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Global Social Venture Competition

The Global Social Venture Competition is a global network of volunteer judges, mentors, and student organizers providing aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and funding to transform their ideas into business with positive, real-world impact. 

Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) has evolved into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors, and student organizers. This partnership between premier business schools in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa aims to foster a new generation of business leaders that value the social and profit potentials of business. The GSVC achieves this goal by catalyzing and promoting for-profit and not-for-profit ventures that create and measure both social and financial returns.

Georgia Tech is a Full Regional Partner for the Global Social Venture Competition. Supported by the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact, the Georgia Tech graduate chapter of Net Impact coordinates the regional competition for teams from the eastern half of the United States. Advancing teams will compete in the Global Finals, which will be hosted in Milan, Italy this year. 

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.

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News & Testimonials

Congratulations to Magnomer and Key2enable for being the two global finalists from the Eastern Region!

Magnomer: Magnomer introduces a novel design of plastic packaging by application of magnetic ink which enables higher recyclability and alleviates environmental impact. 
Key2enable: Key2enable uses experimental technologies to give autonomy and possibility to people with motor and intellectual disabilities all around the world. 

Testimonials from Last Years Finalists

Street Smarts VR Logo

"The GSVC competition added tremendous value to our understanding of the social entrepreneurship space. We met countless teams who, like us, were also working to improve global conditions and learning more about their projects was inspiring."

-Street Smarts VR 

"Along with the second place award, we are thankful for the connections formed with extraordinary entrepreneurs from around the world and continued conversations with experts in social innovation and building successful startups."

Nemo Logo

Our Team 

MBA Candidate, 2019

Caroline was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University. Prior to business school, she worked as a financial analyst at Regions Financial Corporation. She is currently a 1st year MBA candidate at the Scheller College of Business.

Julius Gebhard-KoenigsteinJoshua Gorman

MBA Candidate, 2020

Josh was born in Puerto Rico, but has lived in Atlanta for most of his life. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University as well as a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech. He spent the last 3 years in Atlanta working with a Structural Engineering Firm on high-rise commercial construction projects. He is currently a first-year MBA candidate at the Scheller College of Business.

Peter-FlaaenPeter Flaaen

MBA Candidate, 2020

Peter grew up in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 2006. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia. He spent the past three years in non-profit management working with a homeless service provider. He is currently a first year MBA candidate at the Scheller College of Business.



Brian CayceBrian Cayce

Gray Ghost Ventures

As Vice President of Investments at Gray Ghost Ventures, Brian brings experience in both the for- profit and not-for-profit sectors in developed and developing countries. He has been involved with sourcing, underwriting, monitoring and managing direct investments in innovative early-stage ventures since joining GGV in 2005. He was instrumental in establishing the Impact Ventures team, as well as building the initial GMC social investment portfolio.

Jay CranmanJay Cranman

Hands on Atlanta

A consultant, social good strategist, teacher and startup junkie, Jay has worked for Fortune 500s, small startups and nonprofit organizations. He currently spends his days as CEO of Hands On Atlanta, tackling Atlanta's most pressing needs through innovative programs and campaigns that engage people across the city in service. In addition, he teaches at Georgia Tech on the topics of social entrepreneurship and strategy consulting.

Katie BeachamKatie Beacham


Katie has devoted her career to activating business as a force for good and leads CSR at Fiserv, the most preferred brand in financial services technology and one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies for four years in a row. Her responsibilities include corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, nonprofit partnerships, disaster response, employee hardship support, sustainability, and impact measurement and reporting.

Julius Gebhard-Koenigstein


Julius is a new board member and former student leader for GSVC. He holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MBA from Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. He is currently a consultant in the Strategy and Operations divison of Deloitte focusing on supply chain. 

Brian GoebelBrian Goebel

Emory University

Brian serves as the Managing Director for Social Enterprise at Goizueta (SE@G), a research center within Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, which works to generate meaningful societal impacts by making markets work for more people, in more places, in more ways. In this role, Brian manages the Center’s collection of innovative fieldwork programs and student activities that boost neighborhood vitality in Atlanta through micro-business development, strengthen coffee grower communities in Latin America through new direct-trade business models, and develop the next generation of principled social enterprise leaders through experiential learning.


Faculty Advisor

Dori is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact (ILSI), GSVC’s host organization within the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech. She leads Tech’s social innovation competitions, runs the IMPACT Speaker Series, and teaches courses on Social Entrepreneurship. As the faculty advisor for GSVC she works closely with the student leadership team and coordinates the partnership with Berkeley.


