Calling all social entrepreneurs: Seattle’s Social Venture Partners is gearing up for its 5th annual SVP Fast Pitch, and the application deadline is Friday, Aug. 8.
During its first four years, SVP Fast Pitch awarded more than $1.2 million in investments and grants to nonprofit and for-profit ventures. This year, the venture firm will award $250,000 in investments to for-profit ventures and $125,000 in grants to nonprofit ventures.
In 2014, Seattle-based Evrnu received an investment of $130,000 from SVP Fast Pitch competition, and CEO Stacy Flynn said the experience not only changed the way she pitched her business, but it led the first investment round that got Evrnu off the ground.
Evrnu has developed a garment-recycling technology that converts cotton garment waste into new textiles. It created its first fabric made completely of post-consumer garment waste in May.
“I realized that my business plan was really a business case that would be more applicable to an academic environment, (and) not an actual business,” Flynn said. “By going through the SVP Fast Pitch process I was able to really fine-tune the fact that Evrnu was a business and how we were going to reside in the world.”
Previous to her participation in SVP Fast Pitch, Flynn had participated in business-case competitions during her MBA program at Pinchot University. “My MBA case competition was very different, so I had to re-craft my pitch.”
The investment by SVP was the first investment Flynn received for Evrnu, and as part of a larger investment round, the money went to advance their technology, build a team, build out a work space, and start moving into the market.
“It definitely was a very nice strategic endorsement to allow other investors to invest with more confidence,” Flynn said.