If you love social media, online communities, and the people that power the magic…yesterday’s Community Leadership Summit West 2013 (held Sat. Feb 2nd 2013 in San Jose) was the it place. Period.

If you, like me, couldn’t make the event—-there is a silver lining. At a conference bringing together community leaders and managers adept in the digital space, there is a wealth of learning and sharing about the event online.

Below is an overview of what went on at #CLSWest using Storify.

[View the story “Catching Up on Community Leadership Summit 2013 (#CLSWest)…For Those Who Missed It” on Storify]

On Tuesday, January 29th 2013 Ashoka Legal brought together a few top law firms specializing in social enterprise law and hybrid structures. The session was created to be an open discussion and training on some of latest trends, tools, and resources for setting up nonprofits, for-profits, hybrids, and new corporate structures.
Hybrid Structures Webinar: Nonprofits, For-profits, and New Corporate Forms
The event, held at the Morrison & Foerster offices in San Francisco, was live-streamed online. The presenters’ list included:

Watch the Webinar

For social innovation attorneys, law students, and social entrepreneurs seeking to research legal entity options, formation, and restructuring—this webinar is an excellent tool to begin unpacking the many options available. And, the experience is made more meaningful as it is guided by attorneys at the forefront of the social enterprise legal space.
If you missed the the live webinar or live session, Morrison & Foerster is making the archived webinar available for viewing until April 2013.

Legal Structures

The speakers spoke in detail about legal structures that have been covered on Innov8Social, weaving in practical experience, policy history, and examples into their assessment of how each structure may benefit a social enterprise or non-profit.
Legal structures for social enterprise law covered in the webinar
Hybrid legal structures
  • For-profit subsidiary of a nonprofit
  • Nonprofit under control of for-profit
  • Sibling relationship of for-profit and nonprofit
  • Independent, but aligned entities
Other tools that can create value, and enable entities to remain mission-driven 
  • Licensing
  • Trademark
  • Integrated reporting: to integrate social, environmental impact alongside financials
Impact law forum 1/2013 (1)Impact Law Forum (ILF), a San Francisco Bay area social enterprise law practice group, held its latest meeting in Silicon Valley this past week.

Impact Law Forum’s 3rd Meeting

On Thursday evening, January 24th 2012, a group of over a dozen legal minds spanning backgrounds in entrepreneurship law, public health policy, environmental law, solo practice, non-profit law, corporate counsel, and social enterprise law filled a cozy room in the StartX offices in Palo Alto.

Held at StartX, a Stanford Initiative

StartX, run by Stanford University, is an innovative accelerator program for startups that have at least one founder affiliated with Stanford and who are selected through an application process. It is one of the unique programs that requests no equity from its participants. And, by leveraging Stanford’s vast network of mentors, venture capitalists, and resources it positions startups for early-stage success. In fact, 85% of StartX companies have successfully raised funding.

Impact law forum 1/2013 (2)With standing room only, Impact Law Forum Co-Founder Zoe Hunton, of Hunton Law, welcomed the group and introduced the evening’s speaker Tony Lai and Pieter Gunst—Co-Founders of LawGives, a startup that was developed and launched in StartX.

Featuring the Founding Team of LawGives

LawGives is a social enterprise startup seeking to broaden access to legal information for social entrepreneurs. It is a product of the StartX accelerator. Tony and his founding partner Pieter developed the idea together after they met during their LL.M studies at Stanford. They both have practice experience— Tony practiced law in England and Hong Kong, and Pieter practiced with a large firm in Palo Alto. Since their time in the StartX accelerator, they continue to iterate and innovate the offerings of LawGives.

In their presentation for Impact Law Forum, Tony and Pieter provided an in-depth overview of the concept behind LawGives and the tools that were part of the 1.0 version of the site. They spoke candidly about their startup journey, what they have learned along the way, and about the process of building site elements, testing, and then shifting their products and services based on feedback of users, attorneys, and potential backers.

After the demo of the site, the focus shifted from introducing LawGives to an open discussion about what draws attorneys to working with startups, non-profits, and social enterprises and what pain points are experienced in the process.

The diversity of backgrounds and experience in law lent to a robust conversation and exchange of viewpoints.

