Social Innovation Accelerator
With a world threated by the effects of climate change and rising inequalities, we are in the middle of an era where we are seeing the growth of social entrepreneurship – both in the upsurge of new ventures and within corporations as they seek to respond to demand from their consumers and the public toward a focus not solely on profit, but on a “triple bottom line” – an equivalent focus on people and the planet.
This course is for students that want to learn how to take ideas that respond to societal needs and frame it within a sustainable business structure. Ideas may be for new social ventures or innovations within existing institutions and corporations.
The students will form teams around a few select ideas sourced from the class and take it through a model “accelerator” program curriculum. Accelerators are “fixed-term cohort-based programs that include seed investment, mentorship,” a curriculum that aims to fast forward business planning and strategy and culminate in a what is typically called “demo day” – an opportunity for participating teams to present to potential investors. The course works best with a diverse group of students from different disciplines and skill sets.
This course will utilize online resources as well as readings culled from leading resources on lean business planning. It is an applied learning course and will require working practical knowledge of basic financial statements. At the end of the course, students will be able to take an idea through a model accelerator curriculum – from establishing a mission, vision, theories of change and impact pathways to market and competitive analysis, identifying target markets, customer acquisition, basic financial modeling to crafting the pitch deck. Students will be able to understand a basic structure to business modeling that they can use to form the basic guiding foundations to future new ventures – as startups or as innovations within corporations.
NOTE: This course is 6 units, but will extend the entire semester (meeting 1x per week).