Monday, October 30, 2006

2007 Global Social Venture Competition

The Global Social Venture Competition is a great event: bringing the talents of business school students from around the world to bear on society's pressing problems. I have been a judge twice in the last five years, and the quality of the business plans being judged has simply soared over that time period.

I just found out about a matching making blog for the 2007 GSVC, where social groups can link up with students who want to work on a business plan. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there will be an in-person meeting as well on matchmaking at UC Berkeley's Haas Business School, on November 17, 2006. Here's some information on this, that I clipped from an email.

Who should attend?

Any social entrepreneur in the Bay Area who has at least a reasonably well-developed business idea or venture. Though there is no particular restriction on industry, the goal of the venture must include a focus on social impact as well as financial sustainability. The individual or team behind the venture should also have identified the role(s) in which an additional graduate student resource would be valuable.



Any graduate student interested in contributing to the build-out of a socially responsible business. Students must reside in the Bay Area and have the willingness, time and energy to commit to helping develop an idea in his or her area of interest.



Teams interested in attending this event should be planning to submit their business plans to the 2007 GSVC. The executive summary deadline for GSVC is January 17, 2007. Further dates and details about the competition can be found at http://www.socialvc.net.



When and Where is the Event?

Friday, November 17, 1PM – 4PM
Faculty Club (Seaborg Room), University of California, Berkeley


How do I RSVP?

Please send an email to Jesse Purewal (jsp311@gmail.com) by October 27th. Be sure to include:

Name, Organization/University
Are you a graduate student seeking a venture or a venture seeking a graduate student resource?
If a graduate student, please include your area(s) of interest
If a venture, please include a 1-2 paragraph overview of the venture as well as a brief description of the role(s) a graduate student could play in the development of the venture


Sunday, October 22, 2006

World Usability Day 2006

I'm giving a webcast on World Usability Day 2006 (November 14, 2006) entitled Access to Books for People with Print Disabilities. This kind of event showcases what the web can do for people who cannot go to the short number of conferences where these topics are discussed. And of course, accessibility means better access for more people!

For those interested in attending this webcast, there's a page called How do I view a WUD webcast? The link for my session is here, and the webcast is at 1 pm California time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Benetech at CGI

Just received this photo from the nice folks at the Clinton Global Initiative. Our bold commitment at CGI was to take Bookshare.org international over the next year, finding the authors, publishers and tech company support to reach at least three countries in a significant way.

We've already heard about a commitment from Microsoft that will help us meet this commitment, and we're busy working with other funders to help raise the money to make this happen.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

High Tech Approaches for Building Social Enterprise:

An article of mine just appeared in the Social Enterprise Reporter, entitled High Tech Approaches for Building Social Enterprise. The SER is one of the leading publications in the social enterprise field, and I think it's now one of the membership benefits of joining the Social Enterprise Alliance. I just got back last night from an SEA board meeting in Long Beach, California, where the next annual meeting will be held. Should be a great event (April 17-19, 2007).

I'm passionate about the application of intellectual property to driving social good. This article expands on how this is not solely the province of high tech types like me. Many social organizations create valuable content, and can often reach greater mission success by leveraging that content. For example, if you have a great new method for tutoring kids, you might have a bigger impact by publicizing that method so that other people can use the improved approach. And, often this can be structured as a social enterprise.

Of course, I also try to be realistic. Going into business is not a magic wand that always works for social organizations. But, we have enough examples of good enterprises to make it worth exploring!