Impact law forum 1/2013 (3)
Around the Room

The session concluded with introductions from each of the attendees along with sharing what would make a legal practice group for social entrepreneur legal practitioners a valuable group to participate in.  Reasons for engaging included:

  • meet other attorneys and social enterprise thought partners
  • connect with others on public policy supporting social entrepreneurs
  • find pro bono law opportunities in the area
  • find attorneys to do pro bono work
  • understand the social enterprise law sector from an academic perspective
  • explore social innovation law
  • meet cool people doing cool things
Stay tuned for more updates on Impact Law Forum, events, and ways to get involved.
Under the umbrella of social innovation are the many emerging technologies that have the potential to create a meaningful, positive impact on society and the environment. Synthetic biology falls squarely into this category.

A Steve Jobs Perspective

“One of the very few silver linings about me getting sick is that Reed’s gotten to spend a lot of time studying with some very good doctors…His enthusiasm for it is exactly how I felt about computers when I was his age. I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one when I was his age.” – Steve Jobs

These words, captured by Walter Isaacson and said in a moment of reflection, are both profound and prophetic.

So what would Silicon Valley luminary and chief innovator, Steve Jobs, have said about a room full of the sharpest, brightest, most innovative minds in the field of synthetic biology talking about the future of the field?

MIT/Stanford VLAB Hosts “Programming Nature”, a Panel Discussion on Synthetic Biology

That is what the scene was this week at the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) event titled, “Programming Nature” held at the Stanford School of Business Knight Center.  Hundreds of attendees filled the auditorium to listen in on experts in the field share their insights and predictions.

VLAB: Programming NatureYou can check back on VLAB’s YouTube Channel to watch the entire event once it is posted.

A (R)evolution?

The discussion was moderated by Megan Palmer, Deputy Director of the Practices Thrust at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC), which is housed within the Stanford University School of Bioengineering. At SynBERC, a multi-university initiative to promote synthetic biology, Megan recently organized the Synthetic Biology Leadership Accelerator Program (LeAP).

Beyond organizing and creating opportunities for others in the field, she is herself a tried and true synthetic biologist. She holds a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT and a B.Sc.E. in Engineering Chemistry from Queen’s College in Canada.

Megan provided an effective guided tour into the field of synthetic biology, highlighting the key features that make it applicable across sectors. She introduced synthetic biology as a disruptive technology—asking the audience about what the potential could be if biology could be programmed just like computer program code.

She posed the advances in synthetic biology as a either an evolution or revolution since the field has been active for some time. And, Megan spoke to her experience of spending 6 years to test one single aspect of a hypothesis as an example of how the lengthy life cycles of bioengineering can impact the time it takes to see results. Synthetic biology seeks to make the design, build, test cycle for bioengineering faster, cheaper, and better.

VLAB: Programming Nature
An Infusion of Innovation

The panelists provided unique perspectives and infused the discussion with examples of innovation in the field.

Panelist Dan Widmaier, CEO and Founder of Refactored Materials in San Francisco, spoke about his company’s project of simulating spider silk fibers and mass-producing. The fibers, known for their strength, durability, and extensibility, have the potential for building cars and airplanes that are aerodynamic and light, creating durable  performance apparel and gear, developing medical devices that the body may be more apt to accept, creating new offerings in cosmetics, and revolutionalizing entire industries.

Other panelists included:

Nathan Hillson, Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder of TeselaGen Biotechnology. While at Berkeley Lab, Nathan was on a team that developed j5 software, which uses advanced sythetic bioogy techniques to support DNA design and efficient assembly instruction generation. TeselaGen has licensed j5, and according to BerkeleyLab News, has over 100 scientists and companies in its beta.

Alexander Kamb, Senior VP of Research at Amgen. Alexander pointed out that DNA sequencing has had the fastest rate of change of output of any bioengineering process. He noted that the first genome sequence cost in the range of $1B, the next iterations were in the range of $100M, and now a complete genome sequencing can be completed within a few thousand dollars. To illustrate the point, shows a table of cost per Mb of DNA sequence and cost per genome.

Warren Hogarth, Partner at Sequoia Capital in addition to being a chemical engineer. He brought to light how the long cycle of bioengineering can impact the kind of investment sought. Rather than depending on manufacturing deadlines or coding restraints, bioengineering is based on the lifecycle involving designing, building, and testing.

Interestingly, the requirement that venture capitalists look to the long term is akin to the “patient capital” aspect of social impact investing, which also generally involves longer life cycles for return.


