Coronavirus Updates

Today, the following teams were selected to pitch their social impact startups during the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) Finals on Tuesday, June 2.

The SNVC is run by Chicago Booth's Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, along with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

On June 2, SNVC finalists will compete for at least $100,000 in startup capital during the 10th annual competition, which will be hosted in a fully online format for the first time in the program’s history.

“Creating a viable social venture is difficult enough under normal circumstances, but this year’s SNVC teams also had to quickly adapt and refine their ideas for a new reality: the virtual classroom and startup competition,” said Robert H. Gertner, Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance at Chicago Booth and John Edwardson Faculty Director of the Rustandy Center. “Despite the challenges, I’ve been heartened by the diligence of students and impressed with the caliber of their startup ventures. I look forward to watching them present their ideas to judges during the finals.”

Congratulations to the seven 2020 SNVC finalists, who were selected from 16 participating teams!


Impact Toolbox (I-Toolbox)
 is a digital incubation platform that provides youths and emerging social entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to learn, network, and access seed funding to transform their ideas for social change into viable social ventures. (School affiliation: Harris) Impact Toolbox will present at 10:05 a.m.

Ceres is a telemedicine digital health platform for independent abortion clinics and primary care providers to streamline clinic processes, ensure patient safety, and work toward reproductive justice. (School affiliation: Pritzker School of Medicine, The College) Ceres will present at 10:40 a.m.

Ponte is a tech platform that aims to bridge the gap between people struggling with addiction, their families, and the recovery health-care resources available to them. (School affiliation: Booth) Ponte will present at 11:15 a.m.

LivingWaters has developed a low-cost, easily deployable rainwater collection system to provide clean water to the world’s displaced populations in refugee camps and informal off-grid settlements. (School affiliation: Booth, Harris, Law School) LivingWaters will present at 11:50 a.m.

NGOrganize is a revenue-generating tech company providing SaaS solutions for organizations to manage social initiatives, analyze results, and report impact to donors, investors, and stakeholders, with a near-term focus on supporting organizations responding to the pandemic. (School affiliation: Booth, Harris) NGOrganize will present at 12:50 p.m.

Zócalo is an education technology company that designs technology-based experiences to facilitate the development of whole children by building the foundations they need for a lifetime of success. (School affiliation: Booth) Zócalo will present at 1:25 p.m.

Brink is a nonprofit focused on making the American democratic process more inclusive for people with disabilities by using technology to simplify and improve the voting experience. (School affiliation: Booth) Brink will present at 2 p.m.

The SNVC finals will be live streamed beginning promptly at 10 a.m. CST, and winners will be announced around 3:15 p.m. CST. An event schedule and information on finalists, judges, and other participants can be found on the Polsky Center’s website.

The SNVC is the cornerstone of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Chicago, an initiative named in recognition of a 2016 gift by John Edwardson, ’72, retired chairman and CEO of CDW and co-chair of Advance Illinois.

Register to watch the 2020 SNVC Finals via this link.