Finalists Selected in Social Venture Partners' Seattle Fast Pitch Competition

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Top Contenders to Present at Sell-out Crowd at Seattle Center on Monday, October 3rd

Social Venture Partners (SVP) today announced that 14 finalists have been chosen to compete on stage at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion for $175,000 in grants and investments on October 3rd. Four of the finalists are two high school and two college teams who have been selected as finalists through Ashoka Seattle’s companion youth competition.

The competition has sparked intense interest from Seattle’s non-profit, civic and investment communities with ticket sales exceeding projections. Additional seating is being arranged at Fisher Pavilion to accommodate demand for tickets to the event. A limited number of tickets are still available at, with 100% of the ticket price donated to the competing social innovators.

(Media note: Media wishing to attend the event may obtain press credentials by contacting press(at)sifp(dot)net)

The finalists will be judged on their live on-stage performance in presenting five minute pitches for new local non-profit programs or for-profit social businesses. The finals competition will conclude with the winners being awarded $100,000 in grants for best non-profit programs and $75,000 in investments for best for-profit social businesses. $10,000 of the grant awards will be determined by the attending audience through text message voting. More details on all the awards can be found at:

“We have had overwhelming participation in this inaugural Fast Pitch event, with 120 applicants and dozens of the area’s best civic affairs and business minds participating in the extensive mentoring and judging processes over many weeks,” said Will Poole, SVP Lead Partner and Social Innovation Fast Pitch organizer. "The high level of sponsorship and contributions from our local non-profit and business communities, as well as the exceptional ticket sales, is a testament to Seattle’s tradition of embracing and participating in social innovation."

Finalists in alphabetical order (detailed one-pagers on each available at

•Biodiesel Cooperative: 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. Non-profit, college team; Presenter: Kathryn Cogert

•Dynamic Labs: Dynamic Labs will be the soil where seeds of innovations will be systematically planted, fertilized, pruned and harvested. Non-profit category; Presenter: Jon Botten

•FindProz, Inc.: eBay for education: FindProz is the marketplace for private instruction. For-profit category; Presenter: Tyler Pack

•Flash Volunteer: Flash Volunteer provides tools to create, discover and easily share local service events via social media, mobile and our unique Cause Crowd feature. Non-profit category; Presenter: Brad Wilke

•Food N' Me: Food N' Me is an effective nutrition system that changes eating behaviors in children and families. Fighting childhood obesity with pounds of fun! For-profit category; Presenter: Frederic DeWulf

•BOSS: BOSS empowers project owners/managers and minority small businesses with the tools and information to create sustainable social change. For-profit category; Presenter: Llewellyn Preece

•Jolkona: Jolkona helps non-profits improve fundraising efforts by providing a simple online microgiving & reporting platform to crowdsource funds online. Non-profit category; Presenter: Nadia Khawaja

•MoneySense: Building an interactive website and offer training clinics around educating middle school and high school students about financial literacy and the dangers of financial mismanagement. Non-profit, high school team; Presenter: Akshay Chalana

•Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development: Solarize Seattle harnesses the collective impact of community to accelerate solar energy adoption via a group purchasing program. Non-profit category; Presenter: Ryan Romaneski

•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. Non-profit, high school team; Presenter: Michelle Solomon

•Reach Out: Brings an innovative approach to day camps, providing 1:1 counselor-to-camper, week-long camps designed to change the self-impression and life-trajectory of disabled, disadvantaged, and homeless youth. Non-profit, college team; Presenter: Shandra Benito

•Village: An exemplary health and wellness model simultaneously stimulating healthy mothers, babies, families, providers, healthcare systems and the planet. Non-profit category; Presenter: Tara Shelby

•Viva Farms: Viva Farms is helping launch the next generation of organic farmers by providing land, capital, expertise and dedicated markets. Non-profit category; Presenter: Ethan Schaffer

•Youth Suicide Prevention Program: "K-12 Lessons for Life" is a new web tool that links educators to Best Practices curricula to support school-based suicide prevention and save lives. Non-profit category; Presenter: Keri Healey

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 or about Social Venture Partners at

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, Intelius, 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 100% of ticket receipts are donated to 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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