Soul Searching

While the panelists displayed genius and creativity in sharing their views on the potential reach of synthetic biology, the night would have been even more meaningful if they also revealed its soul.

Just because we can program nature and synthesize biology, should we? In food nutrition just as there is movement to continue innovating in food synthesis, there is an equally robust movement to avoid genetically modified foods.

If biology can be programmed, so too can viruses, mutations, and destructive traits. Additionally does cloning or creating entire organisms through bioengineering create new life or is it am emulation of life?

The VLAB event, as always, was an amazing meeting of the minds—a braintrust of its own.

During this event, for those of us outside of the field who may conjecture about moral considerations of bioengineering, it would have been insightful to hear about how thought leaders in synthetic biology traverse the murky ethical dilemmas they must face at every turn.

#VLABsynbio Tweets

  1. . talks about open source as a foundation for hacking & research, with proprietary systems being for enterprise
  2. “It’s very hard to compete & scale a product when you’re trying to do something as a $1/lb commodity.” 
  3. . of sequoia notes, when starting a company you don’t really want funding, you want a company that pays for itself
  4. At  event at Stanford, good discussion with startups @refactoredmaterials chaired by SYNBerc’s Megan Palmer 
  5. : “DNA sequencing may be the fastest change rate of output of any technology in human history.” 
  6. Synthetic biology is notorious for having very, very, very unreliable timelines & failure rates. –  
  7. Curious to see if the panel will address the potential of destructive as well as constructive use of synthetic bio…solutions? 
  8. “Unlike electronics  doesn’t have good predictive tools yet so our design-build-test cycle is very empirical.” 
  9. “When thinking about  remember timelines are long & capital requirements are not small.” 

  10. @refactored_mat addressable mkts include performance, cosmetics, biomedical, aerospace, automotive, industrial industries
  11. Learning about synthetic biology tonight 
  12. Excited to be at the  event on  in synthetic biology 
  13. MTJoin  &  & learn how entrepreneurs are transforming  in two biz ventures 
  14. Discussing the endless possibilites of synthetic biology in the cloud at  tonight w/   
  15. Where will synthetic biology lead us?  Programming Nature  on Tues Jan 22 Register at: 
Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) hosted a thoughtful discussion last week on funding avenues social entrepreneurs can pursue to support and grow their ventures.A panel of five speakers representing unique sectors shared perspectives on non-profit grants, impact investing, venture capitalist investing, program-related investments, and perspectives from being a social entrepreneur in the field.

The panel discussion was followed by a brief Q&A and then breakout groups to further discuss nuances of various funding models. Below are a few key points made by each speaker.
Stanford PACS Panel

Kim Meredith, Executive Director of PACS (moderator)

Kim welcomed guests and outlined four initiatives related to social innovation that the Center supports.  These include:
Stanford PACS program


4 Initiatives by PACS for Social Innovation:
Kim then introduced the panel made of diverse players and perspectives in the social impact field.

Jenny Shilling Stein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.

Jenny provided insight on how her organization selects social innovators to receive funding from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, which focuses on funding early-stage high-impact nonprofit organizations. She emphasized that her organization believes that great people make great change and that much of the evaluation has to do with the leader. Her team pays close attention to characteristics of the leader, past experience in leadership and management, and the ability to maintain great judgment, especially in challenging situations.
The Foundation also takes into account the impact of the model and how the social initiative will address deep needs.

Susan Phinney Silver, Program-Related Investment Officer at the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.

Susan provided a unique perspective on program-related investment—a funding model that enables foundations to invest in philanthropic projects where the return on investment is not the primary outcome sought. She highlighted that although the space of social entrepreneur investment may feel fairly new,  foundations such as the Packard Foundation have been engaging in PRI’s for the past 15 years.
She emphasized that it is key for a social innovator to study the areas of focus of various foundations. However compelling a new social venture may be, if it is not aligned with the goals and mission of the foundation, it could be a hard sell.
A few areas of focus of the Packard Foundation include land conservation, kids and education, climate change, and reproductive rights. She said her organization looks for a strong programmatic focus with on impact-related outcomes. She also mentioned that part of the assessment in granting a PRI is what the funding will mean for the venture and whether it has the potential of attracting other forms of funding as well.Innov8Social addressed program-related investment last year, in connection with the L3C legal structure aimed at streamlining the process of granting PRI’s.

Liz Rockett, Vice President of Imprint Capital.

