Published Date: March 17, 2014

A few weeks ago, just prior to leaving for Medellin, I coached at the 2014 Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition, put on by UW Foster School of Business. I got introduced to Charlene Balick at UW several months ago, by now Oh Hey World advisor Matt Duncan, as a result of the social tech entrepreneurship opportunity for Seattle post I wrote.

As a result of that introduction, I ended up giving pitch feedback at one of the coaching sessions. My overarching takeaway in terms of student pitches versus pitches in the business world, was the lack of storytelling at the collegiate level. Don’t get me wrong. I’m 100% sure I was the same way in college…I didn’t have a clue what story telling was until several years into my professional career (& I still suck at it). We all know “content” speakers are rarely riveting. If you’re not telling a story, you’re not likely capturing someone’s attention. Only 1 of the 5 pitches I heard had figured story telling out. Regardless, it was great to get a peak into the minds of today’s college students — and it’s awesome to see so many students working on such amazing projects.

The top six teams were selected to move on to the final round of competition to compete for cash prizes:

  1. Easy Ramp
  2. Gas for Tomorrow (G4T)
  3. Bhitti
  4. Fargreen
  5. PAK-Energy Solution
  6. AYUDA Food Aid



Grand Prize Winner: Fargreen, a social enterprise using technology to convert rice straw waste into a product that can be used for mushroom farming, won the grand prize of $12,500.

Second Place Winner:  Bhitti, a company using sugarcane bagasse to manufacture environmentally friendly, affordable and sustainable materials for construction in Bangladesh won $10,000

Global Health Prize Winner:  AYUDA Food Aid, a women-led enterprise manufacturing and distributing nutritional food bards for victims of natural disaster in the Philippines won $10,000 (and an additional $2,500 for the Rotary prize)

In all, $40,000 was given away at the end of the week. I certainly look forward to volunteering for future UW social entrepreneurship events.