Official Rules

Seattle Pacific University’s 10th Annual Social Venture Plan Competition
Winter and Spring Quarters, 2016

1.    The Social Venture Plan Competition (SVPC) is a team event. Each team shall consist of not more than six members.  One person teams are permissible but discouraged.  Team members must either be current SPU students or enrolled at a recognized partner school, student program, college or university (e.g. Youth Venture, the University of Washington, Northwest University, etc.)  Faculty or staff members of SPU or partner organizations are not eligible to compete as team members.

2.    Projects entering the competition are expected to be early stage social venture plans.   Business plans for existing and operating ventures, projects that have had extensive development or projects that have raised substantial venture capital may be disqualified at the discretion of the Center for Applied Learning (CAL).

3.    Teams are encouraged but not required to attend a series of resource nights beginning Wednesday, January 13, 2016 and running through Wednesday, March 2, 2016.  SPU students wishing to receive credit for their work may do so by registering for the winter quarter class BUS 3682: Social Venture Planning. However, intended SVPC participants may attend these sessions even if they are not registered for the course.

4.    Teams intending to compete in the SVPC should submit an Intent to Participate form to the School of Business, Government, and Economics (SBGE), McKenna Hall, second floor or electronically to CAL ( by February 9, 2016.

5.    Each team will submit an electronic version of the written plan for their social venture (including financial statements) and a one-page executive summary (a separate file) to as Word documents or PDF files.  Other file formats may be allowed by exception.  Each team will also submit an official signed Entry Form (hard copy, faxed or scanned) to SBGE.  The venture plan should follow the template laid out on the SVPC web-site or cover the same material.  The written plan must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 11, 2016, the official entry deadline for the SVPC.  Plans submitted late may be penalized or excluded from the competition at the discretion of CAL.

  • Each venture plan must include a description of the social need to be addressed as well as the means by which the project will address it.
  • Each venture plan must include a revenue-generation mechanism.  Venture plans that are purely donation-funded will not be considered.
6.    Teams will participate in a coaching event on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on the SPU campus.  Teams will be paired with community partners (social entrepreneurs, businesspeople, not-for-profit experts, etc.) for feedback specific to their plan and for assistance with making their “pitch.”

7.    Each team will produce display materials and participate in the Showcase Round on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in upper Gwinn Commons on the SPU campus.  Teams should plan to have enough members available to staff the event for the entire time.  Having two or more team members present at all times is strongly encouraged, however no more than four team members may work the event at any time.

8.    Through a collaboration with Urban Impact, teams may choose to compete on the SVPC Rainier Valley track.  Projects on the Rainier Valley track must develop a venture plan that addresses the needs of the Rainier Valley community.  These teams will also be expected to compete at Sharks at the Beach, a follow-up event in south Seattle in late April.

9.    Scores from the evaluation of the written plans will be added to the scores from the Showcase Round.  The team with the highest combined score will be named the Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize Winner ($3000).  A runner-up prize ($2000) and several honorable mention prizes ($1000) will be awarded to the teams with the next highest cumulative point totals.  The Donald B. Summers People’s Choice Award ($1000) will be given to the team that receives the most votes from students, faculty and staff who attend the Showcase event.  $500 will be awarded to the best project on the Rainier Valley track.

The Intent to Participate form, official Entry Form and Social Venture Planning Template are available on the competition web site (

 Questions?  Contact the Center for Applied Learning:



Music for a Cause

Three SPU students won first place in the annual Social Venture Plan Competition with an innovative project they called Protosong. The idea? Donate money to a cause and get rewarded with a playlist of music.

Develop Your Plan

BUS 3682 is a nontechnical, workshop-style course designed to help you develop an outstanding social venture plan and compete in the SVPC. Each session concentrates on a specific element of the SVPC planning template.

“The Social Venture Plan Competition shows how strongly SPU students feel about the social issues that confront our world. The students did outstanding work.”
SVPC sponsor