Liz’s area of focus at Imprint Capital–an impact investment firm–is health practice and improvement of domestic healthcare.  She mentioned that she has noticed a trend in the five years the firm has been in existence. Namely, she has seen a rise in the number of private wealth looking to enter the impact investment market.
Also dubbed “patient capital” impact investment is a funding model that anticipates a modest rate of return as a social venture focuses on impact and scalability.

Michael Dorsey, Managing Partner at the Westley Group.

The Westley Group is a venture capital firm that specializes in investment in cleantech companies. Prior to his role at Westley, Dorsey was co-led the Bay Area Equity Fund that successfully funded cleantech ventures including Tesla, PowerLight, and SolarCity.
Michael reassured the audience that there is money available for driven, focused social innovators. He cited universities such as Stanford and Duke that have campaigned to raise billions of dollars on funding that can support interdisciplinary approaches to technology, impact, and innovation.
In answering how social innovators can raise funds, Michael emphasized the importance of matching the donor with the need—if there’s a real need—and an excellent team.

Sunita Mohanty, Business Development at Lumosity.

Sunita provided a perspective from the field. She shared her experience of being part of a social impact startup that did not proceed forward. She has since parlayed her skill set in finance, strategy, and education into a business development and strategic partnerships role at Lumosity—an online platform and app that leverages neuroscience to create games and exercises that improve core cognitive abilities.She noted that for a social venture, early stage funding can be a mixed blessing. While providing capital and stability it can also lead a startup to pursuing more angles of their venture instead of focusing on perfecting a main strategy.

Back in Fall of 2011, Innov8Social interviewed Sustainable Silicon Valley’s Executive Director Marianna Grossman to learn about the organization and its efforts in building a consortium of diverse partners (corporations, non-profits, research institutions, agencies, consultants) dedicated to sustainability.

And now, Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV)—in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center—has launched a bold, innovative initiative to actively encourage and seek out the best, viable, scalable solutions for advancing global sustainability.

SSV is calling for submissions for its Solutions for Planetary Sustainability Competition in conjunction with its 5th annual Water, Energy, Smart Technology (WEST) Summit set for May 23, 2013. At that event, sustainability solutions are usually showcased.

This year, for the first time, SSV is leveraging a competition style entry process (in addition to its regular registration) with professional review by a panel experts. The competition will also including a crowdsourcing component which will open up voting for solutions to the general public.

Innov8Social had a chance to catch up WEST Summit Program Manager, Martina Frndova to learn more about the Sustainability Solution Competition.

Here are a few highlights she mentioned:

What Do I need to Know Before Applying?

There is no cost for applying.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to Thursday, January 31st, 2013.
Finalists will receive recognition, marketing resources, as well as the opportunity to deliver their pitches in front of VC’s, angel investors, and NASA Ames experts.  There is a possibility for a cash prize as well.
Solutions should be comprehensive—specifying technology, policy, processes, and ability to scale within a community, city, country, and even globally.
Solutions can be at any stage—they can exist at the idea level, or be further along.

What is the Timeline for the Competition?

  • Submit a Solution: Oct 1, 2012 to Jan 31, 2013
  • Vote for Solutions: Feb 1, 2013 to Feb 22, 2013
  • Finalists Announced: March 7, 2013 (evening event)
  • Showcase Conference: All day May 23, 2013

How to Submit a Sustainability Solution

1. Register with Sustainable Silicon Valley

2. Submit a sustainability solution

Here is SSV Executive Director, Marianna Grossman explaining the competition.

Impact Law Forum (ILF) is an innovative response to the growing interest of the legal community in serving impact entrepreneurs and social enterprise.

Started by Zoe Hunton of Hunton Law and Natalia Thurston of Social Venture Law, the practice group seeks to inform, share resources, build networks, and survey relevant issues, legislation, public policy and case law. 

Impact Law Forum Events

Impact Law Forum has organized two events since its inception in Fall 2012 and has a third planned for Thursday, January 24th 2013. You can Register here.


  • January 24th 2013 Thursday meeting in Palo Alto. Founder of LawGives, Tony Lai will speak about his experience in social enterprise and the goals of LawGives—an online platform to engage and inform attorneys and to make free legal information widely available. Tony is a staff member of StartX (Stanford startup accelerator), was on a teaching team for the new Legal Technology course at Stanford Law School, and completed his LL.M at Stanford in Law, Science, and Technology.

