading the Center, Thane teaches Entrepreneurship for Social Justice and co-teaches the two courses for the Center's Global Social Benefit Fellowship.
     
    Thane was formerly Founder, President, and CEO of PhyloTech, Inc. (now Second Genome), which conducts comprehensive microbial community analysis for human health applications. He was Founder, President, and CEO of Presage Biosciences, Inc., a Seattle-based company dedicated to bringing better cancer drugs to market. Thane was the start-up President and CEO for iZumi Bio, Inc. (now iPierian), a regenerative medicine venture based on the break-through iPSc (induced pluripotent stem cell) technology. Prior to his efforts as a “parallel entrepreneur”, Thane spent 14 years in various senior leadership roles at Affymetrix, Inc., which pioneered the DNA chip industry. Thane currently serves as a Board member for the BioBricks Foundation, the Living in Color Foundation, and the regenerative medicine company Didimi, Inc. Thane earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business; his PhD in Neurosciences from Stanford University School of Medicine; and his BS in Chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin.
     
     
    Jim Koch is Don C. Dodson Distinguished Service Professor, Founding Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, former Dean of the Leavey School of Business, and Emeritus Director of the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University. The GSBI empowers social mission entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable organizations and solve problems for people living in poverty around the world. For over a decade, the GSBI has helped mission-driven enterprise build, sustain, and increase the reach and impact of their businesses. The GSBI Network extends this decade of work in the discovery, incubation, and Silicon Valley mentoring of social ventures to a global alliance of Jesuit and other mission-aligned universities. Jim received his Ph.D. from UCLA and has published in a wide number of journals including: Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Vocational Behavior, California Management Review, and Innovations. His current research focuses on best practices and the emergence of BoP off-grid energy needs as a growing market opportunity research and the role of technology and business model innovation in the development of scalable market-based solutions to poverty alleviation.

     

  •  Unlocking the Hero Within

    Thursday, Jun. 6, 2013
    Masked vigilantes. Caped crusaders. Costumed crime fighters.
     
     
    Every summer, millions of moviegoers flock to crowded multiplexes across the globe to see the latest hero don a really cool costume and venture out into the night to save the world. The notion of heroes has always been linked to individuals who possess superhuman abilities and use their powers to protect humanity against supervillains and evil enterprises. After being thoroughly entertained for a couple of hours, the story ends and we exit the world of “make believe” into the harsh realities of the real world. However, in our 21st century world, danger still exists.
     
    You don’t have to be a character in a Hollywood script to save the world. Take a look at Amanda North, who recently reunited with a Boston bombing survivor, Erika Brannock as shown on AC360. I’m sure Amanda would never call herself “a hero,” but her actions in Boston, as well her role within the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley tell the whole story.
     
    Amanda’s passion for social justice and creating a more just and humane world, is why she decided to join the GSBI™ as a mentor – a critically acclaimed social entrepreneurship accelerator program at Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. In a recent conversation at the Center, Amanda shared about how much she loves growing things and getting to the heart of why things matter. She enjoys working with social entrepreneurs because they build products and services that have an immediate impact on the lives of people who need them most. Very humble and non-intimidating, Amanda has a natural essence that engages people in a way that they feel they are a part of a greater human story. Just ask Erika Brannock, who says Amanda saved her life. In response, Amanda modestly says, “I felt like there was a reason why I was there. I just felt this compulsion to go over to you…”
     
    It is this same compulsion to act and do something that drives Amanda in her hands-on work with the Center. The Center follows a simple strategy in its mission to benefit the lives of 1 billion of the world’s poor by 2020: Help social entrepreneurs help more people. It’s simple, but powerful in scope and vision.  The vision works because it constantly seeks out entrepreneurs who are inspired to dream big, to build something of great value, and who are motivated to get the training and discipline necessary to impact the greater good.
     
    We are proud of Amanda North, and mentors like her who work closely with entrepreneurs that venture out into sweltering hot days and feverishly cold nights tackling everyday problems that face people living in persistent poverty. GSBI Mentors are more than teachers and guides; they are heroes who encourage us to rise to the challenge and do something.
  •  Social Finance 2.0: Fundraising and Innovations Workbench

    Thursday, May. 16, 2013

    What is the future of innovation? How can we successfully integrate investments in sustainability and social change?

    About the class

    It is time to become social entrepreneurs 2.0. The social sector has matured enough to provide valuable lessons to today’s social entrepreneurs. There have been enough like you to teach what worked, what didn’t and why. It’s time for the next generation to go to school on this. As you prepare your companies for financing, you must understand new tools for financing, what investors are looking for, and how the continuing evolution of social finance effects the way you design, build, and operate. John Kohler brings three decades of experience in venture capital and entrepreneurship to the social sector.

    HUB San Francisco 
    901 Mission Street 
    San Francisco, CA 94103

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM (PDT)

    Register Now:

    In this class you’ll cover:

    Equity vs. Grants – what was wrong with the binary

    New Instruments – what types of financing are available and in development including Demand Dividend

    Understanding ambitions to scale: community scale or global scale companies and impact on financing considerations

    Understanding the promise you make to investors: what is it, and how will you make it worth their while?

