“Genius is the idea. Impact, however, comes from action.” – Simon Sinek
Like so many of us, you may long for ways to make a tangible impact in our communities yet struggle on finding the right fit. Something more hands on than simply donating money. Something with more long term relevance than volunteering for a day. Something innovative perhaps? This issue’s feature highlights two innovative ways you can give both time and money to support social entrepreneurs and social enterprise in our community. Two ways to leave a long lasting impact. Let’s begin with a definition of impact. Mission statements are not your biggest impact. Viral videos of philanthropy related stunts are not your biggest impact. Even grandiose acts of kindness or donations of time or sums of money are not your greatest impact. Why not, you ask?
SEED SPOT Chooses Tampa Bay for New Entrepreneur Program
Tampa has been chosen as one of only three cities in the US to host an inaugural 2-Day Launch Camp, a new program from nationally-ranked incubator SEED SPOT. Launch Camp, organized by Tampa’s own InPursuit Research Institute and supported by more than 30 local entrepreneurs, will catalyze diverse impact-driven entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay community to help solve problems like poverty, access to healthcare, and improving quality education options.
A 501c3 nonprofit founded in Phoenix only 5 years ago, SEED SPOT is dedicated to supporting all social entrepreneurs creating a product, service, or technology that improves lives or makes the world a better place. They support entrepreneurs by surrounding them with the right access to resources, mentors, business fundamentals, community partners, capital sources, and anything they need to succeed. Just look at some of their success metrics.
With core values like supporting diverse and traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs, bringing optimism to solving real-world problems, and maintaining full authenticity at all times, it is no wonder that SEED SPOT has garnered the attention of national sponsors like American Express, JP Morgan Chase & Co, US Small Business Association, the Kauffman Foundation and Cisco. Their accomplishments have also been recognized in USA Today, Forbes, Conscious Company Magazine, the Huffington Post and even by winning a 2016 Emmy.
“Tampa Bay demonstrates a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem and diverse community,” C’pher Gresham, VP of Communities at SEED SPOT explains. “We found a growing movement of entrepreneurship and knew that there should be equal support for impact-driven entrepreneurs.”
The 2-Day Launch Camp creates a pipeline of impact-driven entrepreneurs by bringing together ecosystem builders, entrepreneurs, local government, investors, universities, civic leaders and other community stakeholders to foster an ecosystem that believes in business as a force for good. Participants will come in with a business concept or an early-stage venture and leave with a deep understanding of their business, an action plan for success, and a compelling pitch to rally support.
This inaugural Launch Camp will take place November 9-10, 2017 at the Lowth Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Tampa. A fitting way to usher in Global Entrepreneurship Week, this two-day event will host 20+ participants, 20+ mentor entrepreneurs, and culminate in a closing Pitch Night open to the public. Along with Mayor Buckhorn’s welcome, the participants will pitch to the crowd their Business for Good and then celebrate the beginning of their ventures with food and drinks. “We can’t wait to see the types of solutions that these Tampa Bay entrepreneurs will create!” says Gresham.
Does this kind of innovative change-making resonate with you? The team is still looking for community supporters and sponsors. Come out to the Pitch Night November 10th and be a part of the movement. To find out more visit the 2-day Launch Camp event website at www.seedspot.com/launch-camp-tampa or contact me at Melanie@Inpursuitresearch.org.
Social Venture Partners Host a new initiative: Fast Pitch
Social Venture Partners is a philanthropic network of more than 40 affiliates worldwide who do more than give away money. SVP helps those out to do good, do better – bringing together donors, nonprofits and social enterprises to make a greater collective impact.
Their mission is to cultivate effective philanthropists, strengthen nonprofits, and invest in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle our communities’ social challenges. SVP has a 2030 goal to spread their principles and practices globally for emulation and transformation of philanthropists, leaders and communities.
To achieve this goal, SVP International focuses on the strength of their affiliates and partners and their guiding principles including engaged venture philanthropy, entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropic education, community and collaborative action, mutual respect and accountability.
Locally, SVP Tampa has invested more than $64,000 and 1600 volunteer hours to community nonprofit organizations. Recently, SVP Tampa selected 10 community nonprofits looking to scale their business model and diversify their funding structure to include social enterprise. Nonprofit representatives from these organizations will participate in 5 weeks of accelerator training from SVP partners considered subject matter experts and then participate in a Fast Pitch event.
Following the accelerator, the “Fast Pitch” culminating event is an exciting high-energy, fast-moving, quick-fire competition where social entrepreneurs share the mission, vision, promise, and model of their organization and compete for cash and prizes.
More information on Social Venture Partners can be found at www.socialventurepartners.com/tampa-bay.
Each of these initiatives is unique but powerfully important to our community. In the United States, the world ‘s biggest economy, 75% of the 16 million businesses are run as sole proprietorship (entrepreneur.com). The millions of small and medium sized firms started by Entrepreneurs provide the innovations that create jobs intrinsic to economic growth and development. So many of the products and services we take for granted were introduced by entrepreneurs of years past; telephone service, the automobile, the airplane, air conditioning, the personal computer and accompanying software. (Osalor, 2016)*
What if today’s greatest innovation and creative energy were focused on making a difference in our community? Our world? What if we move beyond one more product to clutter our homes and invested in ideas that solve societal problems while growing our economy?
The “What If” is over; the time for “Yes” is now. Be a part of the Impact for Tampa Bay.