We launched a series of impact challenges to identify the most inspiring projects which we support through our Gexsi platform. For the current Social Pitch we teamed up with SensAbility, Europe’s largest student-led impact summit.
Now live! – The Gexsi Social Pitch
Due to the Corona pandemic the SensAbility Impact Summit with its Gexsi Social Pitch could not take place earlier this year. 7 Social Startups would have presented their ideas on how to use entrepreneurial spirit and new social business models to tackle the 17 Global Goals.
Now we go digital. Starting today, we will present one innovative social impact project every day via our social media channels – a total of twelve. In addition to the jury, the online community also has a vote to cast their votes for their winning project. Vote for your favorite project ❤️
We’ll award the winning team with a prize money of 2.500 Euro. In addition, we’ll feature the project on our website and create content for our media partner. Find our more about the Impact Challenge here.
Starting from July 6th, Gexsi will present one innovative social project a day. The vote of the Online Community also counts to identify the winner.
The jury will reflect the following criteria:
- The projects should contribute as convincingly as possible to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- They should demonstrate new, think-out-of-the-box solutions and have a social business model which could make the project financially independent over time.
- Last not least it is important that we can make a difference with our means (prize money, visibility), e.g. because the project currently is in a critical development phase.
You like to take a deep dive into the assessment criteria? Here you find an example how we assess projects through our Gexsi scorecard.
The story behind the social pitch, and what comes next
We realized that while there exist numerous exciting mentoring programs in the impact sector, many social startups fail because they do not gain enough funding or visibility. Many investors or sponsors hesitate to support a project early-stage and rather wait until the concept is proven.
With Gexsi – the search engine for a better world – we can create both financial support as well as visibility. Our visibility increases with each user who opts in and makes Gexsi his or her default search engine.
In the past, we have always selected the beneficiary projects as a team. We have a clear set of criteria which we published on our website, we regularly screen the entire social impact sector for suitable projects and we evaluate the top-ranked projects with our own scorecard.
The contribution to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a key factor to identify suitable beneficiary projects.
A first Call to Action: The Gexsi Impact Challenge #1
Last fall we piloted a new scheme to identify suitable projects. We asked the impact community to suggest projects. The Gexsi Impact Challenge #1 was born. From fifteen convincing project proposals from the social entrepreneurship cosmos, we together with three external jurors (David Diallo, Good Impact Foundation, David Lais, Organization for Sustainable Consumption, and Oliver Kuschel, Impact Factory) selected the Duisburg-based start-up Health4Bees as the winning project and supported it with €2,500. Find out more about our winning project in our Gexsi magazine and our webseite.
Markus Bärmann (left) receives the Gexsi Impact Challenge #1 Award from Andreas Renner (right), Co-founder of Gexsi, in January 2020.
On the basis of this first Impact Challenge, we have further developed the concept. The main change: Starting with Challenge#2 – the Gexsi Social Pitch | SensAbility 2020 – we onboard strong partners from the impact sector who promote the respective challenge to a wider audience thus help us to track down even more good projects. This way, we jointly strengthen the impact sector.
We want to be the most attractive partner for social startups
There exist quite a few competitions for social entrepreneurs. However, we want to stand out from others in two ways:
First. We keep the administrative effort to a minimum. This is easier said than done sometimes. But with us it is true. Projects are nominated online via a simple one-pager. Because usually there is a lot of information about the individual projects on the net, which we can read about ourselves. We also ask for relevant references, such as advocates or an ongoing mentoring program. We think that time is better invested in talking to the relevant projects than reading long application forms. Most projects already suffer from having to prepare separate application documents or pitch decks for various foundations, investors or competitions.
«We would like to support good projects unbureaucratically. We therefore created the tools to support projects flexibly, whether through a donation, an investment or by joining an ongoing crowdfunding campaign» Andreas Renner, Co-Founder Gexsi
Second. We particularly support projects which combine an entrepreneurial logic with a social goal. Often, these social entrepreneurs find it hard to find someone to support their idea, particularly if it is still early stage. Most investors seek higher returns (Venture Capital) or lower risks (banks), while foundations or public grant programs in many countries do not apply if the project has an entrepreneurial set-up. We seek to fill this funding gap.
We are constantly looking for inspiring social entrepreneurship projects. Anyone who knows of one that fits our catalogue of criteria particularly well can let us know at any time. The easiest way is to use our online form. You can also fill out this form if you are not part of the project team yourself, but simply like to give us a hint about a great project you know.
We want to grow and increase our commitment every year. Our vision: With one million active users of our search engine, we could spend up to half a million euros each month to promote the impact sector. We are therefore planning to expand our range of partners to jointly run further Impact Challenges together.
We look forward to exchanging ideas with impact networks such as Ashoka, Enactus, NFTE, the Social Impact Labs, hubs and incubators and many other initiatives that share our vision: to make the impact sector strong as a central tool for achieving the 17 Global Goals. Through our foundation, we can also offer partners the opportunity to increase the prize money for individual challenges or to match the revenue earmarked for a project from our search engine. Let us strengthen the impact sector, one search at a time!
You have ideas, suggestions or criticism? Write us!
Andreas Renner, Co-Founder Gexsi: firstname.lastname@example.org
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