For Immediate Release, May 10, 2022

Contact: Christina Fialho, fialho@marshall.usc.edu

Emerging Social Entrepreneurs at USC Receive Transformative Investment

Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab awards 6 change-making innovators as part of the 2022 Social Venture Coaching Competition 

May 10, 2022 - Los Angeles - Today, the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab in partnership with Rose Hills Foundation announced the winners of the 2022 Social Venture Coaching Competition (SVCC).  

Earlier this month, six finalists pitched to leaders in social impact, industry experts, and investors.  For the first time in SVCC competition history, all six finalists will receive funding.  These six finalists were selected from 63 teams who applied across 13 schools at the University of Southern California.  Twenty semifinalists were selected initially and received over a month of business development coaching.  

Congratulations to the winners: 

  • Receiving $30,000, NextPlate- a company that connects food insecure Angelenos with heavily-discounted meals from restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Receiving $20,000, TACO Inc.- a company that provides research-backed drug safety education and resources for young adults.
  • Receiving $20,000, Beamlink- a company that provides internet connectivity for natural disaster survivors.
  • Receiving $10,000, L&F Project Management- a company that creates jobs and upward economic mobility for Black women through careers in project management.
  • Receiving $10,000, Architecture + Advocacy- an organization that equips young activists with architectural design skills in order to turn their vision of a better neighborhood into reality.
  • Receiving $10,000, Gifts for Good- a corporate gifting company that curates ethical and socially responsible premium gifts.

“As a new startup, we joined SVCC with just an app and an idea,” said Andrew Yeh of Next Plate.  “With the guidance of Professor Abby Fifer Mandell and Don Loewel as well as feedback from our cohort, we learned how to ask impactful questions and learn about the pain points of our users.  This helped us narrow our focus to the students who would benefit from NextPlate the most.” 

“We all know the feeling of being hungry, and during the pandemic, we saw how it impacted people around us,” said Garwing Lai of Next Plate.  “At the same time, we discovered the United States throws away nearly 40% of edible food, which is enough to feed the whole world. We started NextPlate to sustainably rescue the surplus food and provide affordable meals to food insecure individuals.”

“With the $30K award from SVCC, we plan on expanding to other colleges and cities in Los Angeles,” added Ellen Jeong of Next PlateAll three of the Next Plate team members are candidates for USC’s M.S. in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.

Next Plate and the five other winning teams will continue to receive support and guidance from the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab in the following months and join a community of past investees. Established in 2019, SVCC is the only competition on campus that invests exclusively in social entrepreneurs who have developed a sustainable business model to the most pressing social needs in Los Angeles and beyond.  

Prior to launching SVCC, the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab ran much smaller cash competitions with other USC partners and outside organizations such as Ashoka. In 2015, Kaitlin Mogentale pitched her upcycled snack food company Pulp Pantry.  Since she graduated, Mogentale has expanded her business, and earlier this month, pitched Pulp Pantry on Season 13 of Shark Tank. She received a $500K investment from Mark Cuban, underscoring how university competitions such as SVCC are just the beginning for many of these social enterprises.  

To learn more about SVCC, visit our website and catch the recording of this eventful night on the Brittingham Lab Facebook page.

 

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Founded in 2008, the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab is a Center of Excellence at the USC Marshall School of Business that equips students, faculty and staff with the business skills and resources to develop market-based solutions to the wicked problems of the 21st century.  Learn more at https://www.marshall.usc.edu/social-impact 

 

Founded in 1996, The Rose Hills Foundation is a “responsive” grantmaker that supports a broad range of non-profit organizations serving the people of Southern California in key areas of need, including education, social services, health, arts and culture, civic and community engagement, and recreation. Learn more at https://rosehillsfoundation.org.