Past Events:

What Inspires Impact Law

When asking co-creators of ILF Zoe and Natalia about how they envision Impact Law Forum, here’s what they had to say.

According to Natalia, a San Francisco-based attorney who leads a law firm specializing in social enterprise issues, “Impact Law Forum is a unique opportunity to engage a community of attorneys to support the growth of social entrepreneurship and build law practices also based on sustainable principles.”

Zoe, whose firm is based in Menlo Park, envisions ILF “building community in a dynamic area of law that is rapidly evolving to keep pace with social entrepreneurs who push the boundaries of what is possible despite limited resources and intense challenges.” She is enthusiastic about being part of a community “working towards social change and justice and consciously shifting the role of the law and lawyers to create a better and more just world.”

The potential for impact + law

There is great potential in moving the conversation of social entrepreneurship law from theory and policy to how it actually applies. Stay tuned for information on updates on the progress of ILF and the 411 on upcoming events.

Yesterday there was a meeting of the minds to discuss the future of social entrepreneurship. One tweet at a time.Ashoka Changemakers hosted a live tweet chat, #SocEntChat, which brought together thinkers from organizations such as Kiva, Ashoka, Agora Ventures, Echoing Green, Centre for Social Innovation NY, and a number of others, as well as bloggers, thinkers, company representatives, and practitioners in the area.Here are the questions posed and a few memorable tweets from the chat.  The snapshot below is by no means comprehensive, but gives a peek into the global conversation and dialogue about social innovation happening today.


Q1. What resources are available to help people create long-term careers in social entrepreneurship? What else is needed?
Q1. People in the sector are best resources, and seem to like coffee :) Buy them one and pick their brain. 
A1 also has an extensive resource list of competitions &  
A1. But  itself isn’t really a long-term career. Really, we’re talking about thousands of diff careers connected to it 
A1. Clear definitions of concepts are needed to develop a field of research. Less important but useful in practice. 
A1  It is a struggle making that transition from idea to career. Less than 1% get into programs like 
A1 I decided to start giving away free  training at to help people build sustainable programs
In blogging on  issues, resources re:  and programs are sought-after.  
50+ Fellowship Programs for Social Innovators …. Accelerator Programs  
Corporates can be investors in , supporters w resources & talent. Our corp partners have provided incredible brain power!


A1. Follow a calling. Even if you happen to stumble upon it. Each of us has the capacity to make big change & be changemakers
Q2. What role does the corporate sector play in offering opportunities for social innovation? Should it be doing more?
Corporates can be investors in , supporters w resources & talent. Our corp partners have provided incredible brain power!
A2 the corp sector has an opportunity to move beyond CSR and integrate meaning making deeply into their culture. 
A2: Corporate sector can be major attention amplifiers – and (harder) can invite socially oriented innovation into their domain 
A2: Being able to quantify value of  to corporations would help to further the reach & work of –make must v. should
A2. Demand for  shift from employees & consumers is powerful.  401K options, green consumer optns offer choice 
A2: Corporations have INCREDIBLE resources to invest in innovation. Key finding corporate rebels to change the systems 
A2:  combines social impact w/ biz pragmatism at Accenture. Corporate rebels exist!  
A2. Within a corp one can create a structure for Team of Teams that create and collaborate. A space for idea-buidling cc 
A2: All employees can be changemakers – no need for a trade-off between PURPOSE and PROFIT  
A2. True success can be achieved when you have “win-win” situations for the corporations and social entrepreneurs


Q3. How can we evaluate the impact of social entrepreneurs to ensure that social value is still the foundation of their work?
Q3: Knowing what to measure and how to measure it is still one of the biggest  challenges. Is it a number, or a smile?


. A3: Kiva looks at how much borrowers’ incomes have increased after loans & how they compare region wide


. A3: Kiva has 20+ Fellows in the field gathering stories and interviewing borrowers all the time 


A3. the introduction of social value act in UK is going to make have to get much better at demonstrating social value


 A3: Patient capital is key. Be prepared to accept repeated small losses; a single payoff often more than makes up.


A3: Martin Seligman’s PERMA equation might be part of the answer. 


Often see impact metrics fall to wayside as  chase funding (due to diff funder priorities) – need to educate funders 2.


