Freshly Cut

Social Venture Partners Charlotte Launches Signature Initiative: SEED20 Competition

Innovative social entrepreneurs will receive seven-week communications skills training and mentoring, plus chance of funding from $30,000 prize pool

CHARLOTTE, NCToday, Social Venture Partners Charlotte launches SEED20, an annual competition to discover and spotlight 20 of the most innovative ideas for building social value in our region.

SEED stands for Social Entrepreneurs Empowered, and the competition — for a prize pool of $30,000 ­— aligns with SVP Charlotte’s mission by helping to grow the region’s social entrepreneur community. SEED20 is made possible with investors Wells Fargo, Knight Foundation, and UNCC as well as strategic branding and marketing partner, Topics Education. The competition is open to any individual or nonprofit organization with a great idea and a passionate commitment to seeing it impact social change.

Between now and December 8, social entrepreneurs in Mecklenburg and bordering counties can download the competition details and application at Thereafter, SEED20’s Selection Committee will select 20 semifinalists who will receive feedback and extensive coaching on their ideas and presentations during an intensive seven-week period in January and February 2012. From there, the Selection Committee will narrow the list to ten finalists, all of whom will present their ideas at SEED20Unleashed! on March 6, 2012.

At this high-energy event, to be held at UNCC’s new Center City Campus, the ten finalists will make three-minute “pitches” to a panel of judges and an audience of business, academic and nonprofit leaders, foundation executives, the media and others interested in supporting the growth of social value in our region. Finalists will compete to win a total of $30,000 in grants, and all attendees will have the chance to network and celebrate social entrepreneurs and the energy and ideas they bring to our region.

About Social Venture Partners

Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP Charlotte) is a diverse network of engaged individuals who are addressing community needs through a new model of giving – Venture Philanthropy. SVP Charlotte brings the collective expertise, creativity, time and money of our members and their networks to develop and support promising social initiatives and nonprofits. In addition, SVP Charlotte strives to foster 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