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Social Entrepreneurship Offers Great Opportunity

Logo for last year’s winner, Nimbus. Photo: Ethan Much

Have you ever thought of a great idea, but didn’t know how to pursue it? Enter Pace’s Social Entrepreneurship Challenge for the opportunity to put these great ideas into action. The challenge is a way for aspiring businessmen and businesswomen to create and expand upon their very own projects.

Led by Associate Director of ICGL Zeena Lattouf, Social Entrepreneurship offers students a way to flesh out their ideas, with a $10,000 grand prize, as well as $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third, to help jumpstart their company. “I love to get to know the students, and I like to get to learn with them in a very different capacity,” said Ms. Lattouf. With the enhancement of skills such as critical thinking and concept development, this is an opportunity that can pay big dividends regardless of how teams place in the competition.

The process starts with the formation of a two to three-person team, along with coming up with an idea to present. After researching to see if there are any competitors in the market, the team presents their idea to a panel of Pace administrators, who will then give honest feedback as well as pose any questions or concerns they may have. Later, the team creates an updated presentation during second semester to finally create a pitch to outside investors. Last year, junior Ben Solomon and his teammates concocted the idea of a new parking lot filtration system. “Unfortunately, we were only runners-up,” said Solomon. “But I still had a great experience and it will help me in the long-run, for sure.”

Last year’s theme of climate produced great ideas among the competitors, but only one team came out on top. Nimbus, created by seniors Daniel Blumen, Ethan Much and Ben Thompson, is a company that develops sunshields for cars while simultaneously helping the environment. “We have set up a website, developed working prototypes and are working to improve upon the prototypes we have now so that we can hopefully begin the production process,” said Thompson. In addition to keeping cars cooler, Nimbus is able to store energy, charge electronic devices and save gas.

Social Entrepreneurship presents a chance to enhance skills and learn in new ways. The only question is, are you up to the challenge?