Local Impact, Global Reach

2015 Global Social Venture Competition Global Finals and Conference

Friday, April 10th, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Haas School of Business – University of California, Berkeley


NEWS: 2015 Global Finalists are Announced
Eighteen teams from around the world are entering the final round of the competition. Read More >>

Join us for the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) Global Finals and Conference! This year, we will be exploring how social enterprises can drive transformational change, both locally and globally, and examine the opportunities and challenges facing social entrepreneurs as they seek to scale their impact. Hear stories and strategies from successful social entrepreneurs, learn about financing your social venture and hear from leaders giving perspectives on the next generation of social enterprises. You will also have the opportunity to see the pitches from the Global Finals Round of the 2015 Global Social Venture Competition, the world’s preeminent social venture competition for transforming business ideas into real-world impact. Confirmed speakers include keynote speaker Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance; Julie Lein, president of Tumml; Caroline Whistler, co-founder of Third Sector Capital; and Kimberly Dasher Tripp, founder of Strategy for Scale.



8:00-9:00 AM Registration and Breakfast
9:00-10:00 AM Welcome and Keynote Speaker, Tracy Palandjian
10:00-10:15 AM Break
10:15-11:30 AM Breakout Sessions 1
11:30-11:45 AM Break
11:45 AM-1:00 PM Breakout Sessions 2 
1:00-2:00 PM Networking Lunch
2:00-5:30 PM Presentations from the GSVC Global Finalist Teams 
*Times are tentative and subject to change. 



Keynote Speaker: 

Tracy Palandjian Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Social Finance

Tracy_Palandjian Photo

For more than a decade, Tracy has dedicated herself to building a more impactful nonprofit sector by re-imagining the role of the capital markets in enabling social progress. Inspired by her work with its sister organization in the UK, Tracy co-founded Social Finance, Inc. in January 2011. Prior to Social Finance, Tracy was a Managing Director for 11 years at The Parthenon Group where she established and led the Nonprofit Practice and worked with foundations and NGOs to accomplish their missions in the US and globally. She is co-author of Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes, a report that provides an important view on the evolution of the impact investing industry. Prior to Parthenon, Tracy worked at Wellington Management Co. and McKinsey & Co. Tracy is the Co-Chair of the U.S. National Advisory Board to the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force. She is a member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University and a Director of Affiliated Managers Group. She also serves on the board of the Surdna Foundation and co-chairs the Board of Directors of Facing History and Ourselves. Tracy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, with a B.A. in Economics, and holds an M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar.



Breakout Sessions:

New Waves: Social Venture Financing

Some say finding funding for new ventures is easier than ever, but does this hold true for sustainable businesses and enterprises too? Explore different ways for budding social entrepreneurs to raise money—from accelerators to corporate funding to venture capital to crowd-funding. Panelists from these types of funding mechanisms will discuss their perspectives. Discover global and local opportunities and look to the future of social venture financing and investing.
Moderator: Jennifer Walske, Program Director and Asst. Professor at USF, Social Impact Fellow at theHaas School of Business


  • Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, UC Berkeley SkyDeck
  • Bahniman Hazarika, Director of Investments at Gray Ghost Ventures
  • Alisa Cordesius, Manager of Social Innovation at Indiegogo
  • Victoria Fram, Managing Director at Village Capital 

5 Things the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs Should Know

Join us for a candid conversation with four innovative leaders who are re-imagining impact across a variety of sectors. In a series of TED-style talks, followed by Q&A, our panelists will each share some of the hard truths, pleasant surprises, and lessons learned from navigating a career in social impact. The session promises to spark conversation about some of the important, yet less-discussed, challenges and opportunities inherent to social entrepreneurship – and what the next generation of social entrepreneurs can do to address them.
Moderator: Ben Mangan, Executive Director and Lecturer, Center for Non-Profit and Public Leadership, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

  • Julie Lein, President and Co-Founder, Tumml
  • Caroline Whistler, Co-Founder and Partner, Advisory Services, Third Sector Capital
  • Wood Turner, VP at Equilibrium Capital
  • Nick Pearson, Executive Director, Jacaranda Health

The Path Forward: Taking Big Ideas from Pilot to Scale, Sustainability, and Impact

Now that you have the transformative idea, how can you shape and scale it to deliver impact on the ground? Hear from practitioners and experts who will provide insights on the real challenges facing social enterprises in scaling their ideas, whether domestic or global. Panelists will answer the question of why great ideas for social impact can fail, and provide actionable insights on how entrepreneurs can overcome these challenges.


Moderator: Lina Nilsson, Innovation Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley


  • Kimberly Dasher-Tripp, Founder and Principal, Strategy for Scale
  • Tevis Howard, Founder/CEO, Komaza
  • Kurtis Keimerl, CEO, Endaga
  • Erin Ganju, Co-Founder/CEO, Room to Read


Reversing Innovation and Re-Thinking Social Solutions  

Social enterprises are looking for new ways to bring innovative ideas to the forefront. Traditionally, products are created in developed countries and then modified for developing countries, but there is a movement towards doing the opposite, which has led to interesting ventures that aim to maintain quality while lowering costs. Beyond this, more organizations are applying design-thinking methodologies to address social problems. Hear from speakers who will discuss their experiences re-thinking social solutions by using non-traditional methods.
Moderator: Julie Clugage, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Team4Tech

  • Susan Ambrose, Assistant Project Scientist and Lecturer at UC Berkeley
  • Tess Posner, Managing Director, SamaUSA
  • Nyla Rodgers, CEO & Founder, Mama Hope
  • Rafael Smith, Designer, IDEO.org