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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Gallery: Website: Global Social Benefit Incubator @ Santa Clara Week 2

GSBI Class of 2005 Joint Elevator Pitch

"To give disadvantaged and handicapped youth in low lying coastal areas access to community tele centres run on wave generated power where they can learn from global educational material in local languages and low cost books. They will also have access to human rights information, IT and entrepreneurial training. Following this they will attend self sustaining agricultural colleges with on site child care where they will learn sustainable bee keeping and high quality wool production from sheep and llamas fed on frost protected crops. The wool from the llamas and sheep will be woven by traditional artisans into products that will be sold by mobile phone on online markets.    "

The Big Day

On Friday 12th August were all set to make our pitches. The day was split into two sessions with two separate panels of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs listening to and then critiquing the entrepreneurs pitches.

Cordelia Salter pitching for eShopAfrica 

The morning panel:

Steve Eglash, Worldview Technology
Jeff Miller, Documentum/Venture Partners/Redpoint Ventures
Ted Moser, Mercer Management/Opportunity International-USA
Claudio Pinkus, Entrepreneur

The eShopAfrica pitched outlined the current situation of African artisans, our business model which is based on a concept of quality, customisation and connectedness within a framework of fair trade. Also it outlined our trading history and experience of online trading as well as our needs to scale up. It also highlighted our major challenge which is marketing.

The eShopAfrica pitch received favourable comments from the panel. They liked the business model both from a business and from a social point of view. They had further questions about our marketing efforts which is our biggest challenge. If you would like more details of the eShopAfrica pitch and our requirements to scale up, please contact us.
The afternoon panel

Dennis Barsema, BlueLane Technologies
Tony Blakey, Ambata
Jim Frutcherman, The Benetech Initiative
James Robbins, Business Cluster Development

Joy Olivier of Ikamva Youth pitching to the morning panel.

Tunde Fabunmi of the Bee Conservation Project, Nigeria

The panels gave realistic and sometimes hard nosed evaluations of the social ventures.  It was so interesting for all the entrepreneurs to see what points were chosen as important and what points were challenged. All of us would like to thank the panelists for their valuable input.

The Celebration Dinner

After the day of pitching, a celebration dinner was hosted by the GSBI. The past two weeks had been intense culminating in us all getting the opportunity to find out what it was like to make a real pitch. But now it was time to relax... The GSBI presented each entrepreneur with a photograph in a commemorative glass frame, a certificate of participation in the Incubator and some other goodies. eShopAfrica gave commemorative kente strips woven with SCU GSBI CLASS OF 2005 as a memento of the two week incubator.

Jim Koch, founding director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society in the foreground. In the background are Al, Pat and Fred

Father Michael Petty thinking of all the things he has to tell the sheep and llama farmers when he gets back to Patagonia!

Pedro Mastroangelo - not worrying about about frost protection tonight!

Cordelia with Fred De Worken-Eley who kept all the IT equipment
 in working order throughout the Incubator. Thanks Fred!

Once again on behalf of all the entrepreneurs we would like to thank our hosts Al Bruno, Pat Guerra, Sherrill Dale and Fred De Worken-Eley who put in so much hard work and so many long hours to make the Incubator such a success.

The GSBI Class of 2005 at the end of the celebration dinner (photo by Tunde)

Fun Stuff - Breakfast at Pat's

On Saturday we were given a day off and the GSBI team arranged a wonderful outing. First we were taken to Pat and Rebecca Guerra's beautiful house which is located in the middle of picturesque vineyards. He has a lovely garden full of flowers which leads down to a lake. Soon after arrival Tunde from the Nigerian Bee Conservation Project introduced himself to the bees in Pat's garden and tried to persuade Pat to be more inclusive of bees...

The social entrepreneurs with Rebecca and Pat Guerra

Tunde introduces Pat to one of the bees from his garden...

Tunde decided to try out an American bee sting... the verdict: "Very weak"

Rebecca saying goodbye to Father Michael Petty at the door of their house

Fun Stuff - The Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Carmel Coast

Apart from being a world class aquarium The Monterey Bay Aquarium is also an example of a very successful non-profit business model. As well as enjoying the stunning fish displays we were also shown the wall where those who made sizable donations had their names recorded - a way of giving value back to those who help.

What was impressive was that the volunteers working at the aquarium were so knowledgable and friendly. Several times whilst we were near the tanks they came up and, without being asked, gave us interesting information which really added value to the experience. Visit their website at MontereyBayAquarium.org

From the left, Father Michael Petty, Al Guerra, Soraiya Haque and Cordelia Salter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Following the Aquarium we drove down the scenic Californian coast to a picnic spot. There were otters bobbing up and down amongst the sea weed looking almost as interested in us as we were in them.

The social entrepreneurs enjoying the Californian coast

If Tunde can talk to the bees... Father Michael Petty tries to get friendly with a seagull

 Fun Stuff - Dinner at Al's

Late in the afternoon we arrived at Al Bruno and his wife's lovely house that has a spectacular view of the sea. There was a lavish spread of great food that was being watched keenly by Al's two dogs

The entrepreneurs and GSBI team on the veranda at Al's house

One of Al's dogs

The other dog making friends with Soraiya

And with Al his owner

Ken Owens, Michael Petty, Tunnde Fabunmi and Al Bruno

Colder than expected

Our hosts for the day - Pat with Rebecca and Al with Colette

Visit the GSBI web page at the Center For Science Technology and Society, Santa Clara University, California.

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