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Fast Pitch News

Browse our full Fast Pitch news archive below.

Fast Pitch 2020 Winners

Fast Pitch 2020 shared ideas of innovation to end the school to prison pipeline, improving youth education, as well as health and wellness solutions for undeserved communities– these are only a portion of the powerful ideas presented at this year’s Final Showdown. Read more about the SVP Fast Pitch 2020 winners. Read More »

Introducing the 2020 Fast Pitch Finalists!

We are pleased to announce the SVP Fast Pitch 2020 Finalists who will pitch at the Final Showdown on March 26th at Town Hall Seattle. Read More »

Announcing the Fast Pitch 2020 Emcees

We are honored to have Nikki Gane and Paul Shoemaker as our emcees for Fast Pitch 2020! Read More »

Fast Pitch Coaches Spotlight

Meet some of the Fast Pitch coaches that are donating their time, skill, and insight to amplify the voice of the 2020 cohort. Read More »

Announcing the 2020 SVP Fast Pitch Innovator Cohort!

We are pleased to announce the 20 organizations selected to participate in this year’s SVP Fast Pitch! It was an extremely competitive group of applicants, all working to make social good a priority for our region. Read More »

A Night Full of Impactful Entrepreneurs Making their Mark on the World

2018 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown attendee and fellow social entrepreneur, Drew Meyers, shares his reflections on attending the event and highlights some of the many stories shared on stage.

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Text to Donate Launched for 2018 Innovators!

New this year, text to give technology is live for you to seamlessly donate to any innovator from the 2018 cohort! Unique text codes are live through Friday, November 16.

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Congratulations 2018 SVP Fast Pitch Winners!

We're all still beaming about the SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown held on November 10th. The 8th annual Final Showdown was overflowing with energy and inspiration as the 11 SVP Fast Pitch finalists took the stage at Kane Hall at the University of Washington, followed by a innovator showcase for community members to engage with all 21 organizations that participated in Fast Pitch this year. A big thanks to everyone who was involved to make the night such a success!

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It’s Showtime! The SVP Fast Pitch Finalists Get Ready for the Big Stage

After an intensive three-month program, the finalists are nearly at the end of their Fast Pitch journey. These 11 outstanding organizations committed to social change have come a long way since last summer, when they were among the over 70 groups that applied for the program. Participating in Fast Pitch is a big commitment, and, collectively, these dedicated organizations have spent hundreds of hours working with their coaches to refine their 5-minute pitches.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Seattle Against Slavery

Seattle Against Slavery mobilizes our community in the fight against labor and sex trafficking through education, advocacy, and collaboration with local and national partners. We envision a community where no one is exploited for labor or sex.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Dignity for Divas

Dignity for Divas restores hope and dignity to women experiencing homelessness by reminding them they matter and reconnecting them with their “Inner Diva.” Dignity for Divas also supports and encourages women transitioning from being homeless as they walk the path toward a self-sustaining life.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Rainier Valley Midwives

Rainier Valley Midwives works to provide exceptional direct care to women and families to improve health outcomes including traditionally under-served communities.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Rebuilding Together Seattle

Rebuilding Together Seattle is working to repair homes, revitalize communities and rebuild lives.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Cirkled In

Cirkled In's mission is to be the de-facto recruitment platform matching colleges with the best-fit high school students, leveling the playing field of college admissions for ALL students, and creating a win-win. We strive to be “LinkedIn for all students and colleges – only better”.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Fuchsia Inc.

Fuchsia is empowering native artisans by giving them access to the global markets.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Refugee Artisan Initiative

Refugee Artisan Initiative works with local refugee and immigrant women to provide opportunities for sustainable employment in sewing and handcrafting products in the comfort of their homes while making a fair wage.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Food Innovation Network

Food Innovation Network’s mission is to enhance the local food system, increase access to healthy food, create pathways for success, and support resource and idea-sharing that engages the diverse communities of SeaTac/Tukwila and South King County.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Techbridge Girls PNW

Techbridge is on a mission to excite, educate, and equip girls from low-income communities by delivering high-quality STEM programming that empowers girls to achieve economic mobility and better life chances.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Elixir

We are on a mission to connect uninsured and undocumented individuals with healthcare in their communities.

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Meet the 2018 Finalists: Amara

Recognizing adoption as a lifelong experience, Amara’s Post-Adoption program works to ensure that adoptees and those who love them receive support in order to promote stability and fulfilling family relationships.

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Sponsor Spotlight: Meet BECU!

As a cooperative, BECU brings people together to improve the financial well-being of our members and their communities.

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Announcing the 2018 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists!

We are pleased to announce this year’s 2018 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists! These 11 organizations will take the stage on Saturday, November 10 at our culminating event, The Final Showdown.

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SVP Fast Pitch Session Two: Feedback Makes Perfect!

The innovator journey continues, and the progress from two weeks of incorporating feedback, practicing, and refining key messages was striking!

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Meet Refugee Artisan Initiative: Transforming Refugees Into Self-Sustaining Artisans, One Sewing Machine at a Time

Starting in 2017, the RAI has developed a program to give refugees in King and Snohomish Counties the training and tools they need to have a sustainable income.

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Meet the 2018 Benefactor & Platinum Sponsors!

SVP Fast Pitch 2018 is generously supported by companies and organizations committed to an entrepreneurial spirit and solving problems in the Puget Sound region. Meet our strongest supporters!

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Sponsor Spotlight: Meet GoDaddy!

Each year, SVP Fast Pitch is honored to partner with companies that are committed to driving real change in the communities where they live and serve. GoDaddy has a long history of giving back to the community and giving back is ingrained into our company culture. For us to thrive, our communities need to thrive.

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SVP Fast Pitch Session One: Where Powerful Stories Came to Life

Last Monday, the 21 SVP Fast Pitch semifinalists gathered at Impact Hub Seattle alongside their coaches to practice their pitches onstage for the first time. The room was filled with energy and anticipation as the contestants stepped onto the stage. There were numerous social issues represented that displayed remarkable creative solutions, passion, purpose and drive.

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SVP’s 8th Annual Fast Pitch is off to the Races!

“What is your horizon, your ultimate goal?” asked Veena Prasad, SVP Fast Pitch alum and founder of Project Feast. Veena joined storytelling guru Vanessa Lockshin at this year's first Fast Pitch workshop. Find out how the August event kicked off our new cohort model, where innovators and coaches will gather every other week to practice pitches, learn, and grow until the final showdown and innovator expo on November 10.

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Welcome the 2018 SVP Fast Pitch Innovator Cohort!

We are pleased to announce the 21 organizations selected to participate in this year’s SVP Fast Pitch! It was an extremely competitive group of 70 applicants, all working to make social good a priority for our region.

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Finding Allies in the Work

Nancy Jensen and Jamee Herbert's introduction, and later partnership, was an unanticipated bonus to participating in SVP Fast Pitch. Find out how the two CEO's are bridging their skills to support women in the workplace.

