SOCIAL ENTERPRISE: Verb video series chronicles start-up competition for millenial social entrepreneurs

Photo courtesy Verb
Photo courtesy VerbPhoto courtesy Verb

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.

Photo courtesy VerbPhoto courtesy Verb

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.


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