     

    About John Kohler

    Executive Fellow – Center for Science, Technology and Society

    Santa Clara University

    Co-founder – Toniic

    jkohler(at)scu.edu

    For the past several years, John has been a mentor to Social Entrepreneurs at the Global Social Benefit Incubator and now also serves as an Executive Fellow and Director of Social Capital at Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology and Society. Last year he co-authored a report on impact investing entitled Coordinating Impact Capital: a New Approach to Investing in Small and Growing Businesses. In addition, he is one of the founders of Toniic, a syndication network of impact investors. Outside of this, John manages technology investments through Redleaf Venture Management. He has been heavily involved in technology product formation and has been concentrating on Internet and Life Science startups since 1994. John’s background includes twenty years of executive level positions at technology corporations including Hewlett Packard, Silicon Graphics and Convergent Technologies and Unisys. He was one of the founding executives at Netscape Communications. John is currently on the board of Redleaf Group, chairman of the board at LucidMedia, and serves as a board member at PACT, an NGO based in Washington D.C. He previously led investments at AdRelevance (JMXI), Mosaic Communications (TWX), NetGravity (DCLK), RedCreek Communications (SNWL), and Wireless Online. John is a managing member of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund and serves on the UCLA Sciences Board of Visitors. John received his bachelor’s degree in international economics from UCLA and completed executive programs at Wharton and Stanford business schools. He also serves on advisory committees at CSTS, the UN Foundation, and HUB Ventures. He is a nationally accredited soccer coach, an avid skier, sailor, and a member of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club.

     

    Register at eventbrite today:

  •  Head of the Class:The Global Social Benefit Incubator Announces 2013 Social Enterprise Recipients

    Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013

     

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 4, 2013 —When pressing social problems and innovative entrepreneurs collide, dramatic change in the humanitarian landscape is possible. That’s exactly what is happening at Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), which today announces the latest group of 15 social enterprises chosen to receive training through its signature Global Social Benefit Incubator or GSBI™.
     
    The newly named GSBI Accelerator program has been revamped to focus on investment-ready social enterprises that have the potential to vastly increase their impact on the lives of the poor—as CSTS strives to improve the lives of 1 billion by 2020. This year’s cohort of 14 was selected through a competitive process that began last November.
     
    "As the GSBI enters its eleventh year, we have intensified our focus on helping successful social enterprises scale,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of the CSTS. “The 2013 GSBI Accelerator will develop, train, and guide investment-ready social enterprises to rapidly expand their reach." 
     
    "As a long-time GSBI mentor, I have worked with hundreds of social enterprises over the last decade. This is unequivocally the most accomplished cohort I have ever seen,” said Paul Meissner, Ph.D., senior director of the GSBI. “Their momentum reflects how quickly social entrepreneurship is expanding, and how many millions of lives can be impacted by their work."
     
    Leaders from 14 enterprises have been selected to take part in the eight-month GSBI Accelerator program, beginning in April and ending in December 2013. Participants will receive mentoring from top-level Silicon Valley executive experts, highly specialized instruction, and intense on-campus education. For the first time this year, the social enterprises are being directly monitored by an elite group of interested funders, the GSBI Impact Investing Partners. While not necessarily committing to funding the ventures, the partners will help participants evaluate their organizations from a funding perspective.
    The in-residence portion of the program will take place August 15–23 at Santa Clara University, culminating in a networking event with the impact investors. The GSBI Impact Investing Partners include: Accion, Acumen Fund, Bamboo Finance, Beyond Capital Fund, The Eleos Foundation, Emcor Securities, Grassroots Business Fund, Halloran Philanthropies, Hub Ventures, Invested Development, Khosla Impact Fund, KL Felicitas, Skoll Foundation, Toniic, and Village Capital.
    This year’s GSBI class members are building businesses including ­“biodigester systems” that help small farmers treat animal waste and convert it into powerful organic fertilizer and methane-rich biogas for cooking and heating; “100-percent biomass waste gasification” to generate electricity and distribute power to rural households; water pumps that run on solar power; two-way, on-demand mobile platforms that teach reading and writing skills to poor families; low-cost, pre-paid electricity meters that enable the extension of renewable energy to global communities living off-the-grid, and many more.
     
    In addition to launching this year’s GSBI Accelerator, the CSTS joined with longtime GSBI sponsor Applied Materials last year to make a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to support 18 clean energy social enterprises over the next three years. Including this year’s GSBI Accelerator class and the related online program, GSBI Online, the partners have already reached 15 clean energy enterprises.
     
    “We want to thank Applied Materials for its ongoing support of the Center and GSBI,” said Meissner. “We are also delighted that eBay Foundation is sponsoring four enterprises in this year’s cohort: AVANI, Drishtee Development and Communication Ltd., Juhudi Kilimo, and Kinara Capital.”
     
    For more details about the program and the 2013 GSBI class, visit the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s website at www.scu.edu/socialbenefit/.
     
    About the GSBI
    The GSBI is the signature program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The mission of the Center is to accelerate global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. The GSBI empowers socially-minded entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable organizations and solve problems for people living in poverty around the world. For over a decade, the GSBI has helped mission-driven enterprises build, sustain, and increase the reach and impact of their businesses. The GSBI is currently funded in part by a grant from the Skoll Foundation, corporate gifts from Applied Materials, and generous support from individual donors.
     
    About Santa Clara University
    Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see 
    www.scu.edu.
     
    Media Contacts:
    Beverly Nuako | Marketing Manager | 408-551-6048 | bnuako@scu.edu
    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | 408-554-5121 |
    dlohse@scu.edu

     

 


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