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2017 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown Winners

The 7th annual Final Showdown was overflowing with energy and inspiration as the 14 SVP Fast Pitch finalists took the stage at McCaw Hall. These impressive social impact entrepreneurs pitched their ideas for good to a full house of supporters, community members and business leaders dedicated to supporting change in our region. Read More »

Congratulations 2017 Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown! Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Aware

Aware is working to remove stigma against special needs. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: BridgeCare Finance

We believe it is possible for everyone to be part of a healthy happy family. We believe financial systems can be built to add value to families rather than extract from them. Our payment plans for childcare help working families achieve their highest aspirations through a financing option that offers greater access and choice to quality care as well as the ability to maintain an uninterrupted career path. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: SwarmFX

SwarmFX is on a mission to develop creative drone solutions to improve wildfire management. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Seattle Clemency Project

The Seattle Clemency Project seeks to increase access to justice by matching deserving, reformed, long-serving inmates with pro bono attorneys to file for clemency. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Ready Set Vote, The Municipal League Foundation

The Municipal League builds trust in local politics through nonpartisan civic engagement. Ready Set Vote, a project of the Municipal League, simplifies ballots by using trust, making it easy to vote quickly and confidently. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: MedsForAll

MedsForAll is on a mission to create and distribute affordable, easily administered rescue drug auto-injectors that can save lives. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: HandiMaps

HandiMaps is a technology brand aiming to gain independence for its users, providing knowledge on accessible travel in any event space. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: InflammAid

We are dedicated to equipping both medical professionals and citizens with the resources and knowledge to reduce sepsis mortality. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Unloop

Unloop enables people who have been in prison to succeed in careers in tech. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: LC-Tourniquet

LC-Tourniquet plans to prevent amputations, lower costs, and save limbs. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Art with Heart

Art with Heart is on a mission to spread the healing power of creative expression to kids facing trauma or adversity. We envision a world where all kids and communities experiencing trauma have the tools, resources, and support they need to turn pain into possibility. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Platinum Sponsors!

SVP Fast Pitch 2017 is generously supported by companies and organizations committed to an entrepreneurial spirit and solving problems in the Puget Sound region. Meet our strongest supporters! Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Eco-Shelter

Eco-Shelter is a social enterprise with a mission to provide a safe, affordable, and ecological roofing alternative for under-served populations globally. Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: Âdi Collective

Âdi Collective harnesses the tenacious spirit and creative skills of local refugee women through sewing artisanship that produces high-quality, simple and natural clothing for PNW women. Find out more! Read More »

Meet the 2017 Finalists: WA State Association of Head Start and ECEAP

The Early Learning Chess Initiative, from the WSA of Head Start and ECEAP, uses the game of chess to teach Washington State’s low income preschool children the necessary math skills as well as social and emotional skills needed to be kindergarten ready. Find out more! Read More »

Announcing the 2017 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists!

Read more about this year's class of SVP Fast Pitch finalists set to take the stage on October 24th! Read More »

Behind the Scenes at SVP Fast Pitch Student Quarterfinals

Experience the student quarterfinals through the eyes of judge and friend of SVP Fast Pitch, Julie Weed. Read More »

2017 SVP Fast Pitch Semifinalists

Meet our 27 semifinalists that are one step closer to this year's Final Showdown event! Read More »

Tiny Trees: Outdoor preschool planting new "seeds" this fall.

 "Tiny Trees makes preschool affordable by eliminating the cost of building, renovating and maintaining a child [...] Read More »

At 21 years young Bike Works teaches much more than how to fix a bike.

SVP Fast Pitch alum, Bike Works is turning 21 years old this year. They are sporting a new logo and look; and [...] Read More »

2017 SVP Fast Pitch Quarterfinalists

Meet our quarterfinalists who will battle it out for a place in the semifinals.

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We are Off to a Great Start!

We had a record-setting 113 innovator applications submitted!

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Seattle’s Social Innovators Shine at SVP Fast Pitch 2016

Winners Include a Rummage Sale App for K-12 Schools Developed by a 13-year-old Entrepreneur, an Eco-Friendly Alternative for Death Care, a Solar-Powered Safe Water Solution for Disaster Areas and an App for Direct Donations to the Homeless. Read More »

#FPWinner : iRummage

High School Venture - 1st Place. iRummage is an online donation platform for buying/selling used goods for the benefit of schools while enabling children to learn how to manage a modern business at an early age. Read More »

#FPWinner : STEMcademy

High School Venture - 2nd Place. STEMcademy is an educational organization that addresses the need for STEM and technology education to elementary and middle schoolers in disadvantaged communities. Read More »

#FPWinner : SafeCase

University Venture - 1st Place. SafeCase is a line of durable and protective phone cases that allows women to identify date rape drugs conveniently and discreetly. Read More »

#FPWinner : ATJ Tech Fellows

University Venture - 2nd Place. ATJ Tech Fellows is a legal fellowship program designed to train law students on the varied use of technology to expand legal access, cut costs, and improve service delivery. Read More »

#FPWinner : Urban Death Project

Startup Nonprofit - 1st Place. Urban Death Project is developing a new model of death care called Recomposition that is sustainable, equitable, and meaningful. Read More »

#FPWinner : WeCount

Startup Nonprofit - 2nd Place. WeCount enables families, young adults, veterans or anyone experiencing homelessness to safely and anonymously request items for their specific needs, and helps communities give directly to their neighbors. Read More »

#FPWinner : Yoga Behind Bars

Established Nonprofit - 1st Place. Yoga Behind Bars is the only organization in Washington State dedicated to bringing yoga and meditation instructions to prisons, jails, and detention centers. Read More »

#FPWinner : Inspire EduDesign Lab

Established Nonprofit - 2nd Place. EduDesign Lab is a unique summer institute to enable joyful and meaningful growth for educators and students. Read More »

#FPWinner : PotaVida

For-Profit - Winner. PotaVida's mission is to create products for the disaster response and international development sector that accurately capture usage data and distil it into actionable reports. Read More »

Congratulations SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Winners!

We applaud the winners of SVP Fast Pitch 2016 who wowed the audience of philanthropists, leaders, impact investors with their ideas and perfect pitches! Read More »

The Big Day is Finally Here!

Join us to cheer and support 14 Finalist Social Innovators with amazing ideas that are making a positive difference! Read More »

Countdown to the Final Showdown — 1

One more day to the Fast Pitch Final Showdown! Limited tickets available in most categories. Take a walk through our Fast Pitch 2016 journey. Read More »

Countdown to the Final Showdown -- 2..

It's getting closer the Big Day! And we'd like to acknowledge and thank our amazing sponsors and partners for their support. Read More »

GeekWire Interview with Belle Pan

GeekWire interviewed Belle Pan two days before the Final Showdown: "Meet the 13-year-old entrepreneur who wants to raise $100 million for Washington school" Read More »

Countdown to the Final Showdown -- 3...

Only 3 days left to get your tickets for the Social Impact Event of the year and see 14 finalists compete for grants and prizes! And we are getting some great support and encouragement from Seattle's philanthropic leaders. Read More »

Thank You, Photographers and Videographers!

Our wonderful and talented team of photographers and videographers volunteered many many hours to capture our Innovators in action and present the story of Fast Pitch 2016 to share with all. Read More »

Final Showdown: Meet Our Emcees

We are honored to have Will Poole and Julie Pham as our emcees for the evening! Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Tom Berquist

Tom has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has been with BECU since 1994. He leads BECU’s marketing, community affairs, affinity relationships, and strategic planning efforts. Read More »


SOULCRAFT Media is offering storytelling / filmmaking services valued at $20,000, to one social entrepreneur at the SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Final Showdown. Read More »

Sponsor: Uber Rides for Fast Pitch!

This year Uber is proud to support SVP Fast Pitch and social entrepreneurs! Read More »

Join Us For The Final Showdown!

The Final Showdown is a high-energy, fast-paced evening of Inspiration and Innovation. Join a galaxy of innovators, philanthropists, impact investors and the larger Seattle community and listen to the #FPFinal14 as they make 5-minute pitches and vie for grants and prizes. Read More »

Hear From Our Judges...

The Judges for SVP Fast Pitch 2016 are an eclectic group of eminent leaders from the world of social impact, business, and academia. We spoke to some of the judges who have heard the Quarterfinals and Semifinals pitches, and also met three Final Showdown Judges who shared their thoughts and expectations. Read More »

Hear From Our Mentors...

