John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge
Our startups are helping k-12 students learn math, digitally connecting prison inmates with legal counsel, and more.
Together, SNVC companies have raised more than $165 million in philanthropic dollars, grant support, and venture-capital funding. Offered in partnership with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, the SNVC provides social entrepreneurship mentorship and funding for startups with a social mission at their core.
How the SNVC Works
The SNVC is open to currently enrolled graduate students at UChicago who want to launch a for-profit or nonprofit startup. Successful applicants must have a plausible plan for financial sustainability—either through equity investment, direct revenue, grants from philanthropy, government funding, or a combination thereof. Finalists compete every June for at least $150,000 in prize money to further their social ventures.
SNVC teams enroll in New Social Ventures, a Booth course that complements the SNVC program.
Learn More and Apply
The SNVC at Chicago Booth is not just a weekend competition; it’s a comprehensive launch program that includes three phases, from idea generation to critical feedback to final pitches. Applications are due near the end of January, and the final competition takes place in June.
“Each year, I’m more impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm UChicago students have for making a meaningful impact on social issues. As the SNVC has expanded its reach at Booth and across the university, the social entrepreneurs who participate have developed even stronger business models and pitches. I’m proud to support their work.”
Amount raised to date by startups that went through the SNVC$165M
Startups launched from SNVC150+
Participating teams in 202317
The Edwardson SNVC winner uses technology for faster post-conviction appeals, benefiting people in prison, attorneys, and taxpayers.Accelerating Justice by Upending Incarceration Communications
The social venture with strong ties to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business looks to grow its impact in 2022 after being acquired by Adventure Ready BrandsEdwardson Social New Venture Challenge Startup LuminAID Gets Acquired