DoNotForgetMe.org - Social Venture Alternate
Social Venture Finalists
EverGreen Club Warehouse
EverGreen Club Warehouse makes "green" the easy choice by being the first truly environmental superstore. EverGreen will be a membership warehouse retailer focusing on increasing sustainable and environmental consumerism at affordable prices in an efficent, educational, and fun shopping environment. EverGreen will be identified as the most responsible retailer and recycling center.
Consumers are increasingly looking to maximize their value purchasing while maintaining high-quality products. They are also more willing to make lifestyle changes in order to act more responsibly and are demanding the same from companies they support. This has led to a booming industry for more eco-friendly products.
EverGreen's target consumer will be affluent, dual-income families, earning $75k+. They are very busy and buying-savvy but care about the environment - they already buy organic groceries and would consider purchasing a hybrid car. The company will be based in California and focus its development in affluent areas around San Francisco and Southern California, where environmental consumerism is very prevalent. EverGreen plans to roll out regionally throughout California and the West.
EverGreen will offer a broad mix of home and office supplies for the environmentally-conscious consumer. Our product mix will meet the highest environmental and quality standards available in the market. EverGreen is also a recycling center offering customers credits towards in-store purchases.
EverGreen will sell its products and services through its physical locations and e-commerce site. Advertising will be targeted billboards, direct mail, and online newsletters. Public relations and strategic association partnerships will be important in driving initial store traffic. Our Web site will broaden our brand recognition. The in-store sales force will be educated to provide the best possible shopping experience.
Initial capital requirements of $3 million will provide construction and opening financing. Government subsidies for environmental practices are expected to cover 1/6 of this cost. The first warehouse is projected to generate stabilized monthly revenues of $6 million, with free cash flow expected to be $220,000. We expect breakeven to occur early in year three.
Justin Mandel has over five years of experience advising consumer-oriented companies as a management consultant with DiamondCluster International. Serving clients in Europe, Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, he has assisted clients with marketing, sales, customer service, product development, product pricing, human resources, and cost control. Justin has experience developing strategies for the small business market. He holds a BA in Comparative Politics from Dartmouth College. He is currently completing a dual-degree in Business and International Affairs at Columbia Business School and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), concentrating on Emerging Markets and Entrepreneurship.
Emily Sheetz has ten years of experience in retailing with her family's $3 billion convenience store and food retailing chain, Sheetz Inc, owner and operator of over 300 locations. She has worked across many functions, including marketing strategy, inventory management, pricing strategy, advertising, merchandising and internal reporting. Emily has three years experience in financial corporate advising as a consultant at Huron Consulting Group and as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank. She has advised companies across industries, including many large-scale retailers, on capital structure issues. She holds a BS in Economics, concentrating in Finance and Marketing, from the Wharton School at UPenn. Emily is currently completing an MBA in Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School.
In many developing nations in East Africa, children's orphanages are the first line of defense in keeping children from lives of drug abuse, starvation, and sexual and physical abuse. By creating healthier and safer environments for kids, these orphanages provide the hope and support that children need to build constructive and healthy lives. However, in East Africa, where millions of orphans have been made so due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, orphanages rightly spend their limited resources on medicating, feeding, clothing, and schooling the children they house. Hope Runs does the rest - implementing on-site programming in health, social entrepreneurship, and technology.
Hope Runs is a non-profit organization that extends extracurricular programming to AIDS orphans in orphanages in East Africa. Specifically, Hope Runs implements and manages programs within orphanages in the areas of athletics, technology, social entrepreneurship, and health. During the summer, Hope Runs volunteers overseas at the orphanages for ten weeks to implement micro- projects. Hope Runs then employs locals to carry out the programs throughout the year. Hope Runs also manages an educational scholarship fund, in which we pay for the students graduating from secondary school in our orphanages to attend college in their local countries. In doing so, each student enters into a no-interest loan agreement with Hope Runs - within 5 years they must pay back 1% of their tuition costs.
