Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pitch for Change

Submission Deadlines: Round 1 – December 1; Round 2 – January 20
It just takes one small spark to ignite a fire of change – and that spark can be your idea!
Pitch For Change is an elevator pitch contest and an opportunity to present a unique idea, business or product that creates social value in a significant and sustainable manner.  Enter to join an impressive network of social entrepreneurs and the chance to present your idea to the Social Enterprise Conference’s 1500 attendees from around the world.  Prizes include up to $6,000 plus insightful consulting hours from leading social enterprise organizations.
” [Pitch for Change]  was really a great opportunity to network with the other finalists, panel judges and organizers. I personally was able to connect with others from many different areas of North America all focused on social enterprise. It was inspiring to watch the other pitches and see how far several of the finalists had taken their concepts.” – 2012 Participant
The Harvard Social Enterprise Conference is also partnering with the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC). Based out of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, DSIC will award over $350,000 in prizes and awards to student teams with ground-breaking social innovation ideas this year. To compete in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, submit your idea for consideration by Jan. 28.
Pitch for Change entrants have done very well at DSIC in the past; last year’s PFC winner, Essmart, actually went on to win DSIC’s grand prize! Feel free to mention that you were referred by the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference Pitch for Change Contest.

Judging Process

Judging will occur in two phases:
Phase 1: The first phase of judging will be based on entrants’ written proposals.
  • Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School students and faculty with expertise in social enterprise.
  • Ten semi-finalists will be selected and notified by Friday, January 25th 2013. All semi-finalists must submit a paragraph and one slide describing their Pitch for Change by Friday February 1st 2013.
Phase 2: The second phase of judging will be based on in-person pitches that will take place on February 9that the Social Enterprise Competition.
  • Pitches will be judged will be a mix of representatives from prominent social enterprise organizations and professors with expertise in social enterprise.  Judging will be based on three back-to-back rounds of pitches:
    • Preliminary Round – 60 Seconds to Social Impact: 10 semi-finalists will have 1 minute to present their ideas. The panel of judges will have 2 minutes for Q&A, after which they will select 5 to 7 participants to move forward to the next round.
    • Secondary Round –3 minutes to innovation, inclusion and impact: Selected participants will have 3 minute to discuss their idea in further detail, using up to 3 slides. The panel of judges will have another 2 minutes for Q&A, after which they will select 3 participants to move forward to the final round.
    • Final Round – Pitch for Change: Selected participants will have 1 minute to pitch their ideas, using one slide, to an audience of nearly 1,500 people.  The panel of judges will then select one winner, one first runner-up, and one second runner-up.  The audience will also vote to select a recipient of the “Audience Choice” award.
You can find the application here.


For more information, please contact Sabrin Chowdhury or Cristina Ros at


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