Winners of the eighth annual YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC) and $164,000 in awards were announced April 10.

Winning teams represented community and WUSTL social entrepreneurs. Their social venture ideas ranged widely, covering youth, teens, homeless and collaboration among all types of social enterprises.

“This year’s social entrepreneurs came up with lots of ideas and concepts that were new and fresh for St. Louis,” says Ken Harrington, director of the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University.

“All the finalists will have high impact on our community as they move forward,” he says. “We are particularly excited about how past and current competitors are collaborating to build a community culture supporting social entrepreneurship. These are exciting times in St. Louis.”

Harrington announced the following awards, selected from a pool of seven finalists:

  • The YouthBridge Community Foundation award of $35,000 to Independent Youth , a non-profit organization that educates teens on entrepreneurship by offering unique programs and resources.
  • Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis award of $30,000 and the Regional Arts Commission award of $30,000 to Circus Harmony Flying Trapeze Center , where men, women and children will be able to increase confidence and life skills using circus performance experiences.
  • The Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis award of $25,000 to ArchCity Defenders, Inc. , a non-profit law firm that works with numerous social services organizations to provide comprehensive criminal and civic legal services for homeless and disadvantaged populations.
  • The Skandalaris Award of $25,000 to GoodMap , an easy-to-use website where social agencies can collaborate to achieve greater impact including helping people find, organize and share information about community resources.
  • In addition, awards were given for the best score for measuring social value and best venture supported by students.

St. Louis law firm and Skandalaris sponsor Polsinelli Shughart PC will provide up to three $3,000 prizes of in-kind legal services to teams in this year’s competition.

The YouthBridge SEIC was started in 2005 as a partnership between the Skandalaris Center and the YouthBridge Community Foundation. Since its inception, the competition has awarded more than $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes to 36 social ventures, including an annual $5,000 student prize. More than 85 percent of ventures that have won awards still are operating.

The YouthBridge Community Foundation partners with donors to help charities, especially those focused on children, become financially sound through leadership, grants and donors services.

The Skandalaris Center is a cross-campus and community-wide initiative serving students in all schools and degree programs at the university and the St. Louis region. Sponsors of the Skandalaris Center include RubinBrown LLP, Polinellie Shugart PC, the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, , Polsinelli Shughart PC and Lopata Flegel Company LLP.

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