We are proud to have made several key accomplishments, including starting the first blog on the Internet written by orphans and vulnerable children, implementing programs in four orphanages, making valuable partnerships with NGOs, and securing on-going press with major news sources - including our ongoing partnership with Runner's World Magazine.
In January 2009, Hope Runs will break several Guinness World Records with the Hope Runs 777 Challenge: 7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 7 Weeks. Our team of dedicated runners will bring the issues facing the 14.5 million AIDS orphans in Africa to the forefront of the world's consciousness. With all donations going directly to the Hope Runs Education Fund, the Hope Runs 777 Challenge aims to make a lasting impact on the children who need it most. Ultimately, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) face the most impossible task of overcoming their pasts. By extending even the smallest amount of the training we Westerners received growing up in a developed nation, Hope Runs aims to better equip children in Hope Runs programs for bright futures.
Claire Williams holds a BA and an MA from Stanford University. She works as an anthropology consultant with several different international volunteer organizations to encourage programming that improves volunteer experiences in the field. She firmly believes in the power of such volunteer efforts to transform the lives of the individuals who take part in such endeavors - on both sides. Doing something worthwhile in this world is not just about the money you give out, but the connections and experiences you have trying to do so. For this reason, Claire believes that a volunteer's experience in another place in the globe can certainly be worth the cost of a plane ticket to get there, and in the long run such an expense really can do as much as or more than sending money abroad - since it helps transform the nature of our global citizens' response to growth, aid, and healing change. In 2006, Claire became the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hope Runs, an NGO implementing extracurricular programs in AIDS orphanages in East Africa.
Social Goods Purchasing Portal
Our idea is to create an online purchasing portal, acting as an aggregator of socially responsible goods (eco-friendly, fair trade, etc). It is our belief that given two products of comparative quality and price, consumers will choose the more socially responsible product. However, gaps exist on both ends of the value chain. For consumers, it is difficult and time-consuming to find and purchase goods that meet their various criteria. For certain suppliers, it is difficult to scale without access to a larger market.
We are striving to be a "social Amazon.com." Unlike Amazon, which is almost indiscriminate in the goods it sells, we intend to apply rigorous standards to ensure our products and suppliers meet various environmental, fair trade, and community development criteria. We intend to focus on social goods that have mainstream appeal. We believe there is a certain degree of social good subsidization, where a consumer purchases a good for its social value at a premium above its fundamental value: this is unsustainable. We intend to target all consumers with any level of social awareness, but, once they are on our site, letting them focus on price, value, appearance, and other fundamental purchasing factors.
By becoming a large scale aggregator, we can have significant social impact. First, we create a new level of demand for social goods, diverting consumer dollars away from conventional goods. Second, with a large marketplace, we can work with our suppliers in several ways. We could provide consumer preference data, something that would be largely unavailable to many smaller social good suppliers.
Our customers consist of two major segments. First, there are enthusiasts. These are the highly socially conscious consumers who already spend a good deal on social goods and undertake the lengthy research involved to find and identify social goods. Our second segment is the mainstream average consumer who is aware, but not motivated enough to conduct independent research to identify social goods.
The model we adopt will be a for-profit model. We anticipate two main sources of revenue. The first is a consignment model where we collect a percentage of sales from the supplier based on a pay-per-purchase model. The second is a "slotting fee" model, similar to Google's model. Here a supplier can bid for optimal placement within the webpage to maximize their brand's presence.
London Davies has 4 years of production planning, online sales, and marketing for start-up social venture with triple bottom line. She also has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the U.S. online marketplace for environmentally and socially responsible goods. She holds a BA in Psychology from Stanford University and will receive her MBA in 2009 from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Adam Gromis has 6 years of experience in clean vehicle and energy technology industries. He is a Program Manager for California Fuel Cell Partnership, overseeing wells-to-wheels analysis of products and progress on environment codes and standards. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from UC Davis and will receive his MBA in 2009 from the NYU Stern School of Business.