Seattle's philanthropic and business leaders offer their time, knowledge, and expertise to help our Innovators hone their ideas and improve their business presentation and pitch. Read More »

Journey to the Final Showdown

The 14 Fast Pitch Finalists are an extraordinary group of innovators and entrepreneurs who want to do something good for our community. In this brief video, some of our #FPFinal14 share a little about their journey to the Final Showdown! Read More »

Social Venture Partners Highlights Fast Pitch Finalists for October 25th Event at McCaw Hall

6th Annual Seattle Region's Social Innovation "American Idol" Features Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators - Plus a Free Ride Home for Attendees from Uber Read More »

...And We Have Our #FPFinal14!

The view from the 40th floor of Columbia Towers was stunning – the wide expanse of the Puget Sound, and the tower blocks of downtown Seattle were a visual treat. But the place to be, was inside the Conference Center where more than 25 Judges waited in anticipation to hear 5-minute inspiring ideas while 28 Innovators milled around outside – a little nervous, a little hyped up – ready to make their best pitch to earn a place in the SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Final Showdown. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : iRummage

iRummage is an online donation platform for buying and selling goods for the benefit of schools. It also offers a hands-on platform for children to learn about business practices. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : STEMcademy

STEMcademy is an educational organization aimed at increasing STEM interest through education to elementary and middle schoolers. Read More »

#FPFinal 14 : ATJ Tech Fellows Program

ATJ Tech Fellows Program is a legal fellowship program designed to train law students on the varied use of technology to expand legal access, cut costs, and improve service delivery. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : SafeCase

SafeCase is empowering women by providing easily accessible date rape protection in the form of a phone case, allowing discreet and cost-efficient everyday protection. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : TangoStride

TangoStride: Hugs that Empower helps people improve mobility, creates community, and inspires hope. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : Urban Death Project

Urban Death Project is developing a new model of death care called Recomposition that is scalable, regenerative, and based on nature's processes. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : WeCount

WeCount strengthens the social safety net by enabling a peer-to-peer economy where people can easily donate specifically requested items to the homeless. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : EduDesign Lab

EduDesign Lab is a summer institute for teachers to drive their own professional learning in collaboration with one another, and with support from UW experts. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : Ventures

Ventures will sell its uniquely impactful program model to other nonprofits and teach them to deliver micro-business development services in their communities. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : Beta Hatch, Inc.

Beta Hatch, Inc. helps farmers grow more food with its insect agriculture approach. It produces insects on an industrial level, to harness their incredible potential to turn waste into nutrients for livestock and plants. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : GiveSafe

GiveSafe provides low-cost electronic ‘beacons’ to individuals struggling with homelessness through nonprofits partners. The technology allows people to give into a fund the individual can use on critical needs with a case manager’s help. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : PotaVida

PotaVida's mission is to create products for the disaster response and international development sector that accurately capture usage data and distil it into actionable reports. Their first product is a sunlight-driven household water purifier that electronically records usage. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : Yoga Behind Bars

Yoga Behind Bars shares yoga and meditation with incarcerated people to promote rehabilitation, build safer communities and contribute to the reform of the corrections system. Read More »

#FPFinal14 : VIA Global Health, Inc.

Via Global Health, Inc. has created an open distribution and logistics platform for suppliers of health technologies to sustainably and affordably address the needs of the 6 billion people in emerging markets. Its mission is to improve global access to healthcare innovation. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge John Kelly

John Kelly is senior vice president of Global Responsibility, Community and Public Policy at Starbucks where he oversees the development and execution of Starbucks strategies and functions. He is also a member on the Nature Conservancy Business Council and sits on the board of the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition. Read More »

Final Showdown - Get Your Early Bird Tickets Now!

Buy your Early Bird Tickets NOW for the Final Showdown McCaw Hall | October 25 | 5 - 9:00 pm The Early Bird [...] Read More »

SVP Fast Pitch 2016 – Our Semifinalists!

The excitement is building up as our Innovators are now one step closer to the Final Showdown. 36 Innovators made their presentations at the Quarterfinals, and 27 have been selected to pitch at the Semifinals on October 4. Read More »

Congratulations Semifinalists!

We are pleased to announce the Semifinalists of SVP Fast Pitch 2016. Read about our 27 Social Innovators who will pitch at the Semifinals on October 4th. Read More »

Announcing SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinalists: For-Profits

16 For-Profit Enterprises have been selected to compete in the SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinals. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Diem Ly

Diem Ly serves as the External Affairs Manager and Community Investment lead for Comcast NBCUniversal in the WA Region, focusing on philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, and community relations. Read More »

A Picnic to Celebrate Fast Pitch 2016

The Orientation Picnic Day on August 27th was the first time that the SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinalists were meeting one another. The excitement in the room was palpable as high school and college students mingled with change makers from nonprofit organizations. Read More »

Announcing SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinalists: Students and Nonprofits

We are excited to announce the SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinalists! Our team of Screeners reviewed more than a hundred applications from students and nonprofit organizations. They have selected 39 Social Innovators who will compete in the Quarter-finals on September 15 (for nonprofits) and 18 (for students). Read More »

Julie Pham on the Impact of Fast Pitch

Julie Pham was the marketing lead for the 2014 and 2015 editions of SVP Fast Pitch. She loves the program for what it offers to the Innovators as well as the Volunteer Team. She talks about the impact of Fast Pitch and the buzz around the Finals. Read More »

Maureen O'Hara on Empowering Social Innovators

Maureen O’Hara is a long-time volunteer with SVP Fast Pitch. She was drawn to the event as she likes to give where she has skills. Hear Maureen talk about her passion for Fast Pitch: Read More »

Dirk Van Velzen of Prison Scholar Fund on being an SVP Fast Pitch 2015 applicant and winner!

In 2015, Prison Scholar Fund founder Dirk Van Velzen won first place and $20,000 in the SVP Fast Pitch Startup Nonprofit track. Hear Dirk as he shares his experiences of his journey as an applicant and winner! Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Janet Levinger

Janet Levinger is a Social Impact Leader in the Seattle area and has been an SVP partner since 1997. She served on the SVP Seattle board from 2009-2015 and was its board chair for two years. She currently chairs the Outreach Committee and serves on the Diversity, Cultural Competency, and Equity Committee. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Howard Behar

Howard Behar’s business career spans over 50 years, all in consumer-oriented businesses covering several industries. He retired from Starbucks Coffee after 21 years where he led both the domestic business, as President of North America, and was the founding President of Starbucks International. Howard now serves on several Boards including for-profit and non-profit organizations. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Peter Bloch Garcia

Peter Bloch Garcia is the Executive Director, Latino Community Fund of Washington, a statewide grantmaker and capacity building intermediary. He has expertise in evaluation and grant making from past work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Marguerite Casey Foundation Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Mia Tuan

A respected scholar and long-time academic leader, Dr. Mia Tuan assumed the deanship of the University of Washington College of Education on July 1, 2015. She previously served as associate dean of UO's Graduate School, director of its Center on Diversity & Community, and director of the sociology department’s honors program. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge David Harris

David is the Startup Advocate for the City of Seattle's Office of Economic Development. In 2014, he formed Hack the CD - a collective of self-determined social innovators focused on the creation of sustainable, equitable growth through design, entrepreneurship, and technology in the Central District of Seattle. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Sarah Bird

Sarah Bird serves as the CEO of Moz, a software company helping online marketers measure and improve search, social, and content marketing. She is also on the board of Sitrion, a private company improving enterprise productivity, and the Washington Technology Industry Association. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Michael Brown

Michael leads Seattle Foundation’s targeted community impact work aimed at advancing equity and opportunity in Greater Seattle. He oversees grantmaking, strategic partnership development, collective impact efforts and nonprofit collaborations and incubations. Read More »

Meet Fast Pitch 2016 Judge Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of proven experience in creating and growing new businesses. He is the Coach and Mentor Lead of Fast Pitch 2016 and currently serves on the Fast Pitch Outreach Committee. Read More »

Project Feast: The Secret Ingredient Is Purpose

In 2012, Veena Prasad had an idea: to use food heritage as a way for refugees and immigrants to begin a new chapter in their lives. She didn’t make it past the SVP Fast Pitch quarterfinals at the time, but in pitching the concept, Veena came face-to-face with a deeper need in her life. A year later, Project Feast was no longer just an idea. This time, it went all the way to the finals – and won.

