Official Rules

Seattle Pacific University’s 14th Annual Social Venture Plan Competition; Winter and Spring Quarters, 2020

1.  The Social Venture Plan Competition (SVPC) is a team event. Each team shall consist of not more than six members. One-person entries 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, Seattle University, etc.) Faculty or staff members of SPU or partner organizations are not eligible to compete as team members.

2.   Projects entering the competition should 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 January 15, 2020 and running through March 4, 2020. 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 11, 2020.

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 Submission Form (hard copy, faxed or scanned) to SBGE. The venture plan should follow the template laid out on the SVPC website or cover the same material. The written plan must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on March 13, 2020, 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 April 15, 2020 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the SPU campus. Teams will be paired with community partners (social entrepreneurs, business people, 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 22, 2020 from 2 to 6 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 floor at any time.

8.  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 ($5,000). A runner-up prize ($3,000) and three honorable mention prizes ($2,000) will be awarded to the teams with the next highest cumulative point totals. The Donald B. Summers People’s Choice Award ($1,000) will be given to the team that receives the most votes from students, faculty, and staff who attend the Showcase event. Projects winning the People’s Choice Award may also be considered for the top prizes.

Here are the Intent to Participate form, the official Submission Form, and the Social Venture Planning Template.

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