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Announcing SVP Fast Pitch 2016 Quarterfinalists: Students and Nonprofits

Posted by Sujata Agrawal

SVP Fast Pitch 2016 is powering 39 Social Innovators

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).

The Innovators are brimming with innovative ideas that address current and critical social issues. Many of these talented teams and organizations are using technology to address different needs such as youth education, healthcare, women empowerment, clean transportation, effective farming and many others.

The enterprising Innovators now have the unique opportunity to meet and brainstorm with business and philanthropic leaders who will act as coaches/mentors to bring alive their ideas. The coaches/mentors will spend dedicated time helping them to hone their ideas and improve their business pitch. The innovators will also have access to Pitch Clinics that offer real-time feedback on business plans, financial models, marketing strategy, etc.

The Quarter-finals will be followed by the Semifinals on October 4th, and the competition will culminate in a Grand Finale on October 25, 2016, at McCaw Hall.

Meet our Quarterfinalists  



Team Project/Idea Problem area addressed Who benefits
iRummage SPC
School: Lakeside
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. Lack of funding for schools and business education for children; Wasteful consumer culture Schools, especially public schools.
School: Tesla STEM High School
STEMcademy is an educational organization aimed at increasing STEM interest through education to elementary and middle schoolers Lack of STEM education in early grades of elementary school and in disadvantaged communities. Students in elementary and middle schools
School: University Prep
To encourage people to give more funds to humanitarian causes through high-impact nonprofits that address social and community problems around the world. Many individuals do not donate because it is difficult or the minimum donation is too high or they do not feel a personal connection to the cause. Anyone who wants to donate
School: Eastlake High School
To build a reliable, affordable forum for high school students so that they can get relevant information and guidance about college applications through direct communication with college students. Applying for undergraduate admissions can be overwhelming and finding relevant, reliable, and unbiased information is a challenge. Students in high schools
School: Nikola Tesla STEM High School
A food technology company that aims to improve the lifestyle of the average millennial, and with a social motive of helping women around the world. 75% of teens and millennials consume a high-energy beverage daily; many of these drinks contain harmful chemicals that lead to long-term health damage. People of all ages who use ‘quick fix drinks’, which are loaded with caffeine and sugars.

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Team Project/Idea Problem area addressed Who benefits
Automated Agricultural Systems
College: Gonzaga University
To enable small farmers to manage water usage more effectively, decrease the use of pesticides, protect produce from frost, and reduce labor costs. Many agricultural farms rely on their experience instead of scientific optimization to make watering decisions. Many small farms are managed and maintained manually. Farmers with small (10 acres) to medium (220 acres) farms
SeattleU Resource Amplification and Management Program
College: Seattle University
Matching SeattleU resources most effectively with under-served small businesses in local neighborhoods so they can grow and thrive as the city rapidly expands.  Businesses in low-income neighborhoods in Seattle are most at risk, often lack critical business skills, and are least able to access existing business support services. Local, small businesses in Seattle's Central District, Chinatown/International District, and Yesler Terrace that are owned by women, people of color, and immigrants.
TravelSee LLC
College: University of Washington
A web-based data analysis platform that helps museums and cultural institutions improve target marketing and demonstrate community value. According to market research, over 80% of cultural institutions in the U.S. do not have a systematic and automated way of collecting, analyzing, and turning data into actionable insights. Cultural institutions
ATJ Tech Fellows Program
College: Seattle University
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. Failure to meet the legal needs of ordinary people, especially people with low or modest incomes. Also, there is a need to provide students technological skills necessary to address complex legal issues. Law students
College: Seattle Pacific University
Empowering women by providing easily accessible date rape protection in the form of a phone case, allowing discreet and cost-efficient everyday protection. Addressing the extreme problem of date rape: today, 1 in 4 women encounter date rape or attempted date rape. As college students, we want to change the culture and advocate for awareness and proactive protection. Women, men, and college students, in particular.


