Villanova Social Impact Competition Announces A Winner

By Neanta Parnell

Inner Strength was chosen as the nonprofit of focus for Villanova’s very first Social Impact Competition (SIC). Lance Breitstein founded the competition as a result of his desire to help others. “The Impact Competition aims to solve local, real-world issues facing the wider off-campus community and provides the funding for the students to see their solution in action.” The Social Impact Competition is now held at 10 campuses across the United States.

Out of a group of nonprofit applicants, Villanova selected Inner Strength. The scope of our problem statement was sufficiently broad and challenging to inspire the best from their students. Nine teams of Villanova business school students worked under the supervision of their professor Alysha Meloche to develop a business innovation that could improve Inner Strength’s impact, either enhancing our reach, performance, community engagement, mobile app, instructor pool, or other possibilities. Amy met with team offering insight into the organization and analysis of the feasability of their early proposals. On April 20th, the students pitched their work in a “Shark Tank”-like format  to a panel of judges, which included the SIC founder, sponsor Jonathan Chester, Villanova professors, and Inner Strength leadership and board members. Energy was high and students were ready to wow us.

The focus of each presentation varied, yet all were amazingly professional, thorough and crafted with a palpable sense of care for Inner Strength-served communities. Deliberation lasted more than two hours. In the end we had such a hard time choosing between the excellent presentations, the judges chose two teams and agreed to split the purse money to implement both. One will implement a co-op program, bridging Villanova and the city schools with student leaders, the other will add some creative elements to our mobile app VIBE. Both much needed and well-thought out additions.

Breitstein and Edelstein announced the winners at a Villanova Pitch Day Award Reception, hosted by Dr. Ann Miller and The Villanova Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Over the next twelve months, the students and ISE team will apply $15,000 to  to implement the plans. We look forward to sharing the results with you!

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