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SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Applications Open

Social Venture Partners (SVP) invites social impact innovators across the Greater Puget Sound region to compete for funding and capacity building support in its sixth annual SVP Fast Pitch Seattle program. The five-track competition -- high school, college, established nonprofits, early-stage nonprofits, and for-profit social enterprises -- opened to applicants on June 2, 2016.

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501 Green: Turning Rags into Dream Jeans

Stacy Flynn had built a successful career in the textile industry, but in 2010 she found herself in China without corporate credentials for the first time. She wasn’t Stacy from Target or Eddie Bauer, she was on her own, meeting with a small manufacturing outfit. When she and her colleague arrived at the headquarters they could barely see each other through the polluted air that followed them inside and hovered above their heads.

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BECU People Helping People Awards: Nominate your favorite Innovator by April 5

BECU does a wonderful thing annually. It's call the BECU People Helping People Awards to recognize and honor members and organizations. In 2011, Fast Pitch winner, Viva Farms won a $10,000 Community Benefits award when they were nominated for a BECU People Helping People Award. Know any other Fast Pitch alumni that could be a good fit? Nominate them today!

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Meet SVP’s New Fast Pitch Director!

It was October 27, 2015 and Heather Lewis was hooked. She had just attended SVP’s 2015 Fast Pitch Finals. “What a wonderful experience,” says Heather. “I have participated in pitch competitions as a competitor and an organizer, but what stood out to me about Fast Pitch is its emphasis on social impact.”

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SVP Fast Pitch Announces Winners of $400,000 in Grants, Investments & Prizes

Social Venture Partners today announced the final winners of its Fast Pitch social-impact innovation competition. The 14 finalists, including four in high school and college, competed for more than $400,000 in grants, investments, prizes and in-kind contributions.

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2015 SVP Fast Pitch Winners

Meet the 2015 Fast Pitch winners and watch their stellar pitches in our video library. Tanikka Watford of Deep Roots Food (pictured here in a photo by Eugene Hsu) took home a $130,000 investment after winning the top prize in the for-profit category.

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Tonight, will you be a part of Fast Pitch History?

Five years ago, SVP Fast Pitch Seattle had it's first Final Showdown. So began a journey that continues and grows in influence year after year; and like the Hora, a Greek dance, that snakes its way through a community collecting more and more "dancers", so does Fast Pitch.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Rita Brogan

When Rita Brogan, PRR’s Chairman of the Board, purchased PRR nearly 30 years ago she had a vision of engaging communities in meaningful ways to advance people, planet, and place. To that end, she has played a major role as a consensus builder and facilitator for transportation infrastructure, community development, and public facilities projects in the U.S.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Dawn Trudeau

Dawn Trudeau spent over 20 years in the software industry in general management, product development, marketing, and business systems capacities. A former Microsoft Corporation executive she held a variety of leadership positions in her 14 year tenure, heading up divisions in Database and Development tools and Consumer Products. For the past 17 years she has helped emerging non-profits develop their capacity to deliver their programs with maximum effectiveness.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Lisa Cohen

Lisa Cohen is the founding executive director of the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA), a coalition of the state’s leading global health research and development organizations. Lisa oversees WGHA’s strategic direction including mobilizing Washington state’s global health sector, cultivating global health champions and advocating on behalf of global health organizations.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Ed Thomas

Ed is Managing Partner for the Deloitte Seattle office and serves as Lead Client Service Partner for a number of large corporations and enterprises. He also leads Deloitte’s Strategic Client Program in Seattle, focusing on global client service excellence and bringing the right resources and insight to our clients and is the Dean of one of Deloitte’s senior leadership program, “the Art of the Story.”

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SVP Fast Pitch Announces Social-Impact Finalists to Compete for $400,000 in Grants and Investments—Get Your Tickets Now!

Today, Social Venture Partners announced 14 finalists in its Fast Pitch social-impact innovation competition. The finalists are vying for more than $400,000 in grants, investments and prizes. The finalists will present five-minute pitches before a panel of luminary judges and a crowd of approximately 1000 attendees who represent Puget Sound’s top entrepreneurs, civic leaders and social change-makers.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Rich Kaplan

Rich is the leader of the Microsoft Alumni Network, which is a group of more than 12,000 of the world’s most incredible philanthropists, innovators, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs working together to make the world a better place. It’s where former employees connect and network with each other, as well as enjoy membership benefits and programs.

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Flight Path – 2014 Fast Pitch Finalist Update

Many in the SVP Fast Pitch community came to know The Common Acre’s Flight Path program at the 2014 finals, where Bob Redmond, founder and Executive Director lobbied for support of an innovative program bringing together the Port of Seattle, Seattle City Light, and Urban Bee Company to create a paradise for bees.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Deep Root Foods

Deep Roots Foods is a GMO free small batch food processing, co-packing, and food warehouse fulfillment company. They have developed a program that supports small and local farmers with their innovative supply chain offerings.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Play Works Studio

Play Works Studio designs science games for girls and boys in the form of a robot gaming platform that combines features from robot toys and online collectable/trading cards. Their educational toys create gender-neutral play experiences while promoting a sense of equality at an early age. Founder and lover of Legos since her own childhood, Adriana Moscatelli is on a mission to inspire children to discover a passion for science and technology while having fun.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: IntelliH2O

IntelliH2O, a water purity tester device and application, can help decrease diseases by verifying the potability of tap water and consequently reduce eco footprints from plastic bottle usage. Designed and patented by an incredibly talented high school sophomore, Christopher Lee has realized his vision to develop a wireless, Bluetooth supported application and a meter with dimensions barely exceeding an inch square. Simply insert the device into the water source in question and you’ll immediately get a read on the water quality on your smartphone app.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Vitruvian Energy, SPC

The future generation will inherit the climate decisions we make today. Currently, existing biofuels face many challenges such as supply, costs of engineering and product development. Ethanol use did not meet forecasts because there are concerns on its carbon footprint and land use changes. However, there is a source of energy that is available to every community. Vitruvian Energy is a socially-conscious cleantech startup that has developed a technology to convert sewage into a biofuel to be used in existing engines.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Robbie Bach

Robbie Bach joined Microsoft in 1988 and over the next 22 years worked in various marketing, general management, and business leadership roles. He played an important role as a marketing leader in the successful development of the Microsoft Office business, and as Chief Xbox Officer, he led the creation and development of the Xbox business. Bach retired in 2010 as Microsoft’s President of the Entertainment and Devices Division.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: TK Threads

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. It is also a haven for refugees. Some of the women refugees left their countries because they experienced commercial sexual exploitation, forced migrations, barriers to economic opportunities and social stigmas. TK Threads empowers formerly oppressed women through long-term employment in a restorative network.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: VetStartups, Inc. (Runner-Up)

Veterans are challenged finding jobs after they leave the service. Many transitioning members have the opportunity to pursue higher education and training through the GI Bill, however, 40% never use their GI bill and only 25% complete the degrees they start. Unemployment for military spouses is also high at 26% which is thrice the national average. Meanwhile, Tech companies are looking for qualified talent.

