10 February, 2021
On Friday, January 22nd, the Wheaton College (MA) SE Launch Program with its national pilot campus partner GCSEN Foundation completed its 6th Annual 4P Social Venture Boot Camp. The capstone event resulted in a 5 minute, Angel Investor virtual “Final Pitch” format resulting in the recognition of 22 new Certified Social Entrepreneurs from Boston and across the USA to New Delhi, India! Successful students will then move on to Spring Semester ‘21 workshops to further develop their social venture and culminate in a May 18th Pitch Fest, Social Venture Statement of Intent for Summer ‘21 Presentation and awarding of GCSEN Foundation’s $500 Micro-Venture Grants. The entire program is made possible by the visionary and innovative philanthropic support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, Bethesda, MD.
Due to on-going COVID19 restrictions, this highly selective and rigorous 2021 boot camp was all virtual! Wheaton and GCSEN had to reimagine and redesign completely its 120 hour, 3-week program, which generated the highest scores pre-post program for Knowledge Gain (+66%), Confidence Gain (+49%), Net Promoter Score- 9.8/10, Life Changing Learning Experience (100% Strongly Agree or Agree) and a “GET TO WOW” experience (100%) and 18 Social Ventures Formulated. The 22 mission-driven social entrepreneurs formed into (18) teams with a THEOS culture commitment (Together Help Each Other Succeed) and embarked on the first steps of their long journey together from: 4P Social Venture Formulation to MVP Rapid Market Entry to Commercialization too Early Growth, Scale and eventually to an Evergreen Company Legacy opportunity.
Wheaton College (MA) Students, GCSEN Faculty, SVRI Certified Social Venture Coaches, Featured Heroes Cafe Speakers and Distinguished Lecturers together explored cutting edge academic concepts, on-trend thinking and practitioner-focused practical actions for success in this exciting emerging field. Students learned at their core level what it means to be 4P social entrepreneur for People, Profit, Planet and Place. GCSEN Virtual Courses featured on GCSEN’s WebCampus Store (www.GCSEN.com) were included: SE 101- Principles of Social Entrepreneurship, SE 102- Social Venture Formulation and newly released SE 103- Pitch Perfect: for Personal and Business Communication Power featuring global public speaking expert- Dr. Vanessa Collingridge. The boot camp also convened its 3rd Annual Social Venture Research Institute ‘21 which provided its SVRI Fellows with Certified Social Venture Coaching training and hosted these 15 social entrepreneurs, lecturers, and coaches in order for them to work intensively with students 1:1 and generated a wide pool of knowledge and thought.
The Final Pitch capstone’s Run of Program began promptly at 8:30am with opening remarks from Diana Davis Spencer, President and Chair of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation (DDSF), GCSEN Foundation Founder & CEO, Mike Caslin, Wheaton College(MA) President, Dennis Hanno, and DDSF Endowed Professor for Social Entrepreneurship Imran Chowdhury. Each venture was then given five-minutes for their pitch (which selected 9 of 17 slides from their GCSEN Angel Pitch Ready template) and benefitted from up to 5 minutes of expert feedback from a panel of judges which included Professor Mike Caslin, GCSEN Foundation, Founder & CEO, Professor Imran Chowdhury, Diana Davis Spencer Chair of Social Entrepreneurship, Wheaton College, Professor Fatima Jebari, Wheaton College, Erin Allgood Wheaton College '07, Allgood Strategies, and Professor Shinwon Noh, Pace University. Zoom Virtual audience feedback was provided from locations ranging from Ireland, U.S.A. to India.
The Social Venture Boot Camp is a kick-off catalyst for Wheaton College’s SE Launch Program. During the ‘21 Spring Semester, a series of entrepreneurial workshops are being offered to students to further develop their 4P Social Venture concept into a social enterprise creating impact. On May 18, 2021, Wheaton College will host the students for a full 17 slide Final Pitch to see how their ideas have progressed throughout the semester. And students will receive a $500 Social Venture Grant based on their Social Venture Statement of Intent for Summer ‘21.
Despite the myriad of challenges and uncertainties which the virus pandemic impacts on students across higher education today, Wheaton College (MA) students have chosen to go forward and explore existing societal problems and pain points and develop thoughtful 4P Social Entrepreneur solutions. Their increasing strength, confidence, grit and capacities as 4P Social Entrepreneurs for People, Profit, Planet and Place have enabled them to pursue new key opportunities, make meaning, make money and move the world to a better place. They now share their gained unique insights and perspective from their lived experiences: “I have become so much more confident in my perspective of knowing that I can make a real difference in the world...before this course I was so anxious that I could rarely speak on a Zoom call without crying. But within 2 weeks I could present with no crying and I think that’s amazing with such a short period of time,” said one boot camp participant.
“I was unsure and I didn’t think I needed a team. I did not know how I would make money or impact the planet. Now I feel confident in numbers and know how I will impact the world around me through the 4P’s. I see value in it. This feels real. It’s real and not just hope. And I am so thankful for that. This program has fired up my passion again. Prior to this, I was feeling so lost and discouraged and was even considering dropping out, but this program, this opportunity, gives me the drive to keep going. I know I will make a difference because it is now more than an idea. It’s no longer, “I wish”, it’s concrete , it’s and “I will”, because I can… I loved everything I learned, my brain is on fire!” said another 2021 GCSEN Certified Social Entrepreneur had to say of the experience.
Now, let’s meet the Certified Social Entrepreneur Graduates of the 2021 Social Venture Boot Camp:
Founded by Henry McKain of Scituate, MA, Jordan Stout of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Daniel Krause of Bedford, MA, and Jevaun Quinn of Gansvoort, NY, Carousel is a mobile app that lowers delivery costs by delivering food from one restaurant to multiple people at a time.