Published: April 28, 2015
Social Impact Prize, New Venture Challenge

By Julie Waggoner
NVC Social Impact Prize Co-leader
MBA Candidate 2016

The NVC Social Impact Prize Finals on April 13th were a huge success thanks to support from generous sponsors in the Boulder community, including CESR. Five impressive teams pitched exciting new ideas to use business as a force for social and environmental good at Boomtown in Boulder.

Three local social entrepreneurship experts judged the competition: Unreasonable Institute co-founder and CEO Teju Ravilochan, Philanthropiece Executive Director Libby Cook, and co-founder and Board Chair of Impact HUB Boulder Rich Hoops (also a CESR board member). 

After a difficult deliberation, the judges selected Revolar to win first prize, which included $6000 cash, a yearlong membership to Impact HUB Boulder and social enterprise development support from Watson University. Revolar developed a wearable personal safety device that allows users to quickly and discretely notify loved ones of their location if they need help. The judges were impressed by Revolar founder and CEO Jacqueline Ros's well-executed pitch, and the fact that Revolar's technology is ready to scale and become widely available.

Revolar went on to win the entire CU New Venture Challenge competition as well!

Runner-up Antigua Brewing Company impressed the judges so much that they divided the prize money to create a second-place prize. They awarded $1000 cash to founder and CEO Nicholas Politte to support the company's work brewing craft beer and providing safe drinking water to a community in Guatemala.

What is the New Venture Challenge?

The NVC is an incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs across the CU Boulder campus that connects students with some of the Front Range’s most successful entrepreneurs, startups and established businesses. In addition to several industry-specific tracks - including R&D, IT and Performing Arts - the NVC has created a venue that encourages students to think about the social and environmental impacts of their business.

The Social Impact (SI) Prize rewards teams who most effectively incorporate triple bottom line practices into their business plan. By making the SI Prize cross-sectional as opposed to a stand-alone track, it demonstrates that social and environmental responsibility are essential to success for any business in any industry.