Compete in Brandeis University's largest social enterprise student competition for a prize of $1,000. Learn and develop entrepreneurial solutions to pressing social challenges. Join us for a two and a half day social enterprise weekend of innovation at the Heller School on November 18-20, 2016.
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The Heller Startup Challenge is an annual social enterprise initiative designed to help Brandeis students to learn and develop entrepreneurial solutions to the world's most pressing social problems. Sponsored by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the challenge gives students access to expertise in the form of mentors and experience in the process of bringing great ideas into action. Areas to address may include, but not limited to:
The challenge lasts two and a half days held at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management on November 18-20th. Participants may form teams prior to the event or ideate and form teams at the event, and work towards creating a viable social enterprise business plan to present to a panel of distinguished judges on Sunday evening for a $1,000 prize.
The Heller Startup Challenge is open to all Brandeis students from any field of study who are interested in any of the following:
Work space and food will be provided for the entire weekend. Throughout the process, students will be mentored by a network of social entrepreneur related professionals and provided tools to translate their idea into reality.
The Heller Startup Challenge is organized by a passionate team of Heller students who strive for social impact. We are happy to help anyone who is interested in social entrepreneurship, wishes to engage with the event, and/or support the development of social enterprises in the greater Boston area.
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Social entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems. Social entrepreneurs adopt a mission to create and sustain social value. A social enterprise may be structured as a non-profit or for-profit business that achieves specific social objectives such as providing the services or products needed by the community (e.g. creating employment and education opportunities for the socially disadvantaged, affordable health diagnostic technology for vulnerable populations, and/or protecting the environment).
No, you do not need an idea in order to apply. There will be a brainstorming activity to generate ideas during the event. However, well-researched ideas are highly encouraged to be a stronger candidate for the applicant selection process.
Absolutely! If you have any interest in solving global problems through collaboration and creativity, then you definitely have something to contribute to the weekend. This event is also intended as a learning opportunity to help develop teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and presentation skills, so don't feel like you have to know everything and feel 100% confident before you get here. We'll all be learning together.
All pre-formed team members will need to apply individually, but may note in the registration form that they are part of a team. However, this does not guarantee that all members will be selected to participate in the challenge. All applicants should be prepared to commit to the full challenge and work with other participants if pre-formed team members are not selected. Other participants will be counting on your professionalism and integrity in order to produce an outstanding presentation.
No, you are not guaranteed to work on it during the challenge. Participants who bring ideas will need to present a 30 second elevator pitch to the other participants. Participants will then vote for their favorite ideas. Your idea may be selected if you receive a majority of the votes. You can increase the likelihood of your idea being chosen by developing an exciting and convincing pitch prior to the event. Note: All applicants should be prepared to commit to the full challenge even if their idea is not selected. Other participants will be counting on your professionalism and integrity in order to produce an outstanding presentation.
All applicants should be prepared to commit to the full challenge even if they do not like the top ideas voted by participants. Your team will be counting on your professionalism and integrity in order to produce an outstanding presentation. Keep in mind that this event is not only about the idea, but an opportunity to learn from a set of knowledgeable mentors and work with a diverse set of skilled team members towards social good.
Of course! This is the perfect time to have a chance to develop an idea that you have. You'll have opportunities to gain expert feedback and advice in the form of mentors, judges, guest speakers, and team members, as well as other tools to help turn your idea into action.
No, the spirit of the challenge is to learn and work with others who are interested in innovating solutions for social impact.
No, at this time the competition is open only to Brandeis students. However, if you have an interest in social entrepreneurship, we would be happy to have you visit the competition and/or volunteer in whatever way would support your interests and further engagement with the Heller-Brandeis social entrepreneurship community.
Free and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served in the same building throughout the event...and caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.
No, this event is sponsored by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at no cost to the participant. All participants are expected to commit for the full 2.5 day challenge.