Competing in GSVC

The Global Social Venture Competition is the world’s preeminent social venture competition providing aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and up to $80,000 in prize money to transform their business ideas into positive real-world impact. GSVC leads entrant teams through an experiential learning process to develop innovative, scalable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.  Through our global partner network, we give teams the connections, support, and exposure needed to advance their social ventures.


The competition occurs over three rounds. The first two rounds are run through the GSVC global partner schools and competitions; the 2017 Global Finals round will be held at UC Berkeley in April. During each round of the competition, social entrepreneurs present the social, financial, and environmental values of their business, gaining valuable feedback from and exposure to some of the greatest minds in social innovation.


Each of the competition’s three rounds also asks teams to build on past learnings and focus on distinct emphasis areas. A team’s ability to demonstrate progress in these areas will be an important determinant of its venture’s overall score, which in every round is evaluated on business potential (33%), social impact potential (33%), and likelihood of success (33%). We encourage teams to refer to the Deliverables and Resources pages for more information and support in each of these areas.


First Round Regional Semifinal Round Global Finals Round
Details Teams submit initial information about their business idea. First round entrants are evaluated by our partner schools and competitions. A select number of teams will be chosen to move forward to the Regional Semifinal Rounds hosted by our regional partner schools and competitions. The top two teams from each Regional Semifinal Round will compete at the Global Finals at UC Berkeley.
Application Deadline  December 5, 2016 (for most regions) February/March 2017 (varies by region)  April 5-7, 2017
Areas of Emphasis
  • Vision
  • Opportunity
  • Value Proposition
  • Business Model
  • Basic Financial Model
  • Team
  • Key Stakeholders
  • Solution
  • Market Drivers
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Financial Projections
  • Mentors or Advisors
  • Traction
  • Go-To-Market Strategy
  • Action Plan
  • Risk & Key Considerations
  • Clear Ask
  • Executive Summary (3 pages)
  • Summary of 10+ Stakeholder Interviews
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Executive Summary (5 pages)
  • Pitch Deck (10 slides + optional appendix)
  • Summary of 30+ Stakeholder Interviews (total)
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Pitch Video (<2 minutes)
  • Executive Summary (5 pages)
  • Final Pitch Deck (10 slides + optional appendix)
  • Summary of 50+ Stakeholder Interviews (total)
  • Team Resumes/Bios
  • Pitch Video (<2 minutes)


Winners are announced at the culmination of the Global Finals event. The 2016 prize structure included:

First Place Award*: $25,000
Janus Foundation / Perkins Investment Management Second Place Award: $15,000
Third Place Award: $7,500
Priya Haji Memorial Award (Challenger Round Award): $2,500
Quick Pitch Award: $1,000

*First Place Award Winner is also nominated for a Cordes Fellowship