3D Printing and Pet Businesses Top Trends at
Ninth Annual SVPC Showcase
In the Ninth
Annual Social Venture Plan Competition (SVPC) at Seattle Pacific
University, many business ideas incorporated the use of 3D
printing and a number focused on pets. The winning projects
represent a wider array of ideas than those broad trends might
suggest. The Showcase event, the finale of the annual SVPC, was
held on the SPU campus Wednesday, April 16, 2015.
project was Brio Pack, chosen as the
$3000 Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize winner by the combined votes
of more than 50 judges representing the business, non-profit,
academic and professional community. TK Threads
came in second, winning the $2000 runner-up award. Over 400
students, faculty, staff and guests voted for their favorite
project of the afternoon and the Don Summers People’s Choice
award of $1000 was also given to TK Threads.
Pack is a portable refrigeration unit that will
make safe vaccine delivery possible anywhere in the world. Many
vaccines destined for the developing world spoil because of gaps
in the “cold chain” that keeps vaccines at correct temperatures.
The Brio Pack is a portable refrigeration unit that is lighter
in weight than current cooling solutions and has multiple
charging options, including a hand crank. Brio Pack would be
sold to NGO’s working in the global health space. The Brio Pack
plan was a collaborative project between junior Business
Administration major Alyssa Arneson, senior Appropriate and
Sustainable Engineering major Alex Abate, senior Electrical
Engineering major Jonathan Nyhuis, junior Business
Administration major Myra Franzone and junior Business
Administration, Economics, and Global Development Studies major Garrett
TK Threads was the runner-up team and the
People’s Choice Award winner. The project proposes a cottage
industry in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood that would
partner with several local non-profits to recruit and employ
marginalized women. The clients would include those who have
escaped the sex trade and political refugees. The garments sewn
in home would then be collected and sold to major retailers. The
TK Threads team was comprised of junior Global Development
Studies and Linguistics major Summer Downs, senior Business
Administration major Austin Harris, junior Economics major Danny
Parr, junior Global Development Studies major Elisa Raney,
junior Global Development Studies and Psychology major Carl
Sallee and sophomore Global Development Studies major Scott
In addition to the top two prizes,
three honorable mention prizes of $1,000 each were awarded:
Bis would take hard bound books that are
currently impossible to recycle (due to glue in the spines) and
turn them into decorative items such as planters and lamps. The
group would employ people with development disabilities to
create the products. Bis was the work of senior Political
Science major Kalany Crumley, senior Global Development Studies
major Samuel Dahlin, senior Business Administration major Erica
Graham, junior Accounting major Mike Mouhanna and junior
Business Administration major Kelsey Reimers.
La Samaritaine proposes an artisan bakery in
the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles. Partnering with a
local non-profit, the business would employ homeless individuals
in the crafting of baked goods, getting them off the streets at
night. The La Samaritaine project was developed by senior
Business Administration major Sarai Aguirre, junior Business
Administration major Erin Creighton, senior Global Development
Studies major Kate Morgan and junior Communications major Taryn
Rain City Hound was the one and only pet business
to land in the money. Rain City Hound would offer a doggy day
care business aimed at tech workers in downtown Seattle. The
business would employ street-involved youth who need to obtain
job and life skills to get them headed in the right direction.
Rain City Hound was the work of Dagim Haile-Leul, Pat Hamer,
Camille Lampert and Britney Thompson, all students in SPU’s one
year intensive Master of Arts in Management (Social and
Sustainable Management) program.
For the second year in a row, SPU partnered with Urban Impact, a
faith-based non-profit in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood.
Teams that presented projects focused on making a difference in
the Rainier Valley were eligible for a separate $500 prize. The
winner of this award was TK Threads.
TK Threads along with the three
other teams competing on the Rainier Valley “track” will also
participate in a follow-on event entitled Sharks at the Beach.
This “Shark Tank” style event will be hosted by Urban Impact at
Rainier Avenue Church, 5900 Rainer Ave South on April 23, 2015
at 6:30 p.m. All four teams will pitch their ideas in front of a
panel of community experts and a live audience. The event begins
at 6:30 p.m. and runs until approximately 9:00 p.m. The winner
will receive an additional $1000 prize.
the ninth year of SPU’s Social Venture Plan Competition.
teams presented at the Showcase event, comprising approximately
70 students. In addition to the SPU teams, one team made the
trek from Northwest Nazarene University in Boise, Idaho to pitch
at the Showcase. In addition to the 50+ community Judges, over
400 students, faculty and staff voted in the People’s Choice
The Showcase Round was the final leg of the
Social Venture Plan Competition. Earlier stages in the
competition included a series of seminars on the basics of
business planning, scoring of the teams’ written plans and
coaching sessions with knowledgeable businesspeople, community
leaders and other professionals about the student’s business
ideas. In all, more than 130 community volunteers gave time as
readers, instructors, coaches and judges.
a Managing Director at Accenture and a first-time SVPC Judge
commented “[I] enjoyed being there. The confidence, energy and
maturity of the students were just wonderful.”
Davis of Casey Family Programs, an SPU alumnus and a long-time
volunteer for the competition, said “I knew that TK Threads
would be a big winner as their plan was comprehensive and very
Pictured above are Center for
Applied Learning Director, Mark Oppenlander, SBGE Dean, Dr.
Joseph Williams, Brio Pack, the Grand Prize winning
team, and sponsors Kathleen and Scott Cummins.
of the Social Venture Plan Competition include the Herbert B.
Jones Foundation, the Scott and Kathleen Cummins Family
Foundation, Pioneer Human Services, Fischer Plumbing, Miir,
Northwest Center, Skills, Inc. and the Keiretsu Forum. The
competition is managed by the Center for Applied Learning (CAL)
in the School of Business, Government and Economics (SBGE) at