Social Entrepreneurship org GCSEN achieves record enrollment for its successful 2020 Social Venture Boot Camp and Social Venture Research Institute at Wheaton

KINGSTON, NY, USA, February 13, 2020 / The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) recently facilitated its 5th annual 2020 Social Venture Boot Camp and Social Venture Research Institute Fellows Programs. Wheaton College is GCSEN’s National R&D Pilot Campus Program Partner. The programs were sponsored by the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda MD.

GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the vision of Social Entrepreneurship to “Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place”. Social Entrepreneurs run economically sustainable entities with a “4 P” mission, addressing social problems to benefit People, Profit, Planet & Place. Offerings include accredited on-campus and blended learning courses including remote coaching; Social Venture Bootcamp programs; incubator and accelerator programs; and consulting services. GCSEN’s new self-guiding book “GET TO WOW! EXPLORING YOUR INNER SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR” is now available on www.gcsen.com/getwow and Amazon.

The innovative Boot Camp’s goal offered life-changing learning experiences via Social Entrepreneurship education. Led by GCSEN Founder/CEO Mike Caslin and supported by GCSEN’s Tony DiMarco, Managing Director, Ron Zorrilla, Director of Operations and Ben Cox, Social Venture Research Institute Program Manager, with Operations Coordinator David Cagan and Videographer Ari Cagan, the Boot Camp attracted its largest attendance to date.

The Boot Camp achieved a 100% “WOW” Rating by the students, 96% Life-Changing Learning Rating, a 9.52/10 Net Promoter Score, with achievement-based self-esteem increasing 63% (from 57.5% to 93.8%) during this intensive 70-hour, 6-day program. It was preceded by the 20-hour blended-learning course SE 101- Principles of Social Entrepreneurship pre-work, on GCSEN’s Global Learning Platform. A record-setting 20 students enrolled and achieved certification with enrollment across all four college years in different 16 majors. Participating students came back nine days early from mid-winter semester break to “make meaning, make money and move the world to a better place”.


It was rewarding to watch students overcome hurdles and gain confidence, putting together pieces of their business plans to get to the point of success they reached at the final day pitch session.”

— C.C. Chapman, Professor, Wheaton College (MA)

Assisting GCSEN were Wheaton College Professor C.C. Chapman, Co-Faculty and Dean of Students for the Boot Camp; Madison Dunaway, WiN Hub’s FABLAB/MakerSpace Program Manager, GCSEN Interns and Wheaton students Brandon Witter (’20) and Band Jane Kim (’21), and Wheaton Alums Sarah Alexander (’16) and Zara Ayanna (’18), along with Dr. Imran Chowdhury, Professor and Diana Davis Spencer Chair of Social Entrepreneurship (Wheaton) and visiting Boot Camp Co-Faculty C.J. Meenan and Johnny LeHane.

The week-long Social Venture Boot Camp was designed in an Executive Educational format utilizing individual self-exploration via Natural Role activities, GCSEN blended-learning courseware, and business startup best practice review. GCSEN’s newest innovation, its “Pitch Perfect” © course for high-impact business communication development was led by Dr. Vanessa Collingridge, with a pitch-ready business plan and prototype development led by former IBM executive Ed Small. The week culminated in a virtual investor pitch experience, using the “PRE” capital investment simulation/feedback app during an exciting pitch-deck showcase. Judging was by peer review by Wheaton and GCSEN staff and Fellows from eleven campuses. Boot Camp graduates received the valuable LinkedIn/GCSEN Certification in Social Venture Formulation.

Concurrent with the Boot Camp was GCSEN’s Social Venture Research Institute Fellows Program, a two-day high-powered event for faculty, administrators and business / non-profit leaders, resulting in GCSEN Certification. It included GCSEN’s 2020 Distinguished Lecturer Series, moderated by GCSEN's Mike Caslin. “Towards a Regenerative and Just Economy: Developing Social Entrepreneurship Cultural Values and Actions” was led by Dr. Imran Chowdhury and Martin Kirk, New Economy Thinker for NoVo Foundation, and Dr. Jay Rao, Professor of Innovation, Babson College. “The Role of Blockchain in the Future of Scaling Social Entrepreneurship Education and Impact” was led by Kirk Ritchey, Founder/CEO, Enterprise Solutions Group.

Wheaton College faculty member CC Chapman said, “It was not an easy week for students. Twelve-hour days was the minimum, a mix of class time and one-to-one coaching while working on a three-minute pitch and prototype demo that they’d present at the end of the week. They even squeezed in a field trip to MIT’s Greentown Labs, a cleantech startup incubator, and an eye-opening tour of the multiple maker spaces on our campus. It was rewarding to watch as the students struggled to overcome hurdles and gradually gained confidence, putting together pieces of their business plans to get to the point of success they reached at the final day pitch session.”

This year’s 20 participating Boot Camp students, each from Wheaton College and earning GCSEN Certification were: Zachary Barsamian (Sudbury MA), Acerlia Bennett (Bronx NY), Thomas Canfield (Billerica MA), Nathan Domingos (Woburn MA), Jacai Edwards (West Hartford CT), Emily Gray (Barrington RI), Madison Joan Abdul (NYC) Jacob Libby (Portland ME) Eammon Littler of (Burlington VT), Anesu Mafuka (Mutare, Zimbabwe), Aijalon Oliver (Boston), Jenna Palmer (Cranston RI), Cole Paul of (North Attleboro MA), Jorge Pena (Jacksonville FL), Samuel Read (Barrington RI), Dequan Thompson (Nantucket MA), Phineas Underwood (Portland ME), Chloe Van Dyne (Madison NH), Chase Vandal (East Providence RI), and Emma Yount ( Northampton MA).

Startup concepts developed by students included an art-focused re-fashion recycling company, senior care financial literacy, pet and family portraits, a mental health awareness fashion firm for first responders, 3D printer kits and products, and several innovative tech apps. Assisting GCSEN was Social Venture Entrepreneur in Residence Jason Reuben, (Babson College ’07, and former student of Mike Caslin’s Social Entrepreneurship class there), Co-Founder of Gemara and owner of Baguette Altelier, a Los Angeles custom jewelry design firm.

The Social Venture Research Institute Fellows included Michael Elmes. Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA); Bill Angier, Special Education Teacher, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center (CT); Dan Evans, founder of Storm King Analytics and West Point(NY); Carolina Fernandez, owner of flourFLOWER a social entrepreneur bakery building company in Rwanda/U o Miami; Karin Frodel, Director of Vocational Services, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center; Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes, Regional Director, Monmouth, and Ocean County SBDC, NJ; Mark Melkonian, Principal, Bellmore-Merrick High School District (NY); Victoria Parisi, Owner, Girls for Technology and startup consultant; Oleg Pavlov, Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Joan Ali Scocco, Dean of Continuing and Professional Studies, Brookdale Community College (NJ); R. Shane Snipes, Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY); Yunus Dogan Telliel, Assistant Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and John Cary, Faculty, SUNY

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