Eligibility Rules and Guidelines for 2018-2019

GSVC awards prizes to the social venture teams that show the highest, most integrated financial and social returns – businesses that demonstrate blended value.

Eligibility Requirements for Ventures
  • Submitted ventures should aim to be: financially sustainable or profitable; whether it is a for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid business model, your venture must aim to be self-sufficient on earned revenue.
  • Ventures should include a technology component, whether a technology-based solution or a technology component is utilized to address the solution. In this instance, technology is defined very broadly. Eligible ventures should include products and services developed from the application of scientific knowledge. This may involve software, hardware as well as other devices and products. The technology can be manifest in the product or service itself, or be the way in which the product or service is delivered.
  • Submitted ventures should be scalable long term. This criterion will mean different things for each business. Scalability will take into account the potential for growth of the business, both financially and in its social impact.
  • Submitted ventures must have a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into their mission and practices.
  • Your entry must include a financial analysis as well as a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), including the Social Value Proposition and Social Indicators. Learn more on the SIA page of the website.
  • Submitted ventures must be less than 2 years old (with the start of the venture marked by incorporation or first income, whichever occurred first) as of December 31, 2018.
  • Submitted ventures may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or nonprofit entity).
  • Submitted ventures must not have received more than $250,000 in funding from venture capital, private investors, grants (government or foundation), loans, or other funding sources (excluding in-kind) as of December 31, 2018.
  • Lifetime revenue should not exceed $500,000 as of December 31, 2018.
  • GSVC has the right to investigate funding and qualifications of ventures to assure that they are truly early stage.
Eligibility Requirements for Teams
  • Your team must include a student, current or recent graduate*, from any level of higher education (undergraduate, masters level/graduate, or doctoral) in any area of study in the world;
    *Recent students must meet the following criteria:
    • Recent Bachelor’s degree holders must have completed their degree with four (4) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2018).
    • Recent Master’s or Doctoral level degree holders must have completed their degree within two (2) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2018).
  • The student or recent student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., a founder or co-founder, actively participating in the development of the business or actively working on the business).
  • Your team should include a statement describing the student’s level of involvement.
  • The student or recent student must be one of the team’s presenters and must be available to answer judges’ questions regarding the business in the final two rounds of the competition.
Other qualifications
  • A team cannot enter the competition more than twice.
  • Teams that have competed at the Global Finals may not enter more than once; Regional Partners may put additional limits on the number of times that a team may compete at the regional level.
  • All submissions and presentations for the Global Finals round must be in English. Questions from the judges during the Global Finals may be translated from English to the team’s native language, but should be answered in English.

Southern Company: Southern Company brings energy to homes and businesses across the country as a leading producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy.

Mosley Ventures

Mosley Ventures: Mosley Ventures is a venture capital fund investing in early-stage technology startups in Atlanta and the Southeast. It primarily invests in the security software, mobility, and wireless, big data and healthcare IT sectors.

Invested Development Logo 

Invested Development: They look for solutions for some of the world's most pressing issues and support those who are making it a reality. They have been an innovator and catalyst in the impact investing field. As a successful investment management company, they have built a global network of mission-driven innovators, investors, and advisors.

  Hands on Atlanta

Hands On Atlanta: Hands On Atlanta connects changemakers to nonprofit organizations and schools in need while engaging socially responsible companies to help make a difference in our community.

Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business: The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business acts as a catalyst and connector at Georgia Tech, bringing together students, research faculty, companies, and entrepreneurs to create an environment where business-driven solutions to sustainability challenges can take shape and thrive.

Scheller College of Business Logo

Scheller College of Business: The College is internationally recognized as a leader in business education that's grounded in a deep understanding of how advances in technology affect the way business is conducted. It provides undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and corporate education for some of the future’s brightest business leaders, equipping them with the analytical skills to assess opportunities and apply appropriate technologies for a competitive advantage.

Center for International Business Education and Research

Center for International Business Education and Research: The CIBER at Georgia Tech, created in 1993, is one of the seventeen national resource centers of excellence in international business funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The mission at CIBER is to ensure the long-term international economic competitiveness of the United States through the support of research, business education initiatives, and corporate outreach activities.