VetStartsups, founded in 2014 by Dan Hall, Margarita Molina, and Bradley Young, train veteran developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to launch new careers and tech startups in organic, vibrant ecosystems across the nation.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Tamara Power-Drutis

Tamara Power-Drutis is the Executive Director at Crosscut Public Media, the Pacific Northwest’s reader-supported, independent, non-profit electronic journal. Like Crosscut, Tamara believes that an informed public is essential to solving the challenges of our time. She is a Jackson Leadership Fellow, and serves as a Trustee of the World Affairs Council, where she served on the board of the Young Professionals International Network for five years.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: STYLE (Runner-Up)

Students lack access to art programs in schools. Also, most classes do not offer interdisciplinary education. Teachers are often bound to teach based on core assessments, standardized testing and scheduling. STYLE’s (Songwriting Through Youth Literacy Education) mission is to ignite students’ passion for literature through collaborative songwriting education.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Andy Cook

Andy is a General Manager at bgC3 where he manages online, social and incubation projects including Gates Notes and Big History. Prior to bgC3, Andy spent 10 years at Microsoft in both marketing and product management roles. Andy’s experience spans a wide range of industries and sectors, having worked in venture capital, investment banking, brand strategy, and even as an instructor and development officer for Outward Bound.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: pala-linq

Co-Founder and CEO of pala-linq Daniela Luzi Tudor is on a quest to revolutionize recovery. pala- linq is developing a mobile/web application and wearable tech accessory for on-the-go recovery support. The target market is for those persons currently enrolled in a drug or alcohol recovery program and who can utilize the benefits that the pala-linq application can provide.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Statehouse News Project

Civic engagement is declining. Statehouse reporting has experienced dramatic cuts. Special interest groups are lobbying at the state level where currently bills are passed with far less accountability. These are problems for voters in Washington. In a healthy democracy, journalism works to fight for transparency and accountability and this is where Statehouse News Project comes in.

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Actively Learn: 2013 For Profit Winner Update

It’s been almost 2 years since Jay Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Actively Learn, went on stage, made a pitch and won $142,500 for the 1st place Investment Fund Award for a For-Profit and $10,000 for the Microsoft Award at the 2013 SVP Fast Pitch at McCaw Hall. Since then, a lot of things have happened.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Seattle City Club's Civic Bootcamp (Runner-Up)

In 1980, eight women got together to form CityClub in Seattle. Many civic organizations, such as Rotary International, were open to men only. The founders of CityClub were determined their new organization would be open to all and would provide a nonpartisan forum for ideas and debate. Since its first program in 1981, CityClub has sponsored thousands of dialogues, discussions and candidate forums featuring local, regional and national experts and leaders.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Safewheel

SafeWheel's mission is to provide a safe ride into the future by reducing the amount of drunk driving incidents worldwide. Unlike breathalyzers, the SafeWheel™ requires no effort. All you need to do is put your hands on the wheel and the SafeWheel™ will automatically check for your blood alcohol level. After all, how many people use a breathalyzer before drinking and driving?

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Meet the Finalists: Salish Sea Expeditions

Salish Sea Expeditions was formed in 1994 by co-founders Kathy Murphy and Sophy Johnston. That same year, Four Winds Westward Ho Camp on Orcas Island, Washington, was planning the construction of a 60-foot sailboat to be used by the camp during the summer months.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: One World Now!

OneWorld Now! is an award-winning and innovative social venture, founded by Kristin Hayden which exists to develop the next generation of global leaders. OWN is committed to providing critical language skills, leadership training, and study abroad opportunities to underserved youth.

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DyslexiType: 2014 High School Winner Update

Teenagers today have many choices about how to spend their time. Sports, gaming, social media, academics as well as some less savory activities. And what an inspiration it is when you discover a teenager who chooses to spend their time to developing a product to help young dyslexics learn to touch type rather than write. Typing results in a more expressive, enthusiastic and confident student because they don’t need to struggle with the mechanics of physical writing.

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Meet the Finalists: Art Beyond Us (Runner-Up)

Urbanization and development are degrading our environment and we are currently amid a mass extinction. Pollution upsets delicate ecosystems, harms wildlife and makes our planet less habitable. Meanwhile, there are millions of aspiring artists but not enough programs to help them acquire formal experience. Art Beyond Us is a fellowship program that helps amateur artists grow and harness their passion for the greater good of the environment.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: JikoPower

The JikoPower thermoelectric generator converts waste heat generated during cooking into usable electricity. In areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, over 135 Million mobile subscribers lived without electricity in 2013. 90% of these peoples have cellular coverage while less than 50% of the population has electricity. Critical needs such as recharging their mobile phone are both costly and inefficient.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Sandra Madrid, PhD

Dr. Madrid is serving part-time as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity at the University of Washington. She retired from the University of Washington School of Law in August of 2013. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Washington and her B.A. from Colorado State University in Pueblo.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: LadyBug House

Every community should have a pediatric palliative care home for children with life-limiting illnesses offering medical support, end-of-life care, and respite for families. Founder Suzanne Gwynn has launched her vision to build and operate such a freestanding facility in Seattle. The facility will be staffed with an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, support staff and volunteers who will provide 24 x 7 support.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: M.U.S.T.

It was reported in a 2007 that 1 in 4 high school students were dropping out. It has improved, but still, 1 in 5 will still drop out. The average cost to the nation to support these dropouts exceeds $290K over the course of their lifetime. Founder Rick Newell observed two critical things during his work at community centers: youth who needed male role models and students who lacked the financial means to get to college.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Jens Molbak

Jens has a passion for social entrepreneurship, innovation and venture investing. In 1990, Jens founded Coinstar with the goal of creating a company that could simultaneously benefit the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Coinstar pioneered self-service coin counting kiosks to provide consumers a convenient means to convert loose coins into cash. In addition to counting change, Coinstar kiosks accept donations for charitable organizations including UNICEF, The Red Cross, and WWF.

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Meet Fast Pitch Judge Janet Levinger

Janet Levinger is a Social Impact Leader in the Seattle area. Her vision is to create opportunity through engagement, advocacy, and philanthropy. Her focus areas include education, civic engagement, and reproductive rights. Janet consults with The Learner First which catalyzes and empowers school districts to create system change that so all students thrive.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Step Stone (Runner-Up)

In King County, there are more than 10,000 homeless people as of June this year. Some are in shelters, some are in transitional housing while some are on the streets. With a 21% increase in homelessness over the past year, accessibility to resources is critical to help them survive. But most of them only rely on word of mouth to find these resources. Step Stone is a web based application that helps homeless shelters and homeless individuals attain information on the resources available to them.

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Meet the 2015 Finalists: Prison Scholar Fund

The mission of the Prison Scholar Fund is to provide incarcerated students with the tools they need to become successful members of their communities by funding college, vocational, and technical courses/programs, and mentoring/counseling services. They provide funding for incarcerated students, support students enrolled in college courses, vocational education, and skill development, and advocate for reform in correctional education to increase access to all.

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Unleash the Brilliance – 2014 Established Nonprofit Winner Update

It’s been nearly a year since Terrell Dorsey, President of Unleash the Brilliance, stood on the Fast Pitch stage and accepted a check for $20,000 – the prize for winning first place in the Established Nonprofit Category. Over the past 12 months, Unleash the Brilliance has been hard at work launching the Think Plan Fly - Readiness for Life Initiative.

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Drum Roll Please! Announcing 2015 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists

Seed IP Law graciously hosted Semi-Finals today, for a second year, and the view through the windows of our 54th floor conference room in the Columbia Tower may have been a misty Seattle grey but it was still beautiful to watch raindrops collect on the glass outside. Today, all eyes and ears were on the innovators.

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Clothing Will Save Us! An Update on SVP Fast Pitch's Evrnu

Recently, I sat down with Stacy Flynn and her wonderful team at Evrnu’s offices in the SODO area of Seattle to find out what has life been like since winning big in the 2014 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown. It’s apropos that the Evrnu offices are located in SODO Park, a historic repurposed 1907 brick building on 1st Avenue that was once home to Stetson-Ross Manufacturing Company.

