Have you seen this?
This past spring, social venture company, Verb, teamed up with IBM to put a social entrepreneurship spin on a reality-TV style YouTube mini-series, A New Way to StartUp, featuring millennial-led social ventures working and living together in a lake house in Austin.
But let’s back up: What is Verb? Co-founded by Austinites Tom Meredith and Suzi Sosa, Verb started out at UT-Austin’s RGK Center as the Social Innovation Challenge. From there, it joined with Dell to re-brand the challenge, and has since left UT-Austin to form its own organization. Over the years, the annual competition has engaged thousands of Dell employees as mentors and judges while contributing $800,000 in seed funding to winning ventures. Today Verb partners with major brands to run social entrepreneurship competitions around the world.
The latest is this competition and video series, A New Way to StartUp, started in March at SXSW, with 10 millennial social entrepreneurs pitching a live panel of influential judges, including Zita Cassizzi, chief digital officer of TOMS; Brian Fanzo, founder of iSocial Fanz and Dave Heath, co-founder and CEO of BOMBAS. That panel then selected the five finalists that would live in the lakehouse for a week in April, with the opportunity to gain exposure, mentorship and compete to win software, services, mentorship and a trip to TED @ IBM in October 2015.
The winner of the competition, Sproutel, is a healthcare company that created an electronic stuffed bear that helps children manage their Type 1 diabetes. Watch the video series here and learn more about the winner.