Friends of GSVC at Georgia Tech
Eugenia & Brian Cayce
Katherine Beacham
Julius Gebhard-Koenigstein 
Sam Moss
Jay Cranman
Contact Us

Contact Us


Georgia Institute of Technology
Scheller College of Business
Attn: GSVC Planning Team
800 W. Peachtree St., Suite 4153
Atlanta, GA 30308


Understand the Competition

For a comprehensive breakdown of rules, requirements, eligibility, etc. visit

Please note, the FAQs below apply to the 2019 GSVC competition and may not be entirely up-to-date. Please monitor this page for updated information.

Q: What defines a “social venture”?

A: There are many definitions of “social venture.” For the Competition, a social venture is defined as a business that:

  • Plans to be financially sustainable or profitable; whether tax-exempt or not, it must be self-sufficient on its earned revenue
  • Has a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into its mission and practices

Q: What evaluation criteria will be used?

A: Plans will be judged according to the feasibility of the business concept, as well as the feasibility and scope of the venture’s stated social and/or environmental purpose. For more information, please see Judging Criteria.

Q: Can one be eliminated from the Competition in the executive summary round?

A: Yes. The executive summary is an elimination round if you submit your Executive Summary to the GSVC web site. The Indian School of Business held an optional executive summary round for ventures from Asia.

Q: How many plans will make it to the final round?

A: Each Regional Partner competition will send two finalists to the Global Finals.

Q: How many teams from one program or university may enter?

A: There are no limits to the number of applicants from a particular program or university.

Q: Can a team enter other business plan competitions?

A: Yes. We encourage every team to enter as many competitions as possible.  This helps you continue to refine your business plan and your determination is a great indicator of future business success.

Q. How do I know where to send my executive summary or business plan?

A. Each Regional and Outreach Partner School manages its own round.  Please visit “The Competition” section for details on regions and deadlines.  Please submit your entry based on the region you are from, not where your company is located (i.e., if you are a graduate student from Northwestern University, but are working on a business idea in India, you will submit your entry to the US round).

Submit an Executive Summary and/or Request a Mentor.

Q: Can I submit my full plan if I don’t enter an executive summary?

A: No, you must submit an executive summary. The strongest executive summaries will be invited to submit a full business plan. These ventures will also be matched with a mentor.

Q: How do I submit an executive summary?

A: We will be using a new platform to submit executive summaries this year. Details will be announced shortly.

Q: Will I receive feedback?

A: Teams will receive comments and feedback by mail, fax or e-mail.

Q: Can you connect me with a mentor?

A: We are happy to facilitate a working relationship between entrants and venture capitalists, academics, or other professionals with relevant business or social venture expertise. In the past, mentors have assisted teams with writing the business plan, calculating social return on investment, and presenting ideas to potential investors. If you would like us to connect you with a mentor, please reach out to us and we will do our best to match your team with a mentor whose industry experience and skills complement those of the team and its business plan.

Enter the Competition.

Q: Do you have any information about how to write a business plan?

A: Yes. Take a look at our resources.

Q: How do I submit my business plan?

A: Please refer to the submission requirements for your managing school.

Q: Does the business plan page restriction (25 pages) include the appendix?

A: The Business Plan must be limited to 25 pages (typed and double-spaced, #12 font, and 1-inch margins) of text, charts, and diagrams. This includes financials or other appendices which are limited to 5 pages

Q: Are resumes mandatory for Advisory Board members?

A: No. However, resumes are useful in showing how the advisor’s skills relate to the industry, market, strategy, operations, etc. of the product/service you are pitching. The same might be accomplished with a summary about who the advisors are and how their knowledge is relevant or how it fills gaps on the management team.

Q: Can resumes exceed one page?

A: Resumes should be limited to ONE page per team member.

Q: Should there be a link between the discount rates for FROI and SROI?

A: There is no inherent link between SROI and FROI rates, although the business’s fortunes impact both measurements. The SROI discount rate should represent the risk or uncertainty inherent in the assumptions about returns. Please see Social Impact Assessment Guide III for more information on calculating SROI.

Submit your business plan for final rounds of judging.

Q: Do I submit both electronic and paper copies of my business plan for the semi-final and final rounds?

A: Your managing school will communicate submission guidelines before the semi-final and final rounds.

Q: Do I make edits to my plan between the semi-final and final rounds?

A: Entrants are expected to modify their plans between rounds, although they may not be able to do everything the feedback suggests.

Q: Do I need to present my business plan if I make it to the final round?

A: Yes, you must present your business plan in person to a panel of judges. The dates for the Global Finals event at UC Berkeley are available on the website.

Still have questions?

Send an e-mail to the competition organizers at .