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SVP Fast Pitch announces 2015 sponsors

As the Fast Pitch team prepares for our fifth annual social entrepreneurship extravaganza, we are pleased to recognize the stellar lineup of sponsors who make the event possible. This year, long time sponsors are joined by some exciting new players.

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Social Venture Partners Selects Semifinalists in Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition for $400,000 in Grants and Investments

Social Venture Partners (SVP) Fast Pitch Seattle today announced the selection of 28 semifinalists, including eight in high school and college, in the next phase of the SVP Fast Pitch competition. The competitors are vying for over $400,000 in grants, investments, and prizes that will be awarded to those who deliver the most compelling five-minute presentations.

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2015 SVP Fast Pitch Semifinalists

We’d like to congratulate all of the teams that were selected to advance to SVP's Fast Pitch semifinals!

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Pitch Clinics offer innovators chance to get real-time feedback

Excitement and anticipation filed the air, each time last week as a series of six Pitch Clinic Sessions occurred. On September 8th, Impact HUB Seattle hosted two packed sessions. Two days later on September 10th, Impact HUB Bellevue hosted innovators in the Mercury Room (may the Messenger God be your friend!) and lastly, on September 12th the Student Pitch Clinics took place at Eastside Preparatory School in Bellevue.

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SVP Fast Pitch Announces Quarterfinalists in Innovation Competition; Tickets on Sale for the Final Showdown

Seattle is about to crown the next wave of great social-change ideas, and you can be a part of the action! Join us at the Final Showdown of Social Venture Partners’ 2015 Fast Pitch Seattle program, a business pitch competition for social impact entrepreneurs. We’ll hear from the most promising innovators and award $375,000 to both non-profit and for-profit endeavors. Be prepared for these ideas to blow you away!

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Fast Pitch Innovator Clinics coming to a HUB near you!

Our 2015 Innovators in all Fast Pitch categories are working hard with their coaches to refine their 5-minute pitches. A first milestone coming up this week - the Pitch Clinics!

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Fast Pitch hosts Innovator Orientation -- Volunteer Picnic a sweet success.

The first (and now) annual Innovator Orientation at the SVP Fast Pitch Volunteer picnic was a success in every possible way. If you were present, thank you for coming. If you couldn’t make it, we understand but you really did miss a superb event—so join us at the Final Showdown and plan on coming with friends!

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2015 SVP Fast Pitch Quarterfinalists

We’d like to congratulate all of the teams that were selected to advance to SVP's Fast Pitch Quarterfinals! Thanks to dozens of volunteers who reviewed applications, we have selected 15 for-profit companies, 14 established nonprofits, 12 early stage nonprofits, 8 college, 6 high school, and 2 runner-ups as quarterfinalists.

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Calling Entrepreneurs: Compete for $250,000 for Your Social-Change Innovation

Hurry! There’s still time for social impact entrepreneurs to apply for Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch Seattle program – a pitch competition that Bill Gates called “a clever way to connect early-stage nonprofits and social entrepreneurs with potential funders.” The application deadline for for-profit entrepreneurs is August 8.

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Nonprofit Application Deadline Extended to June 28th

SVP Fast Pitch Seattle 2015, which launched last month by opening applications for social innovators in the Puget Sound area for this year’s competition, has extended the deadline for nonprofit applications to June 28th.

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Applications Open May 20th, 2015

Pitch Competition Celebrates Five Years of Supporting Local Change-Makers. Applications for 2015 open May 20th, as nonprofit and for-profit organizations compete for $125K and $250K in grants and investments.

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2014 SVP Fast Pitch Winners

The 2014 SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown took place at McCaw Hall on Tuesday, October 28. Nearly $300,000 in cash prizes were awarded and there were over 800 who attended, making it the largest Fast Pitch ever!

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Twas the night before the Showdown...

Dear SVP Fast Pitch: “Last summer my son opened an email asking him to think about entering his project into the SVP Fast Pitch social innovation contest. Just a few short months later, his idea to create Dyslexi-Type, a learn-to-type software program for kids with Dyslexia is a working prototype and he’s got a real business plan. Better yet, he’s got the passion to make this product a reality thanks to the mentoring he received through the SVP Youth Track!

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SVP Fast Pitch Student Finalists: ClubWhat and MiPS Bank

Billy Wu had an idea. He wanted to make life a little easier for young people around him. That idea took the form of an app that helps people connect with clubs. When a Harvard student put his mind to changing the way people stay connected, Facebook was born. What Mark Zuckerberg accomplished in revolutionizing social media is not too different from Wu's goal with his ClubWhat app.

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Sandra Cavanaugh

Sandra Cavanaugh is the chief executive officer of Russell’s US private client services business. In this role, Sandy serves as the senior executive overseeing Russell’s intermediary relationships in the bank, brokerage, insurance, and other advisory channels. She is responsible for setting strategic direction for the private client services business and is a member of Russell’s executive committee and the global leadership forum, as well as serving as a trustee of the Russell Investment Company mutual fund board.

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One SVP Fast Pitch Finalist is Building A Better Bee

The next time you enjoy a delicious meal made with locally sourced foods, don't just thank the chef. Thank the bees. They do much more than produce honey. As pollinators they play a crucial role in the food chain. Their troubles, however, have been well documented. Bees are under attack by both. Some local bee benefactors are working to reverse this trend.

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Mona Locke

"I am a firm believer in giving back to your community and was so impressed by the unique and unprecedented way this event helps social enterprises and non profits not only hone their messages, but pitch for funding. Thanks to SVP for creating opportunities, connecting community and funding philanthropy. I can think of no better way to spend my time." ~Mona Locke

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Ana Mari Cauce

Ana Mari Cauce is Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Washington. As Chief Academic and Budgetary Officer, she is responsible for overseeing education, research, and service missions. She joined the University of Washington as faculty in 1986, and is a full professor of Psychology and American Ethnic Studies, with several secondary appointments.

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Colleen B. Brown

Colleen B. Brown has served as a director of American Apparel since August 2014, TrueBlue, Inc. since July 2014 and a Managing Director, Newport Board Group since April 2014. In addition, she currently serves as a director of DataSphere Technologies, Inc. and of Port Blakely Companies. Ms. Brown served as Director, President and CEO of Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ) from 2005 to 2013. From 2000 to 2004, she served as Senior Vice President of Belo Corporation (NYSE).

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Larry Cohen

“Entrepreneurs can be a powerful catalyst in solving some of the world’s toughest problems. SVP Fast Pitch is one of the best forums to encourage that kind of innovation.” ~Larry Cohen, bgC3

Larry Cohen serves as Managing Partner at bgC3, which is a private office established by Bill Gates in September 2008. bgC3 is actively exploring education technology solutions including the Big History Project, a blended learning course for ninth graders and Graphite, a tool to help teachers discover and implement learning technology in the classroom.

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Tony Mestres

“SVP Fast Pitch showcases dynamic people driving dramatic change in our community. It’s a thrill to be a part of the energy and excitement of Fast Pitch and, together with community and business leaders, employ the power of smart philanthropic investment to create social change not just here in King County, but around the globe.” ~SVP Fast Pitch Judge, Tony Mestres, The Seattle Foundation

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Finals Judge: Martha Choe

"I’m really excited to see the innovation and energy these smart, passionate and motivated Fast Pitchers are going to present. I’ve always looked for ways to support young talent, especially people who want to bring all they have to offer to improve the world in some way." ~Martha Choe

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SVP Fast Pitch introduces its sponsors and sponsored awards

SVP’s 2014 Fast Pitch is rapidly approaching! During the main event all eyes will be on the social innovators. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the organizations that make this event possible – specifically our sponsors who support both the event and prizes.

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Eight Fast Pitch Finalists champion innovation in education

Innovators in education have made an impressive showing so far in this year's prestigious Social Venture Partners Seattle's Fast Pitch competition. Of the 14 finalists more than half focus on serving early, grade school, or higher education individuals.

