Now in its 9th year, SVP Fast Pitch has provided more than 19,000 hours of coaching and over $1 million in grants, investments and pro-bono services to social impact organizations and enterprises.
The program pairs social innovators with skilled community members to hone their ideas and improve their pitch. Serving as a platform to propel their vision, SVP Fast Pitch leverages entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders tackling important issues in our society – from equity in education to climate change. The three-month program consist of 20 promising innovators and ends with 10 finalists who will compete on-stage at Town Hall Seattle for grants, cash prizes and pro-bono awards at the SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown.
And Fast Pitch wouldn’t be possible without the help of all of mentors and coaches who work behind the scenes as mentors and coaches to get the Innovators primed for the Final Showdown. Meet some of the Fast Pitch coaches that are donating their time, skill, and insight to amplify the voice of the 2020 cohort.
Pamela J. Oakes
Abundance of Hope – Coach
She is the Managing Director of The Profitable Nonprofit, is a Fund Development expert helping small and emerging nonprofits achieve funding sustainability. Having worked successfully with organizations, nonprofits, foundations, universities, government and community organizations around the world, Pamela has personally underwritten/approved millions of dollars in grants and awards.
Pamela embarked on her nonprofit career while working in Johannesburg, South Africa as a corporate trainer. In this role she traveled extensively throughout the African countries of South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Nigeria and Zimbabwe conducting workshops and training seminars for government, corporate, community, and faith-based organizations in the areas of Employment & Gender Equity, Diversity, Affirmative Action, Change Management, Organizational Transformation, HIV/AIDS Awareness, and Personal Empowerment.
One Health Clinic – Coach
He has a track record of successfully launching and growing businesses in the consumer services, e-commerce, and b2b spaces. He has served as the founding CEO of two start-ups and has raised millions of dollars of equity, debt, and grants during his career. He routinely translates macro industry, consumer, and economic trends into actionable initiatives with a keen eye on KPIs. Most recently Reed has served as a consultant to mission-driven organizations seeking to bring innovative models to market.
Prior to receiving his Master’s, Reed led an education business through dramatic expansion resulting in 55% revenue growth while maintaining profitability. Reed received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Washington and his MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
Space Between – Coach
She is the Founder and Principal of Do Big Good, an impact measurement firm that seeks to transform the efficacy of social change work. She has over a decade’s experience as a researcher in digital tech and social change, including being named a Graduate Research Fellow by the National Science Foundation and serving as New Media Operations Manager for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Jocelyn Wen-Ting Hsieh
Sanctuary Arts Center – Coach
She is a marketer by passion and a builder at heart. Her biggest asset is the ability to apply the customer mindset to the product at hand via an analytical approach. She has been successful in her career as a marketing consultant and product manager in both Consumer Packaged Goods and Tech industries. Inspired by the dynamic entrepreneurial environment here in Seattle, she decided to join SVP as a coach and gave back to the community she fell in love with!
Sawhorse Revolution – Coach
He is originally from Houston, but has embraced life in Seattle, having lived here for 25 years. His work experience includes close to two decades in the tech industry locally, with Microsoft and Amazon, and a stint as a corporate banker with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for about ten years. Currently, Nathan is investing in apartment buildings on his own in WA state, and loving the challenge. His holdings include a landmarked 1928 building in Seattle’s U District, designed by noted designer, Fred Anhalt, as well as a 19 unit building in Tacoma built in 1918, currently being renovated. Nathan has been active on several local boards, including World Affairs Council and Pangea.
Dirk Van Velzen
Defy Ventures WA- Coach
Dirk Van Velzen is passionate about prisoner education. While incarcerated, he earned degrees from Penn State. Seeing that others would walk a similar path, Dirk founded the Prison Scholar Fund and from behind bars supported 110 other incarcerated students. Only 4% of the 76 released students have been reincarcerated, compared to a national recidivism rate of 68%.
Upon release, Dirk completed a Nonprofit Management program at the University of Washington, won first place as a start-up nonprofit in the SVP Fast Pitch (2015), completed a Social Entrepreneurship program at Stanford GSB, was accepted into the inaugural cohort of John Legend’s “Unlocked Futures” accelerator, and is a JustLeadershipUSA fellow “Leading with Conviction.” Next item: opening access to quality college education for underserved inmates in America to break the cycle of re-incarceration and homelessness.
Thank you to all of our Fast Pitch coaches and mentors –
Jo Ellen B.
Seattle’s premiere social innovation event is around the corner!
If you are looking for a jolt of inspiration and optimism for the future you won’t want to miss the SVP Fast Pitch Final Showdown on March 26th at Town Hall Seattle! The Final Showdown is Seattle’s premiere social innovation showcase and competition, where finalists vie for grants and in-kind prizes. Ticket proceeds help fund awards – more tickets, more impact.