The 2nd Annual Social Innovation Incubator Pitch Fest
Each year, the social entrepreneurs of PSU’s Social Innovation Incubator Circuit Program wrap up six months of group workshops and coaching by pitching their concepts to a public audience. With feedback from a panel of expert judges, audience Q&A, and a $1000 prize winner selected by attendees, it can be a little tense. Luckily, there was free ice cream waiting at the networking session after the event.
Sponsored by FMYI with media support from Sustainable Business Oregon, the Pitch Fest is a way to give Circuit Program members additional exposure, connect them to resources, and introduce the public to the efforts of local social entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur had only two minutes to pitch their business, following by a short question and answer session with the judges.
When the judges retired to finalize their feedback and recommendations, the audience quizzed the entrepreneurs, then voted on the winner of a $1000 cash prize. When the votes were tallied, a clear winner emerged: Ahmed Abidine, founder of the ethical fashion company Elkarti Morocco. He accepted the award with tears in his eyes, describing his childhood in Marrakech, his inspiring mother (namesake of the firm), and his own entrepreneurial journey.
This is what the Pitch Fest is meant to be: a celebration of business for social good and an opportunity for the public to connect with the inspiring work and emotional journeys of just a few of Portland’s amazing social entrepreneurs. We hope to see you at next year’s event, in the audience—or on the stage.
Thank you to the Pitch Fest judges:
- Shelley Gunton, director of the PSU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Irving Levin, executive chairman of Genesis Financial Solutions and co-trustee of The Renaissance Foundation
- Adam Reid, founder and development director of the Leadership and Entrepreneurship High School
- Amelia Pape, co-founder and CEO of My Street Grocery, Circuit Program graduate
Entry filed under: Events, SII Member News, Social Entrepreneurship. Tags: Bright Neighbor, Cascadia Experience, elevator pitch, Elkarti, Junk to Funk, Meditation Momma, Pitch Fest, social entrepreneur, social entrepreneurship, social innovation incubator.