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2014 SVP Fast Pitch Finalists

On Tuesday, October 7th at Seed IP Law Group, 28 SVP Fast Pitch semifinalists pitched in front of 20 judges. The improvement in the innovators' pitching from quarterfinals to semifinals was "drastic," said SVP Fast Pitch lead Patricia Friel.

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Meet SVP Fast Pitch Core Team Member and Ticketmaster JoAnne Baldwin!

When JoAnne moved to Seattle in March of 2014, she wanted to get involved with a vibrant organization that was making a long-term difference in the area. Her sister invited me to an SVP event and JoAnne was sold--SVP was equipping non-profits not only with funds to run their programs, but providing strategic advice and wise counsel to transform and establish these organizations.

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From Living Classrooms to Wonder Treats and Bees, Bees, Bees

With the first hint of Fall in the air, on September 18th SVP’s Fast Pitch Quarterfinals took place on the UW Campus at Paccar Hall--which made for an ideal venue. Paccar Hall is quite literally the picture of Innovation, Sustainability, and Community as the first of two new state-of-the-art buildings and home to the UW Foster School of Business.

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2014 SVP Fast Pitch Semifinalists

On Thursday, Sept. 18, at Paccar Hall, University of Washington, 41 Fast Pitch quarterfinalists, pitched in front of a panel of judges. This is the most competitive Fast Pitch to date and 22 instead of 20 semifinalists were selected!

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Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Pepsi? 2014 SVP Fast Pitch Volunteer Appreciation BBQ

On a super-warm summer day in mid-August an eager group of SVP Fast Pitch Core Team Members, Volunteers, Coaches, and Quarterfinalist Innovators gathered for the 2014 Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. Their objective: to meet and greet each other, enjoy some classic picnic fare, and above all feel appreciated. Those in attendance enjoyed truly stunning views of the Puget Sound from the terraced rose garden and were wowed by the particularly large Koi fish in the pond at the Upper Queen Anne villa of SVP Fast Pitch Volunteer and Coach Andrew Conru.

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Community Sourced Capital's Casey Dilloway's Sage Advice to 2014 Innovators

Casey Dilloway is one of four founders of Community Sourced Capital. He spends his days championing the power of community funding of local businesses. "A community is stronger when its local businesses are thriving." And Community Sourced Capital, a for-profit social purpose corporation, offers micro investors a means to support business people who may be family or neighbors and local customers; $50 at a time by way of “the blue square.”

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Student Applications Due 8/29: Innovation and Social Impact begins with simple ideas

Quarterfinalists have been chosen for the For-Profit and Non-Profit categories of this year's program BUT there remains a few days for Student Ventures to step forward and apply. It is striking that two of the three Youth Ventures from last year were innovative in simple and powerful ways.

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Fast Pitch application screeners determine Quarterfinalists

On Tuesday, July 15 at the Impact HUB in Seattle, an enthusiastic group of several dozen application screeners for the 2014 SVP Fast Pitch Program gathered to discuss the strengths and merits of the 101 applications received in the categories of For-Profit, Established Nonprofit, and Startup Nonprofit. Their mission: to discern the Quarterfinalists for the 2014 Program.

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SVP Fast Pitch Jumpstart Workshop: Marketing, Sales, and Social Impact

Andrea Gates Sanford of She Can DO It LLC and Washington Social Purpose Corporations helped thirty-five attendees refine and focus their marketing strategies and pitches. She also provided insight on how to measure social benefit and set measureable, attainable goals.

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Financial Modeling 101: How to tell a compelling story with numbers

On June 17th nearly 40 attendees experienced the second of three SVP Fast Pitch Jumpstart workshops -- eager to learn more about the important and often “dreaded” topic of Financial Modeling. Presenter, Michael “Luni” Libes, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Fledge, a “conscious company accelerator” began with a question that is the overarching theme of the series: “What makes your business venture great?”

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First Jumpstart Workshop “How To Design for Humans” A Success

The first SVP Fast Pitch Jumpstart workshop—How to Design for Humans—took place at Impact Hub Seattle last Wednesday, June 11. SVP Fast Pitch’s three-part “Jumpstart workshop” series is designed to help Social Innovators refine their business plan and practices, help them determine if they should apply to Fast Pitch, and to prepare them for the upcoming competition if they do decide to apply.

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Fast Pitch Workshops and Applications Available Now!

Online applications for SVP's Fast Pitch are live! Nonprofit and for-profit innovators and organizations are encouraged to apply and to participate in a trio of Jumpstart Workshops which are open to all. Fast Pitch applications are due by July 1st, so find out more today!

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New Fast Pitch Website Up and Running!

SVP Fast Pitch has a new home on SVP Seattle's website! The Fast Pitch marketing team completed the migration last week and all sifp.net traffic will be redirected to the new site.

The migration is part of a network-wide effort house all SVP affiliates under a common brand and common website, along with their Fast Pitch programs (of which there are now eight around the country).

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Project Feast: Great Idea for Good, Unleashed

Veena Prasad had an inkling of an idea. A way to empower immigrant women using a skill they already had – cooking. What she needed was a catalyst, which arrived when a friend encouraged her to apply to SVP Fast Pitch.

She didn’t make it past the Quarterfinals, but through the process Veena received lots of constructive feedback and encouragement to implement her idea. She also discovered the missing piece in her entrepreneurial pursuits – a social purpose. One year later, Veena’s idea blossomed.

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Remembering and Honoring Scott Taylor

“Do what you FEEL is your passion, remember WHY you are doing it and the MAGIC will not only come, you will bring it for other people too.” These wise words from Fast Pitch volunteer, Scott Taylor will stay with us always.

It is with heavy hearts that we share that Scott passed away suddenly this last weekend. The shock wave is still working its way through the communities that knew, loved and appreciated him. SVP being but one of many…

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2013 Fast Pitch Winners

From an online e-reading platform that empowers teachers to increase students' comprehension and retention to a culinary training program for immigrants and refugees that leverages their cooking skills to help them find employment -- you'll want to check out our 2014 Fast Pitch winners! Meet them all below.

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Fast Pitch Seattle Founder Will Poole Honored by the Microsoft Alumni Foundation

SVP Partner and Fast Pitch Seattle founder Will Poole was nominated as a 2013 Integral Fellow by the Microsoft Alumni Foundation. Named among the finalists, Will was honored for his work on Fast Pitch, leveraging the concept from its nonprofit origins in Los Angeles and adding two new innovations: a youth track and a “for-profit” track.

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Voices From Cleveland High School - Savannah, Jennifer, and Rosalyn

Jennifer Tran, Rosalyn Leilani, Savannah Daniels, Youth Ambassadors from Cleveland HS, share their thoughts about Fast Pitch.

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Janet Levinger

Levinger said, "I appreciate how the Fast Pitch can transform the way these organizations describe who they are and what they do."

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Ted Lord

Lord said, "One of the highlights of working in philanthropy is the opportunity to sit down and deliberate on grant making panels and giving circles."

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Larry Cohen

Cohen said, “Entrepreneurs can be a powerful catalyst in solving some of the world’s toughest problems.”

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Gifford Pinchot

Pinchot said, "I agreed to serve as a SIFP judge because the finalists are generally terrific and the other judges are fun to work with.”

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Marie Sauter

Sauter said, “I love how SVP Fast Pitch provides a platform for leaders to hone their storytelling skills.”

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Voices From Cleveland High School - Elizabeth and Brittany

Elizabeth Cachuela and Brittany Villars, Youth Ambassadors from Cleveland High School, share their thoughts about Fast Pitch and social entrepreneurship.

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2013 SVP Fast Pitch Judge: Robert Neu

Neu said “Innovation and entrepreneurship are cornerstones of the U.S. economy.”

