2018 Competition Specifics

Though future details may change, you may find these helpful.

  • Competing students are encouraged to attend a series of Resource Nights to be held on Wednesday evenings, January 10, 2018 through February 28, 2018.  The sessions will feature community leaders and faculty members addressing specific topics relevant to the writing and presentation of a social venture plan.  These sessions may be taken for credit as BUS 3682: Social Venture Planning.  2018 Workshop Schedule

  • Students planning to participate are asked to complete and submit the Intent to Participate form by February 6, 2018 to the Center for Applied Learning (

  • The deadline to enter the competition is March 9, 2018.  Each student team will submit an electronic version of their written plan, including financial statements, to CAL ( by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018. Each team should also send a one-page executive summary as a separate file. Here is a template for the written plan, indicating what things each plan should cover. Teams will also submit a signed copy of the Social Venture Plan Competition entry form (hard copy, scanned and emailed to or faxed to 206.281.2733).

  • The written plans will be read and rated by reviewers external to SPU. Readers will exercise their judgment as to how well a plan meets the competition criteria. In early to mid-April, students will receive feedback on their plans, including suggestions for what works and what areas should be given additional attention in preparation for the Showcase Round. The written plan ratings will be weighted and comprise 50 percent of the final score potential.

  • Student teams will be scheduled for a coaching session with a business or non-profit community volunteer. All teams will be assumed to be sending one or more team members to this coaching event, unless other arrangements have been made. During the coaching session, teams will present their project to the coach, be asked questions pertaining to the judging criteria, and receive advice on how to present or “pitch” their project during the Showcase Round. Coaching will take place on April 5, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the SPU Ames Library.

  • All teams will proceed to the Showcase Round. Each team will be assigned a table top area to be used for their display. Team members must staff the exhibit during the entire Showcase. This is the opportunity to “sell” the project to judges and the SPU community. The Showcase Round will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Upper Gwinn Commons. Scores from the judges at the Showcase will be weighted and comprise the other 50 percent of the final score potential for each team.  Winners will be determined when the combined scores from the written projects and the Showcase are tallied.  Winners and prizes will be announced immediately following the Showcase.

  • The team with the highest combined score will be named the Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize Winner ($5000).  A runner-up prize ($3000) and three honorable mention prizes ($2000) 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 and Tent City track.