A3. One thing we’ll have to let go of is the idea of common standards. We seek consistency but the world is dynamic & relative


Think we also need to demystify what  is – move away from warm&fuzzy & towards viable impact-driven biz 


 SocEnt is not Charity or NGO. The moment you decide to use “Ent” you decided on one metric: sustainability i.e. profits.


A3. We are entering into a big data phase of tech evolution. Organizing/analyzing data can help validate  initiatives.


A3. Being vision/mission driven sets the intention. Creating measuring tools, goals, deadlines puts in motion.  etc. help
 can totally use the lean startup. both to measure & support projects & ventures. small experiments, rapid prototype. 
Q3: Impact should not be oversimplified (ie # of people taken out of poverty), it should involve complex things like process 
A3 make IRIS metrics mean something tangible to funders. 


Q4. : White women, on average, earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar; black women earn 69 cents and Latinas earn 57 cents. 1/2
Q4. Given these stats, how can  be a powerful path with unique opportunities, access points and benefits for ? 2/2




Q4. Women are able to empower other women, take on leadership roles and prioritize issues they consider important as 


Q4. UK stats show 86% of socent leadership teams boast at least one female director vs. 59% in private sector 


A4 great essay last year on economic empowerment leading to social empowerment from grameenphone founder 


A4. It starts at the neighborhood level. We solve problems by first getting to know our neighbors and communities. 


A4: Young people should know they can be changemakers ANYWHERE – working at big consulting firms or running their own ventures 


Q4. Women statistically reinvest in their communities more than men allows them to contribute in new ways eg microcredit


. A4: When you help women make their own money you promote gender equality, later marriage, education + more


A4: Mentoring, support networks & building community for women have worked in some ways to stronger apps for our Fellowship.


A4 great essay last year on economic empowerment leading to social empowerment from grameenphone founder 


 A4: Be Bold. Collaborate. Innovate. See Solutions where other see problems.


Q5. Should governments and political leaders be responsible for helping to facilitate the growth of social entrepreneurship?


  A5. Not exclusively,but enabling a supportive ecosystem is a necessity. They play a key role in removing barriers.


A5: Governments & politicians need to realize that crowd funding for social enterprise is powerful & here to stay 


A5 Absolutely.  will not thrive with advocates from any one sector, region or class. Everyone has a role to play 


Q5: the  space is very new and needs to be nimble. Government/political intrusion could hurt the space. 

A5: Public sector innovation can mirror private/social sector innovation. Again, connecting all stakeholders… 


A5. Governments in developing countries would help  best by developing a favourable environment for all enterprises.


Q5: Entrepreneurship usually thrives during economic hard times. So screwing up the economy could be government’s contribution?


A5: Gov’t should demand accountability and ensure cost reimbursed by enterprises that create the poverty & pollution 


A5: Govt represents huge platform for $$$, resources & rules of the game. Having govt alligned is huge factor.  


A5. We are all responsible of making positive change in our communities 


Q6. What will the world look like 25 years from now, when social innovation is business as usual? Is that a realistic future?


A6: World I’d like to see in 25 years is… 1. Sustainable 2. Empathetic and 3. A global changemaking community 


A6   25 yrs=75% of world will know of socent. 100 yrs=socent will be obsolete. All biz will be social.


A6.The best way to predict the future is to create it, so let’s stop rearranging the chairs and get busy making new furniture!!


A6: We want a world where EVERY women is a Changemaker – it’s feasible if girls are given the resources to innovate 


A6: In 25 years, global governance will be much more citizen-led, diplomats will need new jobs 


 A6 our hope and one of our fave quote business will be about “sharing the market not market share”


A6. 3BottomLine accounting would be the norm in a  future. Normalised impact accounting practices doable in 25 years?


A6 We already have intrapreneurs taking us , in 25 years time I hope creating profit with purpose will be common place


A6: We want a world where EVERY women is a Changemaker – it’s feasible if girls are given the resources to innovate 
A6: In 25 yrs, there will be solar everywhere, gender equality will be the norm & credit will be accessible to 1B more 

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 4.59.09 PM


We are in the middle of StartUp Weekend for Social Good in San Francisco, hosted by Hub Ventures. The concept of Startup Weekend is to bring together budding entrepreneurial-minded coders, designers, business folks, marketers, media, and just about anyone to dedicate 54 hours (Friday pm through Sunday) to work on a startup idea.There is an emphasis on pitching ideas, forming teams, validating concepts through customer feedback, and building as much of a prototype as time allows.This StartUp Weekend has an extra layer of focus. It is being held to bring cultivate startup concepts that focus on social impact in addition to entrepreneurship.

