The uVenture Social Challenge invited students from all walks of life at Georgia State University to participate in an event that would inspire them to learn not only how to build a business model but also how to inspire social change within their community. The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute teamed up with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and social entrepreneurship organization Star-C to host this business model-building competition.
Star-C is an organization of real estate owners and investors who have developed a model for low-income housing that offers affordable rent and after school programs, healthcare services and a community garden to support residents in maintaining stable lives. These support services improve the lives of resident families by filling gaps in education and healthcare that they typically can’t afford on their own.
The challenge to Georgia State University students was to build a business model for Star-C’s next apartment complex to make it attractive to potential investors, making the complex sustainable. The ROI is not typically high for programs like these. However, a strong social benefit will offset the typically low return for investors.
With a month to prepare, more than a dozen teams pitched their models to judges with their mentors cheering them on.
The first place team took home a grand prize of $2,500. This team consisted of master of public administration students John Gunnells and Anna Sexton, undergraduate real estate student Joshua Morton, and undergraduate managerial sciences student Oluwatosin Olagunju.
The first runner-up team pocketed a prize of $1,500, and consisted of students Samir Alyateem, actuarial science undergraduate; Michael Carter, instructional design and technology graduate student; and Nephthaly Leonidas, economics undergraduate.
by Jasmyne Moody