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“Though business and design work together like peanut butter and jelly in “the real world,” the programs on campus often don’t. “We’re a small school, but there are a lot of faces here I’ve never seen before,” said AIGA President Jeremy Sanford at the event.”
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Dr. Summers replies,
“The student work for SVPC is moving along at a supersonic speed. We have about 25 projects in the works. Student teams are fine-tuning their plans as the deadline for submitting the written plan approaches (March 17th). Ventures at the April 21st Showcase will range from paperless transactions to art education in Malawi to networking of commuters to homeless youth in Seattle. We’re excited about the variety of ideas and the quality of work being done. ”
Director of Center for Applied Learning
This past Wednesday was the second class session for this year’s Social Venture Plan Competition. Dr. Herb Kierulff spoke about the nature of the entrepreneur and why business plans are a good idea. I think I’ve heard this lecture often enough that I could probably give it myself now. I wonder if he feels the same way about my lecture on persuasive presentations?
One of the things that Herb mentioned is that entrepreneurs are people who like to build things, specifically organizations, to solve societal needs, desires and problems. Having observed students in entrepreneurship classes and business planning competitions for a number of years now, I can see that those “buildings” don’t spring up out of the ground overnight. Each plan really has to start with a good framework – a skeleton or outline of some sort. It’s just like a high rise building going up – those big steel girders you see are the bones of the building.
And on Wednesday night, as we moved into group work, and the students began to brainstorm around the basic ideas for their social ventures, you could see them trying to get the framework right. These are the bones of the projects they will build. If the basic premise – the skeleton – is wrong, the venture plan will never stand up straight. The team won’t perform well in the competition. And they won’t win.
Sitting in with four or five teams as they worked was fun, as always. The creativity, energy and intelligence of these students are palpable. I heard thumbnail sketches for a soap business in Malawi, a bakery that would serve gluten- and soy-free products, a promotional products company using youth artisans to craft high-end gifts . . . oh, and something about parking a cruise ship on the Seattle waterfront and converting it to new uses?!? Some of these ideas may make it through the construction process and wind up in the competition; others may get scrapped to be replaced by better looking or more straightforward ideas. It doesn’t matter. The process itself is worthwhile.
And I can tell, even from these bones, that it’s going to be another exciting year filled with fascinating projects for SVPC.
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:
“In the heart of Vancouver’s poorest neighborhood, a thriving business is helping homeless and low-income peole earn money by cleaning up the environment.”
To see the original article follow the below link.
Written by Allen Klein, a Junior majoring in Business Administration at SPU
SVPC participant: 2009 and 2010
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.
Written by Dr Don Summers
SVPC Project Manager
Don’t sit on the sidelines while the world spins out of control. Each of us can make a difference, a big difference, but only if we finetune our good intentions into specific action. Seattle Pacific U’s Social Venture Plan Competition helps students take their ideas for positive change and build sustainable enterprises that focus on social problems. And winners walk away with prize money that can be used to get these social ventures off the ground.