CHARLOTTE, NC – Today, Social Venture Partners (SVP) launches its second annual SEED20 competition to discover, spotlight, support, and fund twenty of the most innovative ideas for building social value in our region.
SEED stands for Social Entrepreneurs EmpowereD, and the competition — for a pool of cash awards — aligns directly with SVP’s mission of growing and empowering the region’s vibrant social entrepreneur community.
At the inaugural SEED20Unleashed! event last March, entrepreneurs presented their ideas and inspiring vision to a standing-room only audience. In his opening remarks, Mayor Anthony Foxx underscored that SEED20 “is exactly what the doctor ordered for the city of Charlotte…. [It] is every bit as important as any economic development announcement we’ve ever had.”
Between now and November 14, SVP will scour the region for big thinkers and doers who are tackling pressing social challenges in innovative ways. Starting today, individuals and non-profits in Mecklenburg and bordering counties can download the competition details and application at www.seed20.org. In early January, SVP will announce the twenty semifinalists selected to participate in this year’s competition.
Over the course of seven weeks, the SEED20 participants will receive intensive training and mentoring, coaching from community leaders on how to succinctly and powerfully “tell their story”, and opportunities to build valuable cross-sector relationships. A 2012 SEED20 finalist describing her experience shares, “At each workshop, I felt supported and lifted up – even by my competitors whom I really see as friends and compatriots now. It was an amazing experience.”
The competition will culminate with the SEED20Unleashed! event on March 7, 2013 at the Urban Garden, One Bank of America Center. At this high-energy event, the top ten finalists will deliver inspiring three-minute presentations to a panel of judges and a live audience. Finalists will compete to win cash awards. All attendees will have the chance to network and celebrate social entrepreneurs and the energy and ideas they bring to our region.
Last year’s SEED20 finalists were Charlotte Community ToolBank, Charlotte Teachers Institute, Circle de Luz, Friendship Gardens, Inspire the Fire, The Relatives, Second Helping of Charlotte, Silent Images, and Sow Much Good. Winner of the SEED20 Grand Prize and coveted Coaches’ Award was Grub to Grub, the brainchild of Cotswold Elementary 2nd grade teacher, Julie Jones.
Click here to watch a highlight video from last year’s SEED20Unleashed!
About Social Venture Partners
Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a diverse network of engaged individuals who address community needs through a new model of giving – Venture Philanthropy. SVP leverages the collective expertise, creativity, time, and financial resources of our members and their networks to develop and support promising social initiatives and nonprofits. In addition, SVP fosters a community of socially conscious and well-informed donors through engagement with investees, collaboration with other SVP partners, and participation in educational events. To learn more, please visit www.svpcharlotte.org.