Cheers to a successful Impactathon® #11 in partnership with UCLA Anderson and The SAM Initiative! After successive rounds of pitching, $20,000 in grants were awarded to eight social enterprise teams and founders.

We gave participants the challenge of ‘showing up’ as impact-driven problem-solvers. They delivered.

Over two days, participants heard from incredible Impact Talk speakers on various aspects of addressing social impact and were introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as from a practitioner who is doing the work of scaling a social enterprise. They learned about logic models and impact gap analysis from a UCLA Anderson professor.

And, they pitched. Three times! First, each participant– to the tune of over 40– shared brief ‘elevator’ pitches while forming teams. Then, 17 teams and founders pitch their social enterprise ideas in two-minute pitches the following day to three judges including faculty and practitioners. Finally, with less than an hour in between, eight teams and founders shared four-minute pitches to six judges, including funders from The SAM Initiative and industry experts.

Congratulations to every participant for being part of the experience and staying ‘in the arena‘ to develop impact-driven ideas, pursue feedback, and iterate. We encourage Impactathoners to take a long view of their work and keep finding ways to move it forward. Thank you to the speakers, funders, catalysts, volunteers, co-organizers, and participants for making the event possible! And a special thank you to the Innov8social team, including Jaco and Pavel for your instrumental work and dedication.


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David setting up for the first round of pitches at #Impactathon. . . . #goanddo #ecosystembuilding #socialenterprise

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Announcing the Impactathon UCLA Anderson 2019 Award Recipients

  • Best Overall: Simple Gardens ($6,000). A turn-key urban garden solution combining art and gardening for an in-home food growing system.
  • Most Likely to Create Impact: One Million Acres ($5,000).  A buy-one-save-one program that has already protected 4K acres of rainforest through the sale of handmade bracelet from indigenous communities.
  • Championing Reducing Inequalities (SDG 10): Infinite Flow ($2,000).  A professional dance group that champions dancers across ability, furthering core values of inclusion and diversity.
  • Championing Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11): U Build Ur World ($2,000).  A social worker and veteran founder pitching innovative, affordable housing in the form of microvillages for veterans.
  • Championing Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7): Kilowatt Killer ($1,000).  A team includeing a retired high school teacher and high school students reducing CO2 emissions through a radically affordable, patented home cooling system.
  • Championing Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12): 50 Alt 50 ($1,000).  Produce shopping app that identifies local farm options for consumers.
  • Most Innovative Changemaker: Unpacking Racism in Healthcare ($500).  An app to inform and let users report instances of racism within the healthcare system.
  • Best Problem-Mapping: Re-coop ($500).  Online platform to match users with cooperative housing options.
  • People’s’ Choice Award: One Million Acres ($2,000)


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#Impactathon award recipients announced at #ImpactWeek closing ceremonies @uclaanderson. . . #socialimpact #pitches #problemmapping

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The Themes for Impactathon Anderson 2019

This year’s Impactathon at UCLA Anderson focused on the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Social entrepreneurs working to create or advance good health and well-being; sustainable cities and communities; and/or responsible consumption and production, were especially encouraged to apply. The UN Sustainable Goals (SDG’s) were launched in 2015 to address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity and peace and justice.

Who Attended

Impactathon was attended by a diverse group of individuals. It included, social entrepreneurs with proven ideas and traction who are looking to scale their work. UCLA undergraduate and graduate students and other business leaders seeking to share their skills with existing teams. Local undergraduate and graduate school students studying or interested in engaging in the social impact sector. Individuals seeking to learn about social impact and social entrepreneurship, map a problem, and ideate solutions to a local or global issue



Neetal Parekh, Founder of Innov8social, Author of 51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship, Host of The Impact Podcast by Innov8social, Convener of Impactathon®

Impact Talks


Gayle Northrop, Lecturer at UCLA Anderson and Senior Advisor of Impact@Anderson, President and Principal at Northrop Consulting.


  • Kat Karimi, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Civic Innovation Lab
  • Leah Nanni, Founder & Program Manager of The Art of Smart Tutoring, Consultant at Startup UCLA




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Lightning Round Judges listening in to 17 #pitches at #Impactathon! . . #goanddo #ecosystembuilding #socialenterprise

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About Impact Week at Anderson

In its 5th year and with the theme Purpose + Profits, Impact Week at UCLA Anderson focused on building a robust bridge to local issues in Southern California as well as global issues. Recognizing that some of the best ideas to solve social challenges come from the communities in which those challenges persist, Impact@Anderson believes social innovation and entrepreneurship must bridge the gap between community and classroom.

About The SAM Initiative

Founded in 2013 by Mindy Freedman, the SAM Initiative is a group of individuals who have pooled their financial resources and experience to fund and support exceptional and innovative programs in Los Angeles that promote social change and benefit women, children and families. The SAM Initiative was founded on the belief that we have more impact together than we have alone. Together, we strive to educate and engage donors by investing in community-based organizations that reflect our passions and address the most pressing needs in our community.

About Impactathon®

Innov8social partners with mission-driven companies, institutions, and foundations to bring together individuals together for Impactathons, interactive social impact events that catalyze collaboration, innovation, working in teams, and pitching social impact solutions for feedback and potential recognition.

Impactathon has partnered to deliver 11 Impactathons in cities including San Francisco, New York City, Aliso Viejo, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Baton Rouge.


Interested in convening an Impactathon for your university, foundation, company or event? Let’s connect.




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Almost go time! #impactathon @uclaanderson . . #goanddo

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