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William Calarese 917-319-9412

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Social Venture Partners Selects Semifinalists in Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition

Field Narrowed to Top 20 Social Innovators and Top 8 in Youth Category

September 23, 2011-- SEATTLE – Today, Social Venture Partners (SVP) announced the selection of 20 semifinalists in the next phase of the Social Innovation Fast Pitch competition (SIFP).  In addition, eight high school and college teams have been selected as semifinalists in Ashoka Seattle’s youth category. 

The competitors are vying for $175,000 of funding that will be awarded to those who deliver the most compelling five-minute presentations for new local non-profit programs or for-profit social businesses. 

The semifinalists have advanced through a series of elimination rounds, evaluating their plans and presentations in the key areas of societal impact, innovation, organizational sustainability, and leadership; and of course, pitching.

The semifinalists will compete again on Wednesday, September 28th.  The top 10 non-profit or for-profit presenters, as well as four youth teams, will earn the opportunity to present in a fast-pitch format on the big stage at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion on October 3rd in front of up to 500 attendees.

The finals event will be judged by distinguished leaders in business, investment and community affairs from the Puget Sound region.  At the same time, the audience will participate through text message voting to select the most innovative program and the best pitch.   Tickets are on sale now at http://sifp.net/attend , with 100% of the ticket price donated to the competing social innovators. 

“The purpose of SIFP is to create a forum that brings forward the most innovative social ventures and nurtures those ideas through coaching, mentoring, and competition,” said Will Poole, SVP lead partner and organizer of SIFP.  “Our semifinalists have excelled in developing and refining their social innovations throughout the competition.  Congratulations to them and to all SIFP participants for their creativity, commitment, and hard work to bring new ideas for social impact to our community.”

The semifinal winners for the non-profit programs are (more details on each at http://sifp.net/sf ):

  • Catholic Community Service of King County
  • Dynamic Partners
  • Family Renewal
  • Flash Volunteer
  • Get Schooled Foundation
  • Jolkona
  • Mercy Housing Northwest
  • Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development Village
  • Village
  • Viva Farms
  • The West Seattle Tool Library
  • Year Up
  • Youth Ambassadors
  • Youth Suicide Prevention Program

The semifinal winners for the for-profit programs are (more details on each at http://sifp.net/sf ):

  • FindProz, Inc.   
  • Food N’ Me
  • Ideal Network, Inc.
  • ITEASi (IT Enterprise Architecture Solutions Inc)
  • One4All
  • Summit Solutions, LLC

The semifinal winners for the high school youth teams are:

  • SIFF: Sharing Interests Forming Friendships -- breaks social barriers between special needs students and their peers at three public high schools in the Puget Sound and is expanding every year.
  • Youth Ultimate Project (YUP) -- uses ultimate Frisbee to teach play, leadership, and teamwork skills to disadvantaged youth in Cambodia—so far they’ve funded two trips to Cambodia to run these life-changing clinics.
  • Yoga Empowered Students (YES) -- engages a diverse student group in ongoing yoga clinics, and engages the cohort in community building projects at Garfield High School designed at identifying and deconstructing racial barriers segmenting the student body.
  • MoneySense -- plans to build an interactive website and offer training clinics for educating middle school and high school students about financial literacy and the dangers of financial mismanagement.

The semifinal winners for college youth teams are:

  • Biodiesel Cooperative -- is a student-led, student-run, biodiesel conversion lab at the University of Washington, procuring used cooking oil on campus, converting it to industry-grade biodiesel, and selling it back to the UW to power part of their on-campus diesel fleet.
  • Something Real Productions -- combats issues surrounding child soldiers in Uganda, in partnership with Invisible Children, by hosting break dancing battles around Seattle.
  • StudentRND -- provides a space for young people to explore, innovate, learn, and teach cutting-edge science and technology together.
  • Reach Out -- brings an innovative approach to day camps, providing 1:1 counselor-to-camper in week-long camps designed to change the self-impression and life-trajectory of disabled, disadvantaged, and homeless youth.

Social Innovation Fast Pitch is a program of Social Venture Partners Seattle, with the goal of increasing the speed and sustainability of social innovation in the Puget Sound region.  Learn more about SIFP at http://sifp.net or about Social Venture Partners at http://svpseattle.org

SIFP Seattle 2011 is made possible by generous contributions from founding donors including Ashoka Seattle, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill and Paula Clapp, the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, and Social Venture Partners.  Corporate sponsors include Aditi Technologies, Cascadia Capital, Coinstar, Davis Wright Tremaine, Duotone Audio, Fenwick and West, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Pricewaterhouse Coopers;  Seattle Center’s Next50, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Winshuttle. 

To purchase tickets for the October 3 event, go to http://sifp.net/attend/.   100% of the ticket receipts will be donated to the social innovators competing at the event, and the amount is partly tax deductible.  Low-cost tickets are available for students with a current high school or college ID.

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