Application Process

Please complete your application documents as by clicking here until December 5th, 2016. If you have questons or problems about creating account please contact us on 

Application documents that are necessary for the First Round of GSVC;

-Executive Summary (3 pages) (Executive Summary Template)

-Summary of 10+ Stakeholder Interviews (Stakeholder Interview Template)

-Team Resumes  (Team Bio Template)


  First Round Regional Semifinal Round Global Finals Round
Details Teams submit initial information about their business idea. First round entrants are evaluated by our partner schools and competitions. A select number of teams will be chosen to move forward to the Regional Semifinal Rounds hosted by our regional partner schools and competitions. The top two teams from each Regional Semifinal Round will compete at the Global Finals at UC Berkeley.
Application Deadline  December 5, 2016 (for most regions) February/March 2017 (varies by region)  April 5-7, 2017
Areas of Emphasis
  • Vision
  • Opportunity
  • Value Proposition
  • Business Model
  • Basic Financial Model
  • Team
  • Key Stakeholders
  • Solution
  • Market Drivers
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Financial Projections
  • Mentors or Advisors
  • Traction
  • Go-To-Market Strategy
  • Action Plan
  • Risk & Key Considerations
  • Clear Ask
  • Executive Summary (3 pages)
  • Summary of 10+ Stakeholder Interviews
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Executive Summary (5 pages)
  • Pitch Deck (10 slides + optional appendix)
  • Summary of 30+ Stakeholder Interviews (total)
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Pitch Video (<2 minutes)
  • Executive Summary (5 pages)
  • Final Pitch Deck (10 slides + optional appendix)
  • Summary of 50+ Stakeholder Interviews (total)
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Pitch Video (<2 minutes)


Winners are announced at the culmination of the Global Finals event. The 2016 prize structure included:

First Place Award*: $25,000

Janus Foundation / Perkins Investment Management Second Place Award: $15,000

Third Place Award: $7,500

Priya Haji Memorial Award (Challenger Round Award): $2,500

Quick Pitch Award: $1,000

*First Place Award Winner is also nominated for a Cordes Fellowship.

First Round Overview:

GSVC creates a process for teams to develop successful social ventures.

Each of the competition’s three rounds asks teams to build on past learnings and focus on distinct emphasis areas.

For the First Round the areas of emphasis are the following:


round 1 graphic



  1. Executive Summary (3 pages)
  2. Stakeholder Interview Summary (Summary of 10+ Stakeholder Interviews)
  3. Team Bios/Resumes
 1. Executive Summary
  • Submit an executive summary using the following headings:
    • Social venture overview
    • Value proposition (Problem and Solution)
    • Social Impact
    • Market
    • Competitive advantage
    • Revenue model
    • Go-to-market strategy
    • Stakeholders
    • Team
    • Track record and next steps
    • Financial model and 5- year projection
  • Include an overview of your 5-year financial projections.
  • The executive summary should be 3 pages, single-spaced, 0.75 inch margins, and minimum 11-point font.

Executive Summary Template

Executive Summary Resources


2. Stakeholder Interview Summary
  • Understand the opportunity and test your concept by interviewing at least 10 existing or potential stakeholders, including customers, partners, and industry experts.  Insights from these interviews will play a key role in helping judges evaluate your business opportunity.  Please summarize your interviews in a 1-page document that includes a list of individuals interviewed (name, role, organization) with a direct quote from each.
  • The stakeholder interview summary should be one page, single-spaced, 0.75 inch margins, and minimum 11-point font.

Stakeholder Interview Template

Stakeholder Interview Resources


3. Team Bios/Resumes

  • Submit a one-page overview of your team.  For each member, list his/her current role and provide a brief bio that highlights relevant experience, skills, and expertise. Provide the same set of information for any advisors your team has recruited. Include LinkedIn profiles where possible.
  • The team bio page should be one page, single-spaced, 0.75-inch margins, and minimum 11-point font.
  • Please also include a one-page resume for each key-team member.

Team Bio Template

Formatting Requirements for Deliverables:
  • Deliverables should be grouped together in Adobe PDF file format (preferred) or Microsoft Word compatible text documents with the following file name: “TeamName_GSVC2016_Round1”.
  • The team name should appear on each page of each deliverable.
  • Text pages should be single-sided and single-spaced with 11-point font minimum and 0.75 inch margins.




Eligibility Requirements for Ventures

  • Submitted ventures should aim to be financially sustainable or profitable; whether it is a for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid business model, your venture must aim to be self-sufficient on earned revenue.
  • Submitted ventures should be scalable long term. This criterion will mean different things for each business. Scalability will take into account the potential for growth of the business, both financially and in its social impact.
  • Submitted ventures must have a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into their mission and practices.
    • Your entry must include a financial analysis as well as a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), including the Social Value Proposition and Social Indicators. Learn more on the SIA page of the website.
  • Submitted ventures must be less than 2 years old (with the start of the venture marked by incorporation or first income, whichever occurred first) as of December 31, 2016.
  • Submitted ventures may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or non-profit entity).
  • Submitted ventures must not have received more than $250,000 in funding from venture capital, private investors, grants (government or foundation), loans, or other funding sources (excluding in-kind) as of December 31, 2016.
  • Lifetime revenue should not exceed $500,000 as of December 31, 2016.
  • GSVC has the right to investigate funding and qualifications of ventures to assure that they are truly early-stage.  

Eligibility Requirements for Teams

  • Your team must include a student, current or recent graduate*, from any level higher education program (undergraduate, masters level/graduate, or doctoral) in any area of study in the world; the student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., actively participating in development of the business or actively working on the business).
    • *Recent students must meet the following criteria:
      • Recent Bachelor’s degree holders must have completed their degree with four (4) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).
      • Recent Master’s or Doctoral level degree holders must have completed their degree within two (2) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).
    • The student or recent student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., a founder or co-founder, actively participating in development of the business or actively working on the business).
    • Your team should include a statement describing the graduate student’s level of involvement.
    • The graduate student or recent graduate student must be one of the team’s presenters and must be available to answer judges’ questions regarding the business in the final two rounds of the competition.

    Other qualifications

    • A team cannot enter the competition more than twice.
    • Teams that have competed at the Global Finals may not enter more than once.  Regional Partners may put additional limits on the number of times that a team may compete at the regional level.
    • All submissions and presentations for the Global Finals round must be in English. Questions from the judges during the Global Finals may be translated from English to the team’s native language, but should be answered in English.




Helpful Links on the GSVC website (Rules, Guidelines, Examples)