Category Archives: Participants

Production highlight

Meet Ian Van der Werff, a Senior, Communication major. You may have noticed Ian in the back of class week after week recording the lecture. Some of you have experienced Mr. Van der Werff at his finest as he uses his skills with the camera to create a artsy shot of your interviews.

It should come as no surprise to you to hear that Ian is pursueing a career in film and currently works in the film industry. Something you may not know about Ian is that he loves soccer. A random quote I stole off his facebook is,”Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact it’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary.”

Next time you see Ian give him a big hug!


SVPC can lead to great things

Reed Probus, a Junior Business Administrative major at SPU.

SVPC participant: 2008, 2010

Awards: SVPC award winner 2008

The SVPC is a rare opportunity to work on a project you believe in and pitch it to leaders in the local business community. For me the best aspect of the competition was working on a team, where I experienced for the first time how a good team is more than the sum of tis parts. Our four team members brought unique and complimentary skills–our designer created a website that impressed the judges, our programmer gave it capabilities that matched established competitors, our business maven answered the tough questions about our strategy, and our communications extraordinaire presented our idea with enthusiasm. Our brainstorming sessions were invaluable and even our arguments were constructive. This kind of team experience is something you don’t get from coursework. And being part of programs like the SVPC is part of the reason I cam to SPU

A month after the showcase, our team was flying to Los Angeles for the Microsoft Imagine Cup student technology competition. Thanks to the SVPC, we had revised our business plan based on feedback from instructors and judges, which I think gave us a stronger presentation. Later, Microsoft invited us to talk about the Imagine Cup for the following video about the competition.

to see Reed’s first project in action follow the below link:

Serve Others

Written by Allen Klein, a Junior majoring in Business Administration at SPU

SVPC participant: 2009 and 2010

Grand Prize Winner 2009

When I initially went into the Social Venture Plan Competition I knew Iwas in for a good time, but I didn’t know how much I would actually learn along the way. Here at SPU we learn a lot in our business and exploratory classes, but this was finally a chance to really apply my knowledge in a form other than a test. Scott, Stephen and I originally started out with a much different plan, we were aiming to do a fair-trade electronics company. But after much thought, market research, and lots of late nights in fall quarter, it was becoming clear that we needed something a bit more scalable. That is what we believed to be our key to success; we were able to scale our business to a manageable size. Also, Evenblade was to be based in Seattle which made it easier to understand our market and to make “competition contracts” with companies and service organizations in the area. What I mean by a competition contract is as follows: our team would call organizations and see if they would agree to partner with us, unofficially, for our competition. What this did was create a greater sense of thoroughness in our business plan. We would also use this relationship to get feedback on our ideas to beef-up our plan. A very common remark made by the judges was that we had ‘done the necessary footwork’ to really understand what we were getting into. Those are all the tips I’m going to give on that subject… I need to keep a couple for this year.

All said and done, The SVPC was one of the highlights to my college experience thus far. It has given me a great chance to really understand how to serve others with business, and to understand how God can work in different ways. The group work was a blessing, and all of my team members were great to work with. In life, we’re all going to have to work with differing personalities, so why not start learning how to do so now? Additionally, it was great application of what I’ve been learning in classes here at SPU. And let us be honest, knowledge without application is useless.