John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)

John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)


The John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) is run by the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at Chicago Booth in partnership with the Polsky Center. It is the cornerstone of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Chicago, which has helped businesses and nonprofits like solar-powered light company LuminAID, African tractor-leasing company Hello Tractor, and online voter guide BallotReady.

SNVC teams can be for-profit or nonprofit organizations, but must present a business model with a social mission at the core as well as a plausible plan for financial sustainability—either through earned income, philanthropy, government aid, or some combination thereof.

The final SNVC application deadline is January 25, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. CT (no exceptions). However, we strongly encourage teams to submit an early application to receive initial feedback on your venture, and potentially early acceptance into the SNVC program. Completion of this early application will allow you to access the appropriate resources from the Rustandy Center early in the academic year, and will only help your chances of being accepted. 

To fill out the early application, click here.

Learn more and apply here. >> Please submit early applications by Wednesday, November 23, 2023 for guaranteed feedback in advance of the final application deadline.


2021 Winner

Congratulations to SAEF Legal Aid (Support, Advocacy, Education for Families), winner of the 2021 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge. SAEF Legal Aid is a justice-tech nonprofit building tools and services to help low-income parents and families access free and affordable legal solutions. The team took home first place and $75,000 in venture funding at the 2021 virtual SNVC finals.

Since 2011, the SNVC has helped jump-start more than 100 startups that have gone on to raise more than $38 million.

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