students from team Nemo Institute hold Grand Prize check for $5,000

Eleven student teams competed in Seattle Pacific University’s 17th annual Social Venture Plan Competition held on April 19, 2023.

Each year, the Center for Applied Learning in the School of Business, Government, and Economics hosts the competition and invites students to develop a sustainable business plan to address a social need and come up with a marketing and operations strategy to pitch their idea to potential donors and investors for funding.

In the first round, 18 teams submitted business plans, and 11 competed in the second-round showcase.

The student team Nemo Institute won the $5,000 Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize as well as the Donald B. Summers People’s Choice award of $1,000 to help fund the team’s plan to restore coral reefs in the Bahamas using education, ecotourism, and 3-D printing to create artificial coral to supplement the reefs.

Justin Freeman, Austin Freeman, Elizabeth Horton, Hannah Miller, and Maddie Wright made up the team that sought to save coral reefs from the degradation caused by pollution, overfishing, and global warming.

model of bungalows that can be built for ecotourismNemo Institute proposed a revenue stream funded by operating a study abroad program, renting guesthouse bungalows, and introducing an Adopt-a-Tile program to enable the student team to invest in coral reef restoration work.

Second-place honors and $3,000 went to the team Water Harvesters that developed a fog harp, a product designed to collect up to 9 liters of water each day from moisture in the air. The device would be beneficial in areas without access to clean groundwater. Ebby Buchta, Handrae Henthorn, Abhi Kencherla, Amie Kujabi, Thomas Morton, and Thien Vo were the Water Harvesters team members.

“In the face of a rapidly changing world, a volatile economy, and a variety of global challenges, it’s exciting to see inter-disciplinary teams of students consider how they can use entrepreneurship as a force for good,” said Mark Oppenlander, director of the Center for Applied Learning.

The Social Venture Plan Competition was sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, the Cummins Family Foundation, Tschetter Group, Northwest Center, Bellmont Cabinet Co., Eastlake Real Estate Partners, Highland Private Wealth Management, Pioneer Human Services, and Skills Inc.

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