Though we are just crossing the halfway point, the weekend has been exciting so far—it has been interesting to see the kinds of ideas that have cropped up and the unique effect adding an impact focus has added to business models.  Here are a few photos from the first night.

#swbay @hubbayarea social good (1)

Wes Selke, Founding Director of Hub Ventures, introduces his organization’s social enterprise accelerator program.

#swbay @hubbayarea social good (2)


StartupWeekend SF participants respond to questions from the speaker.
#swbay @hubbayarea social good (3)


A few areas in which social entrepreneurs create impact.
#swbay @hubbayarea social good (4)

Keynote Speaker Nick Ellis talks about his social enterprise, Job Rooster, which connects anyone, anytime, anywhere to local employment through text messages–addressing issues of access to job listings for non/low-tech job seekers.

#swbay @hubbayarea social good (6)


Startup Weekend organizer John Beadle explains the game plan for the weekend.


#swbay @hubbayarea social good (5)


After the speakers it was time to test our pitching skills with a pitch exercise.
#swbay @hubbayarea social good (7)
After individuals presented, attendees ‘shopped’ around for ideas they wanted to work on.
#swbay @hubbayarea social good (8)
Groups met and strategized how to begin building a startup in a weekend.
#swbay @hubbayarea social good (9)
Burning the midnight oil, groups stayed late to map out an approach to do well by doing good.
Mary Meeker talk for BASES 150k challengeOn Monday, December 3rd 2012, the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES)— a student organization promoting entrepreneurship, hosted a panel event open to the public.Co-Presidents Ruby Lee and Matt Goodyear kicked off the evening with an introduction to the BASES 150K Challenge which offers a total of $150K in three type of award competitions:

About the host, BASES

Stanford BASES Challenge competitions:

1. E-Challenge — teams compete to present the best business pitches for for-profit business models. Previous winners have included Courserank, LightBit, Ingenuity. A total of $50K is awarded to the winning teams.

2. Social E-Challenge — teams compete to present exceptional ideas that generate positive social impact in areas including health, education, economic development, and the environment. Prior winners include Kiva, One Acre Fund, Embrace.  $50K total is awarded to winning teams.

3. Product Showcase — teams compete to present the most compelling prototype ranging from mobile devices to hardware to medical devices.

*Note: Entries are due by January 25th 2012, and can be found here. All teams must have at least one Stanford connection (i.e. current student, alumnus, professor, etc.) to enter.


The Keynote : Mary Meeker

The main event of the evening was kicked off by the keynote speaker and Silicon Valley luminary, Mary Meeker. As General Partner of Kleiner Perkins her focus is to identify and support promising startups and to detect trends.  Her background in analysis paved the way to her current role She was named #43 on FORBES’ 2012 Midas List of VC royalty.

Meeker spoke about trends and shifts in the tech startup space. She reviewed the replacement of prior (and current) technologies with what is new and what’s ahead. Find her full slides here:


The Panel: Founders of Jawbone, Nest, and Gumroad

Following her keynote, Mary Meeker introduced the panel, founders of a few of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups. They were honest and candid with their responses and insight, emphasizing the importance of communicating effectively when things aren’t working out with an employee to the importance of seeking customer validation versus building what you believe audiences will love.
One of the memorable questions posed by Meeker was:
“What is the best advice you have received?”
entrepreneurship talk by Silicon Valley startup Founders

Hosain Raham, Founder & CEO of Jawbone (@hosain): “Think bigger.” Raham emphasized thinking about the biggest possibility. He said shooting for the stars may at least get you to the moon.

Matt Rogers, Founder & VP of Engineer at Nest (@nestmatt): Learn “how to talk about the ‘why’ behind your product.” Rogers emphasized showing ‘the why’ over ‘the what’ of a product. He suggested on being able to answer questions like why a product is a great for particular preferences.
Sahil Lavingia, Founder & CEO of Gumroad (@shl— “Think about what the product will look like in 10, 20, or 50 years.” A similar play on Raham’s advice of think bigger, Lavingia focused on visualizing a time frame for a startup. He noted that if you imagine staying at a company for 15 years, it will can change the way you think about your projects and will validate your attention to even the most minute details.