John Ku is a former technology consultant with experience in business operations and information technology. He currently holds a senior analyst role at the American Red Cross evaluating and making recommendations on business operations, capital expenditures, and long-term growth strategies. He earned a Certificate in Web Development from George Mason University and a BS in Finance and MIS from the University of Maryland. He will receive his MBA in 2009 from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Socialmarkets is a web-based application which applies the market model to the social sector, and supports the community around that application. Socialmarkets redefines the relationship between donors and charities, because today's donor wants to do more than just give money - they want to invest in creating positive social change. Our fundamental premise is that in any context, better information makes for better investment.
Socialmarkets is a social capital marketplace. It is made possible through the measurement of both social good and the risk involved in its creation, which in turn is made possible through the cooperation of both those who create social goods and those who invest in them.
We believe that if the result of a non-profit's efforts has value, then we should be able to see it. There is no readily available market price for outcomes like:
- a child getting vaccinated
- a community getting a library
- a planet getting rid of its greenhouse gasses
but they are all nonetheless valuable. Capturing this value increases both transparency and accountability, which increases the power of both internal managers and external investors.
Socialmarkets lists individual programs looking for investment much like stocks on an exchange, and includes the social return expected for that investment. That social return is based on the related charity's measured experience in meeting the goals they set for themselves in fulfilling their stated mission.
However, in order to capture a true social value for these programs, Socialmarkets also includes the input of its larger web-based community. Web 2.0 tools like blogs, voting and competitions bring donors and nonprofits to new levels of inter-connection, and it is the combination of both nonprofit and donor inputs that ultimately determines how much social capital at stake.
We believe the time is right for Socialmarkets' new model of giving. Along with new trends in technology, new entrants in the philanthropy arena are raising both the scale and visibility of the nonprofit sector. At the same time, general donor confidence in nonprofit's ability to use their donations effectively is at historic lows. We believe Socialmarkets is just the ticket to prove them wrong.
Allan Benamer has extensive experience working as a web developer in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He's old enough to remember carrying the Webmaster title for the California Administrative Office of the Courts and was also webmaster for the McGraw-Hill Companies. For the last five years, he was IT Director for New York's Coalition for the Homeless. He is also the blogger behind www.nonprofittechblog.org, and a graduate of UC Berkeley.
Jeff Tuller started his career in the very private sector, with nearly a decade at financial firms Bear Stearns and State Street Bank. In 2001 he made the leap of faith into the non-profit sector, beginning at the SIFEE Educational Foundation and most recently at The Atlantic Philanthropies. He recently supplemented his MS in Computer Science with an MPA from NYU's Wagner School for Public Service.
Through My Eyes
My objective is to enhance the lives of the mentally disabled in the United States through the outlet of self expression. Rarely does this population of 32.5 million, as shown by the US Census Bureau, get the chance to explore their creative ability. Based on a well established art program in the Westchester chapter of the US ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens), I plan to expand this program to all 80 chapters.
The highlight of this program is a yearly arts competition/celebration held near the ARC headquarters located in Silver Spring, MD. Each chapter has the option to enter pieces and ten finalists are chosen. Every finalist receives an award and the top three receive cash prizes and would be featured on our Web site. This brings a sense of accomplishment and pride to the artists, which is priceless. The artwork featured in the contest would also be auctioned off for donation funds to continue the nationwide program.
My main source for inspiration and knowledge is my father, Steven Lipkin, who started the WARC art program from the bottom up and is highly respected in the community. His program has brought in considerable donation money to the ARC and has given him the opportunity to develop networks at other chapters. Due to the praise and success already achieved, we feel that this would be a widely accepted program across the US. As a consultant, he holds the expertise, networks, and experience to collaborate with the largest US organization serving the mentally disabled. This will allow us to gain access to our client base and develop relationships to obtain grant and donation funds. Also, with my father's unique background consisting of a Bachelor's of Fine Arts and 30 years of service with the mentally and physically disabled there is no better, unique resource to utilize in this venture.
The funds we request would go towards getting the venture going which include working with a marketing firm to set up a Web site, developing training videos, create direct marketing materials, and write PR pieces, and also other costs of traveling to the ARC chapters across the US to supervise the launch of the program. This hands on approach ensures that the new art programs will maintain the standards set at the Westchester, NY chapter. Eventually, we would like to also expand to other forms of creation such as photography, sculpture, and performing arts.
