San Diego CA— A panel of three judges from the San Diego business and philanthropic communities have officially named Wesley House Student Residence the winner of Mission Edge’s Social Enterprise Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL) Final Pitch Event on May 16th. Throughout the evening hosted at The Honor Foundation, four finalists pitched their social enterprise models to a live audience of over 120 people including community members, entrepreneurs, investors, donors and panel of expert judges.
Finalists in the SAIL Final Pitch Event included Clean Car 360, Passion Purpose Academy, Rise Up Industries, and Wesley House Student Residence. Out of a cohort of nine, these four social enterprises were selected to move on from the semi-final pitch event that was held at Mitchell International on May 1st. As the stakes increased, finalists prepared for a 10 minute pitch and Q&A that highlighted their social impact model, revenue generating capability, and need for funding.
At the end of the night, Wesley House Student Residence was declared the winner and received a cash prize as well as additional consulting services from Mission Edge. Wesley House is a nonprofit organization existing to provide safe and affordable housing and support services for qualifying students at San Diego State University. Targeting low-income and first generation college students, the organization assists and mentors students to overcome the odds, graduate, and live out their potential.
“The SAIL program was incredibly valuable in providing resources to guide us in creating and executing a social impact model for Wesley House” says Nicole Marquel, Development Director at Wesley House Student Residence. “In working with our mentor, Jeff Symington, the presenters, and the Mission Edge team we were able to truly accelerate our growth by crafting a clear and targeted pitch that we will use to expand our partnerships and disrupt the student housing space.”
This is the third cohort of Mission Edge’s SAIL program, which empowers nonprofit organizations and mission-driven businesses to develop sustainable business models based on earned revenue. SAIL provides a rich curriculum with workshops, lectures and mentorships that help social entrepreneurs build, test, and launch their ideas. During the 12-week accelerator leading up to this event, nine participating organizations completed five modules of curriculum, covering topics ranging from business model validation to customer persona identification, in preparation to launch and/or scale their social enterprises. Participants in the program worked closely with hand-picked mentors, subject matter experts, and Mission Edge’s advisory services to propel their social enterprise businesses forward.
Recently, Mission Edge launched City SAIL, a social impact accelerator in partnership with the City of San Diego that is aimed at increasing economic and workforce development. The City SAIL cohort consists of 10 mission-driven organizations operating within San Diego city limits. Because this accelerator will take similar form to the original SAIL, a final pitch event is scheduled to take place on July 16th.