General Rules

Official Rules

I. Competition Rules

The GSVC awards prizes to the business plans that show the highest, most integrated financial and social returns (i.e. blended value).

II. General Rules
  1. To qualify for the Competition, a proposed venture must:
    • Plan to be financially sustainable or profitable; whether it is a commercial business or a tax-exempt organization, it must be self-sufficient on its earned revenue.
    • Be scalable. This criterion will be unique for each business plan. Scalability will take into account the potential for growth of the business (and how well both the financial and social goals can be scaled).
    • Have a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into its mission and practices.
  2. Each entrant team must include have at least one member who is a student or recent graduate from any masters-level or post-undergraduate higher education program in any area of study (e.g. engineering, policy, law, business, science, etc...) from any school or an individual who has graduated from a graduate program within the past two years (from the date that the plan is first submitted). The graduate student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., actively participating in development of the business plan and presentation or actively working on the business).
    • The business plan must include a statement describing the graduate student's level of involvement.
    • If the plan advances to the final round of judging, the student must be one of the plan's presenters (and must be available to answer judges' questions)
    • Teams are strongly encouraged to include seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals with relevant skills and experience.
  3. The proposed venture must not have been in operation for more than 3 years, with the start of the venture marked by first income or first patent, which ever occurred earlier.
  4. The proposed venture may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or non-profit entity). A business plan cannot enter the competition in more than two consecutive years. A team cannot enter the competition more than twice. Whether or not a team re-entering is considered the “same team" as before is determined at the discretion of the GSVC organizers, but is mainly based on business plan itself, with lesser emphasis on the team members and the team name.
  5. The business plan must include a financial analysis as well as a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) which includes the following items:
    • DEFINE: Definition of the Social Value Proposition
    • QUANTIFY: Listing of the top three Social Indicators

Additional SIA support can be found in the SIA Resource Section.

The plan must include a statement on what the team would do with the prize distribution. All plans must be written in English.