Skip to main content

Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC)

The Global Social Venture Competition provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and $80,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have positive, real-world impact. Since its inception in 1999, the GSVC has awarded more than a quarter of a million dollars to emerging social ventures and has introduced early-stage social venture entrepreneurs to the investment community.  Nearly 25% of past GSVC entrants are now operating companies.

Ideas to Serve (I2S)

We are excited to announce a new philosophy for our competition – one that focuses on an in-depth understanding of the social/environmental issue a student is passionate about. In short: we are moving away from pushing for solutions to social issues and instead we are supporting (and incentivizing) an in-depth discovery of any particular social/environmental issue a student is passionate about. Students who are interested in understanding complex problems and/or involved in community - based grassroots efforts to address such problems but don't have an "innovation" can now be part of I2S - strengthening the "serve" component of it.

Student Success Stories

Lightboards is a small-scale skateboard deck manufacturing company located in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta, GA designed to employ and mentor young men in the area. We invite you to visit in anticipation of our sales launch this Fall. Also, you can now follow us on Instagram @lightboards.

"In bringing a dream to reality it is very beneficial to have a strong network of connections, encouragement from those who have gone before you, and funding to get the ball rolling. The Georgia Tech I2S competition served as a means and a catalyst for obtaining those early stage essentials for Lightboards."

Ryan Akin, Founder of Lightboards


- Ryan Akin, Founder: Lightboards, 2014 I2S Prize Winner

Pentorship is an educational products and services company aimed at providing skills-based training and tools to incarcerated persons, in order to better prepare them to interact and thrive in a technologically-adept society. Their mission is to reduce recidivism amongst returning citizens by offering innovative, relevant, and accessible products and services that truly reflect the state of the society to which an individual is returning.

"The prize money for I2S helped us fund the completion of our initial pilot in 2013. However, competition itself, it more valuable than sum of all of the prize money offered. Our team found the feedback from the judges and mentors to be extremely helpful. I can say with certainty that Pentorship would not have grown past the ideation stage had it not been for our participation in the 2011 I2S Competition."

Kristen Daniel, Founder and CEO of Pentorship


- Kristen Daniel, Founder and CEO: Pentorship, 2011 I2S Prize Winner


Replantable brings the farm to the kitchen with the nanoFarm, a kitchen appliance that grows a steady supply of fruits and vegetables with no maintenance or effort. 

"The feedback from the judges in the application process helped us explain our business more clearly and more effectively during the poster session, where we garnered our first media attention."

Ruwan Sabasinghe

- Ruwan Subasinghe, Founder: Replantable, 2015 I2S Prize Winner