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Voices From Cleveland High School - Hanna & Celia

Hanna Rossen and Celia Huddart, Youth Ambassadors from Cleveland High School, share their thoughts about Fast Pitch and social entrepreneurship.

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2013 Fast Pitch Finalists

Scott Taylor describes the 2013 Semifinals competition and announces which innovators are advancing to the finals.

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Scope 5

Fast Pitch helped Scope 5 “concisely define our value proposition to investors” which “has served us on an ongoing basis.”

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Viva Farms

Ethan Schaffer reports that the Fast Pitch “program helped us hone our message and get comfortable telling our story."

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Choices

Leo Muller reflects on his experience as a Fast Pitch participant, and as a quarter finalist were able receive funding & launch their first pilot.

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Empowered

Steve Atamain says that Fast Pitch “helped us stream line our product from other like organizations. They helped us focus message.”

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Springwire

Fast Pitch helped Springwire develop a “crisp pitch about the program – refining our message and practicing it in front of people.”

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Corengi

Ryan Luce said of Corengi’s participation in Fast Pitch, “Going through the process improved our pitch, helped us think about the positive social impact."

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Village

Dr. Tara Shelby compared Fast Pitch to a “reality show” for non-profits with each organization learning who they really are in the process. Read More »

2013 Fast Pitch Semifinalists

Scott Taylor recounts the anxiety and excitement of the innovators who pitched at the 2013 Semifinals of SVP Fast Pitch.

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: Postcards From Farr Away

Postcards From Farr Away, a 2012 Fast Pitch semi-finalist, is the brainchild of Robert Anthony. He says that his idea “was a total fluke. I decided to send kind messages written on postcards to strangers as a random act of kindness. The reception to those initial 30 postcards was unbelievable, and as a serial entrepreneur it made sense to try to make an organization.”

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2013 Fast Pitch Quarterfinalists

This year’s quarterfinalists will advance to the next round on October 1st. Take a look at what’s to come!

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SIFP Winners Schaffer, Hanna win BALLE Fellowship

Social Innovation Fast Pitch winners Sarita Sanna and Christine Hanna of continue to be recognized for their social ventures.

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2012 Fast Pitch Winners

From the Living Voters Guide that simplifies the process of deciding which candidates, propositions, initiatives, and referendums to support to Localista, a loyalty program to encourage and reward buying from local businesses -- you'll want to check out our 2012 Fast Pitch winners! Meet them all below.

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Your Dollars at Work: Lozano Farms & Pure Nelida Farms receive the first loans from Viva Farms

In 2011, Viva Farms won the inaugural Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP), since renamed SVP Fast Pitch. Now it is lending money to other farms.

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2011 SIFP winner Food N Me to release new iPhone app

Food N Me, a Social Innovation Fast Winner, goes on to become a popular iPhone and iPad app and a Apple Staff Favorite.

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2012 Fast Pitch Finalists

2012 Social Innovation Fast Pitch selects 14 social innovators as finalists.

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An In-Depth Look at Seattle’s Leading Social Innovators - Part 2 of 2

The pool of applicants to this year’s past Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition (SIFP) was extremely strong, and each one of the quarterfinalists presented a great story. In this two-part series, SVP Partner Kevin Owyang explores a collection of quarterfinalists, their stories, and highlights their innovative concepts for efficiently impacting social and environmental change in the Seattle area. This article was originally posted in the Fast Pitch blog.

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An In-Depth Look at Seattle’s Leading Social Innovators - Part 1 of 2

The pool of applicants to this year’s past Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition (SIFP) was extremely strong, and each one of the quarterfinalists presented a great story. In this two-part series, SVP Partner Kevin Owyang explores a collection of quarterfinalists, their stories, and highlights their innovative concepts for efficiently impacting social and environmental change in the Seattle area.

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2012 Fast Pitch Semifinalists

What if you could take food that would go to waste, dry it, and feed kids in need? Or turn neglected houses into energy-efficient homes? Or sell produce grown on urban rooftops? These are just a few of the ways that this year’s Fast Pitch contenders are improving our community. And they're pitching their ideas in 5 minutes or less!

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Making Impact: NW Green Farms doubles its production since Fast Pitch 2011

Salvador and Misael Morales were last seen in Seattle a year ago holding poster-sized checks totaling $40,000. They were part of the Viva Farms crew, the 2011 big winners in the Social Innovation Fast Pitch. If you thought they had retreated back to the farm afterwards for celebratory drinks, you were wrong. Harvest season was coming to an end and the fields were beckoning.

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Dynamic Labs: Moving Forward to Help Children with Special Needs

Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP) win leads to new hire for 2011 winner Dynamic Labs. SIFP is now called SVP Fast Pitch.

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2012 Fast Pitch Quarterfinalists

Social Innovation Fast Pitch selects forty social innovators as quarterfinalists.

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Updates from Fast Pitch Applicants!

The 2012 Social Innovation Fast Pitch competition is underway! Right now, volunteer applicant screeners are viewing and scoring all 70 applications, and 40 social innovators will be announced on July 20th as Quarter Finalists to move on to the next round. Many past Social Innovation Fast Pitch teams have experienced added impact and benefits from their involvement in the Fast Pitch competition last year - we rounded up a couple of their stories to share.

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Top 10 Risks That Can Kill
Your Business Strategy

SIFP workshops are a great place to learn how you can make sure you have all your risks covered.

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The Top 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Kevin Owyang shares common mistakes made by entrepreneurs. Learn better business practices by participating in Fast Pitch.

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5 Different Kinds of Risk

Social Innovation Fast Pitch organized a workshop that looks at the different kinds of risk that could be found within an organization - any organization.

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7 Resources For Understanding your Market

Understanding your market is tough. We decided to hold this Fast Pitch workshop first in the series because we think it's the most important (and probably most difficult) aspect of starting a social organization, or creating a new program or campaign within an existing social organization. Check out some of the tips and resources from the workshop!

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Social Innovation Fast Pitch 2012 Begins Today!

Today, local social businesses and nonprofits have the opportunity to take their organizations to the next level. After a successful year in 2010, Social Innovation Fast Pitch is back again - this time, with even more capacity building, mentorship, pitch clinics, and opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. There are plenty of ways to get involved, both as an applicant and non-applicant, so check out the options and sign up!

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Fast Pitch Alumni Update: FindProz and Food N' Me

Dave Owen says Fast Pitch "was the turning point for our company, enabling us to raise additional funding and form the long-term mentoring.

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700 Votes for Social Innovation

When we kicked off the Social Innovation Fast Pitch in May, none of us imagined we’d have 120 social innovators apply, nearly 100 people volunteer, and 700 people attend the fast pitch event to see 14 excellent innovators pitch. But we did! AND we learned a ton. We have a list as long as our arms of things we want to improve in 2012 – and we welcome your thoughts!

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700 Votes for Social Innovation

Founder of Seattle’s Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP) Will Poole reflects on the first Fast Pitch competition.

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2011 Fast Pitch Winners

From launching the next generation of organic farmers by providing land, capital, expertise and dedicated markets to an app that provides tools to create, discover and easily share local service events for volunteers -- you'll want to check out our 2011 Fast Pitch winners! Meet them all below.

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2011 Fast Pitch Finalists

2011 Social Innovation Fast Pitch selects 14 social innovators as finalists.

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2011 Fast Pitch Semifinalists

2011 Social Innovation Fast Pitch selects 28 social innovators as semifinalists.

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2011 Fast Pitch Quarterfinalists

2011 Social Innovation Fast Pitch selects forty social innovators as quarterfinalists.

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Inspired to Pitch

After hearing my wife Janet tell enough stories about inspired discussions and activities at SVPI Annual Conferences, I finally carved out time to go to Long Beach last November. Those two days re-ignited my passion for making a difference in our community and gave me the idea of what to do next.

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Defining a social business for fast pitch

Dave Richards defines a social business and shares resources.

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