​Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition kicks offs with record participation

Community Engagement; Faculty; Students

The Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC), a seed funding competition for social ventures, kicked off in mid-October with more than 150 people in attendance—a record number for the annual event.

The purpose of the SEIC is to engage St. Louis students and community experts to work toward solutions in youth development, aging, reducing gun violence, housing, economic development, health and decarceration. Innovators and intra-preneurs from the St. Louis region as well as students from Washington University, Saint Louis University and University of Missouri–St. Louis took part. About half of the participants were Brown School students.

The SEIC is hosted by Heather Cameron, the Michael B. Kaufman Chair in Social Entrepreneurship at the Brown School, along with the Skandalaris Center and the Mission Center, L3C. “We had such amazing participation from community and campus social entrepreneurs for this event,” Cameron said. “Half of our guests were students looking to create sustainable change through new ventures.”

Following the kickoff, contestants have transitioned into teams and built their knowledge base through a series of four workshops focusing on idea generation, development and implementation. SEIC workshops are open to Washington University students and the St. Louis community.

“The first phase is about helping these teams increase impact, create new income streams and develop innovative programs for their communities,” Cameron said.

In the spring, contestants will continue participation in workshops, and connect with community coaches and University resources to advance their ideas. Participants will have the opportunity to develop and test their ideas to the level of workable prototypes and business plans with the help of experts from the Brown School; Olin Business School; and the Mission Center, L3C.

In the final stage of the SEIC, contestants will compete for up to $100,000 in coaching, start-up and testing funds. Past winners of the competition include Ray Castuciano, founder and CEO of TableWisdom; Matt Burridge, CEO of DeCycleIt!; Paul Sorenson, founder of GoodMap; and the co-founder and CEO of Mauvno.

For more information, visit the SEIC homepage. For questions or if you are interested in participating, email brown-seic@email.wustl.edu.