West Chester — The University of West Chester hosts the first Social Innovation Competition — an event that highlights entrepreneurs and their ideas for tackling social issues.

The face-to-face event will take place on Tuesday, November 16th, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the West Chester University Foundation on 202 Carter Drive in West Chester. Featuring presentations from five finalists in the West Chester University community, including undergraduate and graduate students, graduates, and faculty.


According to Patricia Diggin, director of the Cottrell Entrepreneurship Leadership Center at West Chester University, the Social Innovation Competition is not a typical business “marketing” competition.

“The idea is to address social issues. All submissions needed to be tied to UN goals,” she said.

Finalists present ideas related to achieving a solution to one of the 17 United Nations World Goals. Some of the goals listed on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals website Includes: poverty, hunger, education, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, climate change measures and decent work and economic growth.

Another important aspect of the event, according to Diggin, is the “strong” sponsored by the Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurship Leadership Center, West Chester University Citizen Engagement and Social Impact Center, and West Chester University Sustainability and Principles. It’s a collaboration. Responsible management education.

Mr. Diggin said the social entrepreneurial contest was her personal interest and what she wanted to do for several years. She told Media News Group in February that there was a need for social entrepreneurship, but that need is accelerating because of COVID.

“One of the reasons for holding this event is to get students, faculty and staff to think about social issues and how to deal with them. There are so many problems and there are many personal problems for university people.” She said, adding that she found that many students were interested in doing good things for their communities.

The final competition is open to the public and is a good time to hear what the problems are and how people are working on them, according to Diggin. The event is free, but registration is required.

The contest was attended by Westchester undergraduate and graduate students, Westchester graduates, and Westchester faculty and staff. According to Mr. Diggin, five finalists were selected from 65 applications.

The final project will include city planning and development, apps for dealing with mental illness, sustainable food markets, roast composting, and services to match virtual music lessons for music education students and junior and senior high school students.

The five finalists are:

• Compassionate App — Tom Elmer (WCU Adjunct Professor)

• Learning Music Services — Dr. Marci Major (WCU Faculty), Lauren Ryals (WCU Adjunct Professor), Spence Camacho (WCU Alumni), Adam Gumble

• Roasted Compost — Kylie Trunkle (WCU Faculty)

• Fisher General Store — Lorraine Fisher (WCU Faculty)

• All-in-one tactile urbanism platform — Alden Ritchey (WCU Faculty)

During this pilot year, Mr. Digin said the organizers kept participants in the WCU community and reached out beyond the university’s business colleges.

“We have a wide range of education. It’s a way to involve the entire community,” she said. In addition to business college presenters, other disciplines include music education, nutrition and urban development.

On November 16th, the finalists will present their ideas to the jury. The first contest will include a $ 5,000 prize and an opportunity for participants to hear their ideas from businessmen and potential investors.

The presentation will focus on explaining the product, service, or technology. What a product, service, or technology does and the problems it addresses. Features and benefits of a product, service, or technology.

Finalists also describe how their products, services, or technologies are unique, which communities they serve, and their marketing strategies.

In addition to the presentation, Saxby’s CEO Nick Bayer will speak. The event is hosted by Emily Yates Julioni, director of the Philadelphia smart city.

To be eligible for the Social Innovation Competition, the idea does not have to be commercialized and must be relevant to at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The target was a team of up to 4 people.

West Chester University Hosts Social Innovation Competition – the reporter online

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