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Team Project/Idea Problem area addressed Who benefits
MarketShare Our goal is to build an international street food market at King Street Station that incubates restaurant startups run by low-income immigrant and refugees. High entry barriers that often prohibit would-be immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs from entering the culinary industry; Fragmentation among Seattle’s diverse community groups that prevents collaboration and innovation; Lack delicious, authentic, and diverse food in Seattle’s restaurant market. Immigrants, entrepreneurs, and consumers
Urban Death Project The Urban Death Project is developing a new model of death care called Recomposition that is scalable, regenerative, and based on nature's processes. The funeral industry is plagued by many problems: Environmental – current funerary practices are wasteful and polluting with high CO2 emissions; Economical – sale of needless consumables and services to vulnerable people; Social – bodies go unclaimed when families can’t afford to bury or cremate them. Everybody is impacted by death, but the urban poor are especially affected economically
Urban Forest Carbon Registry Make Puget Sound and American cities greener and healthier by enabling urban tree-planting projects to earn carbon credits for sale. Declining tree canopy. Voluntary carbon buyers in the U.S. purchased over $700 million in carbon credits over the last decade, but an entity wishing to reduce its carbon footprint does not have a way to buy carbon credits from tree-planting and carbon storage in urban areas. Cities and towns in the Pacific Northwest and around the country.
Rise Above Empowering native youth to live healthy lives by providing awareness, education, prevention, resiliency and character enrichment using sport as a modality. American Indian children face higher rates of suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol use than any other population of youth. We decided to use sports, basketball (the most popular sport for American Indian youth), to educate and empower kids to live healthy lives. American Indian children (the problem is not limited to tribal communities but that is the focus group)
Indigenous Learning 360 Indigenous Learning 360 is committed to improving academic outcomes for Native American students in public schools. The exceptionally high dropout rate (approx. 65-75%, mostly at the middle school level) of Native American students in the Seattle Public Schools system. Native youth and their families.
The Agape House We address homelessness and trafficking by providing housing, education and mentoring to underserved, 18-24-year-old females who have been in foster care. The problem is multiple-fold of homelessness, under education, poverty and sexual/human trafficking among female youth in foster care. Our goal is to move them from foster care directly to the Agape House. We believe it is better to get to the youth before the streets get to her. Young adult females (18-24 years) who have been in foster care.
Tacoma Tech Yard Create a new model to identify and train talent for the technology sector and overhaul the current entrenched hiring process for inexperienced developers. First generation and new developers face challenges in landing their first job as they may not have any experience or network, or are unable to match their resume with the required skills and academic degree. Recent graduates; Self-learners; Individuals transitioning into the tech industry; ‘first generation’ tech workers
Women's Business Incubator WBI helps women in business overcome the unique challenges they face by providing mentoring, coaching, financing, and co-working with on-site childcare. Women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of businesses, but they must overcome barriers their male counterparts do not face. Factors limiting women business owners include mentorship, financing, and cost of and access to family/child care. Women-owned businesses
Local Brainstorm Local Brainstorm is a web application that makes public initiatives more interactive, providing urban planners an enhanced platform to engage communities. Difficulty in getting people engaged in community planning initiatives. Also lack of opportunities for people to state their perspectives and thoughts. The community
Room Circus Medical Clowning We alleviate the stress and isolation of hospitalized children and their families through the healing art of laughter. We employ professional theatre performers to serve as comic ‘Clown Doctors’. Healing is emotional as well as physical. Hospitals are stressful, even grave environments that can be anxiety provoking and isolating for patients. When children are confined to sick beds for long periods, they miss the joys of a normal childhood, and may become withdrawn and depressed, inhibiting recovery. Patients in healthcare facilities, hospice, assisted living and memory care facilities.
WeCount We strengthen the social safety net by enabling a peer-to-peer economy where people can easily donate specifically requested items to the homeless. We match people who want to help by donating new or gently used items from a pre-selected list of items that meet critical needs. Homeless need basic everyday items. Giving someone a backpack might not end homelessness, but it may start a conversation that may save a life. Many times the connections made during the exchange can put them on the right path to housing security. Homeless in King County
South Seattle Women's Health Foundation Improve health outcomes in SE Seattle by providing individualized healthcare for all, increase job capacity, and promote families as partners in healthcare system. Lack of health insurance; Maternal and Child health; Preventable causes of death that include obesity, tobacco use, lack of appropriate nutrition and physical activity; Violence and injury prevention. People in the community
Population Caring Organization (PCO) PCOAmerica is a nonprofit organization that works with African immigrants to connect them with services, jobs and other opportunities. It is very difficult for African immigrants to identify opportunities and navigate systems when they first move to America. African immigrants community
Aspire Tech Bus The Tech Bus is a school bus converted into a mobile tech lab, where high school students will work on Agile teams and learn how to thrive in the Tech Industry. Many Black inner-city high school graduates are not properly prepared to face the university engineering curriculum or careers in tech. Coding instruction is not as accessible as it should be and many curricula are outdated. High School students, especially Blacks and Latinos who are not well-represented in the tech industry.
The Madrone School The Madrone School is a private non-profit that will provide a superior and affordable education to children with autism in the greater Seattle area. Our aim is to provide an alternative to the public school system that will offer a more individualized approach using proven behavioral therapies. Autism affects 1 in 68 children. In the greater Seattle area, that represents approximately 4,000 school aged children. Of which, approximately 98% of those children have no existing alternative to the public school system setting where they are routinely segregated from their typical peers and do not always receive the appropriate services they deserve. People with autism and their families who do not have many alternatives to the public school system.
NeuroTango: Hugs that Empower NeuroTango: Hugs that Empower helps people improve mobility, creates community, and inspires hope. Strokes and traumatic brain injuries devastate communities, affecting entire families. A leading cause of long-term disability in the United States according to the CDC, strokes can leave people unable to work, in need of support from family and friends, and in need of costly medical and rehabilitation services and resources. People who are undergoing medical rehabilitation
Seattle ReCreative Seattle ReCreative promotes creativity, community, and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and arts education in the greater Seattle area. Environmental degradation from vast amounts of usable materials entering the waste stream; Lack of sufficient art education opportunities for children, specifically around how to use creative reuse materials. People in the community
Esperas Esperas trains individuals exiting homelessness for careers in tech and engages them in tech to pioneer solutions for others that are still experiencing crisis.  Marginalized communities are full of smart and talented people, tapping into their grit to do their daily activities and seeking opportunities to make ends meet. Homeless


