Social startup competition turns 10

Deadlines for 2015 YouthBridge SEIC:

  • 10th annual competition remains free to enter and open to all with an innovative idea to help resolve social issues.
  • Date to indicate your interest in the competition is Monday, January 5, by posting your idea to
  • The Skandalaris Center will host workshops in January to assist participants in developing their executive summary.
  • Deadline to enter the competition is Monday, January 26, by sending an executive summary to

History of the competition

It’s been nearly a decade since the YouthBridge Community Foundation partnered with the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis to launch an innovative competition for mission-based organizations, known then as the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition.

The goal of the competition was to award funding to teams with innovative plans to address a social issue or problem. Since its inception, the competition has awarded more than $1.1 million to more than 40 social ventures, many of which were founded by Washington University students and alumni.

In 2009, YouthBridge increased its financial commitment to the competition, renaming it the YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition, emphasizing the goal of encouraging nonprofits to look to earned-income models for sustainability, rather than relying on traditional grants and donations. Entries for this year’s competition, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the partnership, are due Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Details are available on the Skandalaris Center’s IdeaBounce website.

With the help of YouthBridge, other funders have joined as sponsors in the competition, including the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Brentmoor Foundation. Over the past 10 years, these funders and other donors have supported a wide variety of social ventures that meet their missions.

“We are very grateful for the seed funding YouthBridge and our sponsoring foundations have provided to bring the competition to where it is today,” said Emre Toker, managing director of the Skandalaris Center. “Their support has been invaluable as Washington University has increased its visibility in the area of social entrepreneurship, through our partnership with our funders and our colleagues at the Brown School.

“Our business plan competitions are great training grounds for our entrepreneurial students and faculty, and we have plans to increase our programming to even better prepare students for high-impact new venture formation,” he said.

Read more about past YouthBridge SEIC winners here.

– by Rosemary Gliedt, for the Record

In News
Tag , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve the equation: *