The Innova(Sun) team is made up of Fellow Alumni, Ben Powell and Mark Moeremans. Despite Mark being stuck in Europe for work and having to join the pitch via teleconfernece, the Innova(Sun) team did an incredible job of presenting their idea for solar-powered electronics charging businesses that will provide CWS villages with access to electricity.
Over the next year, Mark and Ben will be working with me and my co-mentor, Chuck, to develop a plan for piloting Innova(Sun) in a CWS village. Thanks to our amazing competition sponsors, Goodwin Proctor, Wolf Greenfield, and Foley Hoag, Innova(Sun) has $10,000 of funding for their pilot!
The Innova(Sun) pitch wasn’t the only great presentation at the competition finals. Kelsey & Zoe from Waste-to-Wealth, and Michelle & Alex from GroundNUTrition did an amazing job pitching their social enterprise ideas! I helped to moderate the final judging session, so I know that it was extremely difficult for the judges to pick only 1 winner. As mentors, Chuck and I are so proud of how far each of these teams have come over the past 11 weeks!
Finally, I would like to thank our judges: Una Ryna, Matt Tarditi, Vanessa Green and Mike Pomianek! As Innova(Sun) works to develop their pilot plan they will be writing a series of post on the CWS Blog. Make sure to check it out if you are interested in following their progress!
If you attended the CWS Benefit on August 30th, then you already know about CWS’ newest endeavor: The CWS Social Enterprise Competition! The competition officially launched the day after the Benefit at a workshop for CWS Fellowship Program Alums, where we challenged them to come up with social enterprise solutions that meet the needs they saw in their fellowship village. To the left is the competition announcement that we sent to our alums back in May!
Over the past 2 months, CWS Co-Founder, Chuck, and I have been mentoring 6 teams of Fellow Alums, helping them develop their social enterprise ideas and craft 10-minute pitches. Last Friday, the teams presented their pitches via webex to a panel of 5 judges (Sarah Wood, Ryn Miake-Lye, Derek Brine, Laura McGorman and Addy Awofisayo), and after a difficult dilberation, 3 finalists were selected!
On November 9th, competition finalists, Mark Moermans, Ben Powell, Zoe Anderson, Kelsey Barton-Henry, Alex Zorniger, and Michelle Butler, will be traveling to Boston to pitch live to a new panel of judges and compete for a $10,000 Prize to pilot their social enterprise in one of CWS’ partner villages in Ghana. We’re so proud of our finalists, who are aiming to solve very dire needs ranging from access to electricity to santitation to malnutrition!