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Team Project/Idea Problem area addressed Who benefits
EduDesign Lab
INSPIRE (UW College of Education)
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. K-12 education systems are not well-resourced to provide high-quality professional learning opportunities throughout teachers’ careers. At the same time, Washington State is currently experiencing a severe shortage of teachers. Teachers
Habitat for Humanity- Seattle King County Our Neighborhood Revitalization is a new collective impact approach to ensuring long-term housing affordability and diversity in Seattle's Rainier Valley. Exponential growth of Seattle and King County resulting in the average home price increasing 15-20% every year. Also, the effect of Seattle’s light rail system opening increased access to the Rainier Valley and the threat of gentrification and displacement for two particular neighborhoods, Rainier Beach and Othello – traditionally, the landing point for immigrants and refugees. Long-time families living in Rainier Beach and Othello who are facing the threat of displacement.
PCC Farmland Trust The Trust is committed to keeping sustainable and organic farms within Washington’s changing landscape; we are implementing an ambitious campaign to prove it. The state of farmland in Washington is precarious, but promising. However, that farmland is becoming inaccessibly priced to many aspiring farmers. Over the next decade, a large swath of Washington’s farmland will change hands. The Trust intends to ensure that a significant base of our farmland is preserved during the transition for the next generation to farm. Farmers
Community Leaders for School Success CPPS addresses opportunity and achievement gaps by leveraging typically under-engaged parents as cultural role models, mentors, and learning assistants in classrooms, and as education leaders at home. Many low-income and immigrant populations lack information about and access to the unwritten codes and expectations of the American educational system. Our public schools are unable to fully compensate for differences in family background and experience since only 12% of children’s time is spent in school during the K-12 years. Low income and immigrant families
Summer University
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
We want to offer a positive alternative to the youth and increase the likelihood for post-secondary education. We have recently developed two educational partnerships: Project MISTER that works with the Seattle Public Schools to increase the number of young men of color returning to and/or remaining in school in five high schools in South Seattle; and TAF Academy. The achievement gap that exists for African-American youth and access to education opportunities during the summer, when most crime occurs, for students, who are not of proper age to work, and are idle. African American youth
Bikes-For-All (Bike Works) Bikes-for-All! will get more bicycles into the hands of Seattle's low-income adults, improving the quality of life and fostering increased healthy activity. Transportation in Seattle requires a disproportionate amount of the communities’ economic resources, time and/or energy. Many low-income adults, particularly in the high poverty communities of Southeast Seattle, struggle with transportation to jobs, medical appointments or for other everyday needs. The cost of car ownership is beyond the reach of many, and even bus fares can be economically challenging. Low-income people in SE Seattle
Emerald City Music Emerald City Music is inspiring a new and diverse generation of music-lovers to explore classical music through a lively, social, community-driven experience. The decline of the classical music audience and the feeling of disconnect from millennials and diverse communities – their perception being that concert halls are stuffy, expensive, and have too many unknowable rules. The community
Yoga Behind Bars YBB shares yoga and meditation with incarcerated people to promote rehabilitation, build safer communities and contribute to the reform of the corrections system. Our nation has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The US represents 4% of the world’s population yet has 25% of the world’s prisoners. A disproportionate number of people behind bars are people of color, immigrants, homeless, and survivors of abuse—many suffer from mental illness, poverty, illiteracy, and chemical dependency. Incarcerated men, women, and teens (students)
The Ventures Network Ventures will sell its uniquely impactful program model to other nonprofits and teach them to deliver micro-business development services in their communities. Low-income communities across the country lack access to action-oriented, low-cost, culturally relevant small business training to help them achieve financial independence by opening their own micro-enterprises. Local colleges; Nonprofits; Community centers; Housing developments; Foundations
Hydroponic Farming Project
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound
Our endeavor is to start a hydroponic farm that is built inside a repurposed shipping container, and grow leafy vegetables and herbs for our use and to sell. The program will also ensure healthy foods for our Club members and provide food sources for our potential customers. We must raise 88% of our annual operating budget through fundraising. We seek to identify sustainable revenue sources (other than direct fundraising and increasing Club member fees) in order to ensure we can continue to serve youth, ages 6 to 18 years. Youth in Pierce, Mason, and Kitsap Counties
Washington Business Week In-School Program
Foundation for Private Enterprise Education dba Washington Business Week
Taking our week-long Summer program and bringing the Business Week Program into high schools would allow us to take a community-oriented approach to our program. Teaching business and entrepreneurship to all students across the state regardless of economic or social disadvantages. Under-served students who may not have access to classes or mentors in the business world.

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