Apply to the 2013 Social Innovation Incubator Circuit Program

October 15, 2012 at 7:14 am 2 comments

Here’s a quick quiz. Are you:

  • Obsessed with a business idea that will make the world a better place?
  • Open to taking a hard look at your ideas and making them better?
  • Addicted to improving lives?
  • Bored when things are easy?

If you answered “yes” to all four questions, we want you! That is, we want to help you gain the skills you need to turn your concept into reality and make your startup a success, through membership in Portland State University’s Social Innovation Incubator Circuit Program.

The Circuit is a six-month incubation program that seeks to help you become a leader of social change. Small group meetings every other week alternate between workshops delivered by local experts and facilitated peer-mentoring sessions. The program uses the Lean Startup methodology, Business Model Canvas, and customer discovery process to guide development of successful social enterprises.

With a team of coaches, mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs at your side, you’ll learn about business law, planning and strategy, marketing and sales, financial estimates, impact measurement and other essential skills, all with an emphasis on the unique approach of social entrepreneurs. Program graduates walk away with new skills, experience delivering a pitch, a supportive network of peers and mentors, and visibility in our community.

Circuit Program graduate Amelia Pape, co-founder of My Street Grocery, spoke to an audience of 1200 last week at the Oregon Social Business Challenge after being introduced by Mayor Sam Adams. That same week, a partnership between My Street Grocery and fellow SII member Central City Concern was covered on the front page of The Oregonian’s Metro section.

The SII was selected by Fast Company as one of 51 bold ideas helping to build the cities of America’s future and has been written about in Sustainable Business Oregon, Neighborhood Notes, Oregon Business Magazine, the Portland Business Journal, Sustainable Industries.

Learn more about the program at our website, or watch the video below about the 2012 Pitch Fest for Circuit Program graduates.

How to Apply – Open to All

Both students and community members are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a social enterprise concept or existing venture, either for-profit or nonprofit, that uses business tools to address a major social or environmental problem such as poverty or its contributing factors, such as access to healthcare and education, human climate change resilience, or social equity. Innovations and inventions are encouraged.

The application process consists of two steps:

1. Fill out this form before November 2, 2012 to attend the Business Model Workshop, held November 16 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. The workshop is your chance to get to know us, for us to meet you and for you to make real progress on your business model. You will be notified of your acceptance to the workshop by November 9.

Workshop cost: $25, payable at door.

2. Using a Business Model Canvas you develop in the workshop, apply for the 2013 Circuit Program. All regular workshops are scheduled for Fridays at 7:30–10:30 a.m. from January through May, 2013. Up to two company founders are permitted at meetings, but one must commit to attending at least six of nine sessions, as well as the demo day in June, for your venture to graduate.

Subsidized circuit cost: $600 (about $20 per meeting hour) payable on acceptance or in two installments. Unlike other incubators, we take no equity stake in your business—you retain full control. And if that weren’t enough, many meetings include food! Scholarships are available for students.

Calendar of Sessions:
Jan. 18, Feb. 15, Mar. 15, Apr. 12, May 10: expert-led workshop sessions
Feb. 1, Mar. 1, Apr. 26, May 24: Business Model Canvas and pitch practice sessions
June 21: Demo day

The members of the 2012 Social Innovation Incubator Circuit Program

2012 Circuit Program graduates, L to R: Lindsey Newkirk, Jon Zintel, Ahmed Abidine, Caren Prentice, Arnold Strong

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Entry filed under: Opportunities for social innovators, Social Entrepreneurship. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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