Waste Reclamation the
Theme at Seventh Annual SVPC Showcase
Waste not, want
At Seattle Pacific
University’s Seventh Annual Social Venture Plan Competition
(SVPC), most of this year’s winning ideas directly or indirectly
dealt with the reclamation of waste products for social benefit
and economic gain.
The Showcase event, the finale
of the annual SVPC, was held on the SPU campus Wednesday, April
top project was
chosen as the $2500 Grand Prize winner by the combined votes of
more than 75 judges representing the business, non-profit,
academic and professional community.
came in second, winning the $1500 Pioneer Award.
Over 600 students, faculty, staff and guests voted for their
favorite project of the afternoon and the People’s Choice award
of $500 was also given to
As stated in the team’s Executive
Summary the mission of
NIA Wheel “is to provide
mobility to all people regardless of physical handicap or
disability by providing a wheelchair, the NIA-Wheel, which is
powered by human brain-waves and that enables the user to move
about freely and independently.”
Taking Neurological Impulse Actuator (NIA) technology
that is currently being used in the gaming industry and
transferring it to the health care industry, a prototype
wheelchair was developed by senior SPU Engineering majors
Clarence Rieu, Eric Olmsted and others last autumn.
The engineers then connected with senior Business majors
Jessica Way and Aryn Schatz to develop the
NIA Wheel business
plan. Because seven
percent of spinal cord injuries in the US are related to
military service, the team proposed that, as the business
reached profitability, a number of their products be donated
each year to veterans through the Wounded Warrior project.
was the runner-up and winner of the
Pioneer Prize presented by Pioneer Human Services.
Mbo Tek plans to
install EcoSan toilets in rural areas of Uganda to hygienically
collect human waste.
The collected “humanure” is then added to other carbon
material and composted; after a number of months, the resulting
compost is sold to farmers as fertilizer.
The team believes that they can improve sanitation and
hygiene, increase crop yields for farmers and make a profit.
EcoSan toilets are currently being deployed by other
organizations to good effect in Haiti.
The Mbo Tek
team was comprised of senior Global Development Studies major
Lauren Cosgrove, junior Business Administration major Nathan
Burlingame, junior Electrical Engineering major Jacob Havens,
senior Business Administration major Jessica Mendoza and senior
Political Science major Kenneth Arap-Wasawas.
In addition to
the top two prizes, three honorable mention prizes of $1,000
each were awarded as well:
the theme of waste reclamation,
Happy Belly would take
organic waste from juicing (e.g. leftovers from local juice
bars) and convert it into healthy, organic dog treats.
was the work of Kerrie Carbary, Duschka Fowler-Dunning, Tauschia
Copeland and Tessa Levine-Sauerhoff, all MBA students from
Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle.
proposed an aquaponics farm in south
central Seattle that would employ refugees and reduce the
distance certain produce items travel to your door, especially
out of season.
Aquaponics is an emerging
technology that combines fish production and soil free vegetable
farming, using waste from the fish to fertilize the plants.
project was developed by junior Business Administration major
Kirby White, senior Electrical Engineering major Vy-Hoa Le,
junior Business Administration major Nicole Spitzer and junior
Engineering major Bryan Hildebrandt
another plan to convert unusable waste into a salable product.
The team proposes a business
that would pay local residents in Rwanda small fees to bring in
various types of waste products.
These products are then
converted into either burnable briquettes for home use or
full-size bricks for building construction.
Smart was the work of
Business Administration major James Gorman, Economics major
Sergio Mendoza, Accounting major Nick Hardy and Business
Management major Emily Stroud, all from Northwest Nazarene
University in Nampa, Idaho.
New this year
for the SVPC was a collaboration between School of Business and
Economics professors and School of Theology faculty designed to
integrate social venture planning projects into theology
Made possible by funds from
the Kern Family Foundation, this effort yielded five social
venture projects from students in Christian Theology and Global
and Urban Ministries classes.
Most of these teams were
Darren Siemens, a junior Business
Administration major who got involved with SVPC through his
Theology class, said “It was really fun even though we didn’t
win anything. [I’m] looking forward to next year already.”
This is the
seventh year of SPU’s Social Venture Plan Competition.
27 teams presented at the
Showcase event, comprised of over 120 students from four
different schools including Northwest Nazarene University,
Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Northwest University in
In addition to the 70+
community Judges, over 600 students, faculty and staff voted in
the People’s Choice balloting.
Round was the final leg of the Social Venture Plan Competition.
Earlier stages in the
competition included a series of seminars on the basics of
business planning, scoring of the teams’ written plans and
coaching sessions with knowledgeable businesspeople, community
leaders and other professionals about the student’s business
In all, more than
volunteers offered time as readers, instructors, coaches and
Ben Johns of REI, a returning SVPC
volunteer, said “What an energizing experience! [This is]
an inspiring program that is clearly impacting lives for the
better today, and well into the future as these emerging leaders
prepare to set off on their careers . . . I love looking into
the eyes of each person and feeling their passion and sense of
There is a lot of goodness
Showcase judge Robert Wuflestad of
Highland Private Wealth Management added “I am consistently
impressed with the quality of SPU students.”
backers of the Social Venture Plan Competition include founding
sponsors The Kathleen and Scott Cummins Foundation and The
Herbert B. Jones Foundation.
In addition, SPU gratefully
acknowledges the sponsorship of local social enterprises Pioneer
Human Services, Northwest Center and Miir.
The competition is managed by
the Center for Applied Learning in the School of Business and