Sarah Lipkin is currently pursuing her MBA in Marketing Management from Pace University's Lubin School of Business and is expected to graduate June, 2009. During the day she works at Reader's Digest in Chappaqua, NY as a Circulation Associate in the Customer Marketing group. Sarah developed her interest in helping the developmentally disabled while helping to teach one of her fathers weekly art classes along with seeing the success of his program. Using her business background and creative ability, she hopes to one day dedicate herself to successfully expanding this "Outsider" art program across the US and become involved in other ventures. She earned her Bachelor's in 2006 from the University at Buffalo School of Management. Sarah has a diverse background ranging from on-campus promotion and advertising, to career counseling, presenting New Hire Orientation, IT, and currently marketing analysis and research. Her diverse background has allowed her to be flexible and transfer her skill set to any task she takes on. Outside of work and school, Sarah enjoys traveling, cooking, fashion, painting, exercising, and movies. She currently resides in Dutchess County, NY.
DoNotForgetMe.org - Social Venture Alternate
The rates of Autism in the United States have been growing at alarming rates. It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans and their families are affected by autism, with 1 in 150 children today being diagnosed. Autism is growing at a high rate and it is estimated that in the next decade, autism could impact 4 million Americans.
There are support groups available for parents; however, little is done to help siblings of autistic children. To no fault of parents, very often, siblings of developmentally disabled do not receive the attention they need, as their siblings require more attention on a daily basis. Therefore, they often feel ignored, and lack a support system through difficult years. As the children get older, they go from being a sibling to a caretaker, and support groups at this stage are also essential, yet they do not exist.
Donotforgetme.org will be a Web site and organization targeted to help siblings of autistic children and adults in the United States. In time, this site will expand to help siblings of all developmental disabilities, as well as future expansion to children of mentally ill parents (children of depressed parents, schizophrenic parents, etc). Currently, the only site that exists for siblings is targeted towards school-aged children, is not segmented for each disability, and is not meant to act as a support group or therapy for users. Donotforgetme.org will act as a support group for siblings of all ages, allowing users to contact other siblings in similar situations. This organization will provide chat rooms, bulletin boards, helpful links, as well as allow users to contact others to create support groups in their area. Lastly, this organization will not only allow siblings to contact other siblings of autistic children to discuss problems and challenges they face, but will also assist parents who are unaware of these challenges and provide them with the tools to help their children.
As an organization, we will partner and receive funds through donations from agencies such as The National Autistic Society, Cure Autism Now, The American Psychiatric Association, and The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology. The funds will be used to create the Web site as well as market this organization those with autistic siblings. Together, we have the backgrounds necessary to create and launch a successful organization. This organization can impact millions of people in the United States and throughout the world.
Lisa Glatzer earned her BA in Psychology and Business Administration from Muhlenberg College in 2000. For the past seven years, Lisa has worked for a marketing company in New Jersey, where she is currently a Senior Account Executive with experience in marketing and sales. Lisa is a part-time MBA Marketing Management student at Pace University, expecting to graduate in 2009. Lisa is the youngest of three children, and her oldest brother is autistic. From her undergraduate studies and personal experience, Lisa has extensive knowledge and experience with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders. Lisa has also interned in college at KidsPeace, which works with children in crisis.
Ashley Perry earned her MBA in marketing from the University of Maine in 2004. She also earned her BS in Business Administration in management, from the University of Maine in 2003. Ashley worked at the Target Technology Business Incubator from 2002 - 2004 as an assistant to the Program Director. During her assistantship, Ashley helped several start-up companies conduct market research, write business plans, complete grant applications, develop Web sites, and launch their products. Ashley also has experience running some companies of her own. She co-founded MEP ISC, LLC in 1998, a company that conducted surveys nationwide. She is also currently a co-owner of Intellectual Threads, LLC, a company that markets intellectually savvy clothing to various niche markets. Additionally, Ashley's mother has suffered from clinical depression for more than thirty years and she has a brother that is nine years younger than her.