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, online voter guide BallotReady, edtech venture, and access to justice company Period.

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.

2023 Winner

Congratulations to Period, winner of the 2023 John Edwardson ‘72 Social New Venture Challenge. Period is a subscription based digital platform, paid for by attorneys and advocates, that gives incarcerated people free access to legal assistance and advocacy by matching them with attorneys who can review cases for innocence and post-conviction claims, and with influential advocates who can lead public campaigns.

The team took home first place and $125,000 in venture funding at the 2023 SNVC Finals.

Since 2011, the SNVC has helped jump-start more than 150 startups that have gone on to raise more than $170 million.

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