Welcome to GSVC Matchmaker

This blog has been created by GSVC to facilitate matchmaking among entrepreneurs with business plans and potential entrants. Business students looking for ventures and ventures looking for business school students are encouraged to share opportunities and interests here!

For ventures seeking student talent:

Please send a short description of your venture, including stage, sector, geographic location, specific project you need student help with, and contact information to gsvc [at] haas.berkeley.edu. Please keep your business background and description to 1-2 paragraphs, and your summary of desired talent characteristics to 1 paragraph or several bullets. Please also include your location, contact information, and preferred method of contact.

All of this information will be posted by GSVC as an Entry on this site.

For students seeking a venture:

Please browse the ventures posted here and contact them either by posting a comment to the appropriate venture, or by contacting them directly.

If you have any questions about GSVC's entrant requirements, please consult the GSVC website: www.gsvc.org.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Global Citizen Year

Are you concerned that young Americans are not adequately prepared for the roles and responsibilities of Global Citizenship? Does it bother you that so few Americans have opportunities to experience what life is like for people living in extreme poverty? Do you believe it's time to provide alternatives to the Peace Corps?

I am currently in my second year at Harvard Business School where I am designing a new model for ensuring that many more – and more diverse -- young Americans to have transformative experiences with global poverty and development at a younger age. Specifically, I am working on a concept for institutionalizing a Global Citizen Year -- a program which would engage young people as apprentices with community development organization in Asia, Latin America and Africa during a gap year between high school and college. Ultimately, I envision a national program with the ethos of City Year, the impact of Teach For America, and the reach of the Peace Corps, but for a younger set of participants.

I am actively seeking partners for the business plan competitions and beyond. I am based in Cambridge, MA with plans to begin building the organization in the Bay Area beginning June 2008.
If you're interested in learning more, please contact Abby Falik (afalik at gmail.com)

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Maatiam (formerly FreePledge) is a young for-profit social venture that aims to become the leading social retail channel that enables consumers to support their causes while shopping online.

Maatiam has developed solutions that bring together socially conscious consumers, socially responsible corporations, online retailers, and nonprofit organizations. Maatiam has created a win-win-win-win situation by introducing consumption based philanthropy to the average online consumers.

Graduate Student Role:
We are seeking a graduate student to work with the funding team to develop a business plan to address our target strategic partners in the retail space (market analysis including industry trends, competition, market size, barriers to entry; business model; value proposition).

Contact information:
Caroline Bernadi
650 283 7265

Agricola International



According to the revised poverty reduction strategy paper of 2006, 57% of Senegal’s 11.3 million inhabitants is poor and lives off less than U$1 per day. Women and youths below 30 constitute 80% of the population and 90% of the impoverished and income strapped segment. Of these, more than 3 million intelligent, and ambitious able-bodied youths are struggling to find jobs and business opportunities but are constrained by the lack of opportunity.


Agricola International positions itself as a land developer, a leasing company, an investment broker, a franchisor, a savings and loans provider and a marketing service provider. We franchise agricultural condominiums to enable poor youths to own highly productive business enterprises on a pay-as-you-earn basis. We use marketing and branding to create the term Esperanto as our trademark, which describes a new generation of dynamic young change makers and social activists groomed to stimulate Africa’s Green Revolution and to fulfill the millennium promise on the African continent by:

- Converting small owner-managed agricultural production systems into mega industries composed of a critical mass of youth entrepreneurs motivated to pool together their resources, talents and energies for profitable production designed to maximize returns per unit of irrigated space to competitive levels with other natural resources like, phosphate and gold currently mined in Senegal.

We strive to keep several windows simultaneously open on a promising future by inventing the (B.F.O.T) Build, Franchise, Operate and Transfer system with emphasis on:

  • Build and develop land and turnkey business opportunities to produce high value crops for local markets, import substitution and exports.
  • Franchise through training and coaching to establish profitable life-long joint venture partnerships with bank-unworthy poor.
  • Operate and manage systems that transform and empower the poor
  • Transfer infrastructural and technological packages to those who show readiness, diligence and willingness to consolidate success.


Are you a graduate student with an interest in Africa?

Are you proficient in computer-modeling production and supply chain systems?

Do you have the acumen to play a key role in developing foreign markets for exporting high quality ordinary and organic products?

Are you determined to model your career path from volunteer to CEO in 5 years.


If you think the above profile describes you, send a ONE PAGE letter of interest to Francis Nuwame (Director)- francagricola@yahoo.fr


Maatiam (formerly FreePledge) is a young for-profit social venture that aims to become the leading social retail channel that enables consumers to support their causes while shopping online.

Maatiam has developed solutions that bring together socially conscious consumers, socially responsible corporations, online retailers, and nonprofit organizations. Maatiam has created a win-win-win-win situation by introducing consumption based philanthropy to the average online consumers.

Graduate Student Role:
We are seeking a graduate student to work with the funding team to develop a business plan to address our target strategic partners in the retail space (market analysis including industry trends, competition, market size, barriers to entry; business model; value proposition).

Contact information:
Caroline Bernadi
650 283 7265

MOMS Incorporated

Thriving Moms. Thriving Communities. Thriving Economy

MOMS Incorporated is social venture committed to providing high quality services and products while following a unique and innovative family-friendly business model. MOMS Incorporated will provide outsourcing services and specialty products by utilizing the skills, talents and expertise of stay-home moms or working moms who wish to spend more time caring for their small children.

MOMS Incorporated business strategy embodies two key elements:

1. Family-friendly business model:
  • The unique and innovative family-friendly business model will be the first of its kind in the Bay Area.
  • Apprenticeship opportunities will effectively increase wide-area workforce productivity and career development among employees.
  • The family-friendly policies will increase productivity by decreasing turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, low morale and illnesses.
  • Opportunities will be available for moms to learn how to develop a business and will help moms attain the skills to grow as entrepreneurs.
2. Services and products:
  • Outsourcing services will vary in order to accommodate business and market needs.
  • High quality products will be produced according to business and market needs.
  • Only services and products of the highest quality will be offered and they will be delivered to customers with a “personal touch”.
Strategic Objectives
  • To provide high quality services and products to meet the changing needs of local individuals, small businesses, nonprofit and public organizations and corporations.
  • To promote and create business networks of local moms with similar skills, interest and expertise.
  • To promote and increase quality family time.
  • To create and foster business partnerships among communities and increase awareness of importance of family-friendly business models.
  • To strengthen local economies by supporting the economic needs of local families and the business community.
Business Needs:
We are interested in finding a graduate student who can help us further develop our current business plan. In particular, we are looking for a student who has or would like to acquire more experience in developing a solid marketing, operational, management and organizational plan. It would be helpful for the graduate student to understand the current economic status of young families with small children in California. The student will be working with a group of moms who have a great vision but lack the skills to develop a sustainable social entrepreneurship. The family-friendly business model that MOMS Incorporated is hoping to create will be the first of its kind in California.

MOMS Incorporated
Making Entrepreneurial Connections for Moms
(510) 917-0181
(707) 299-0856 fax
Email: normalisenko@comcast.net

Monday, November 26, 2007


Social Pain
Government and non-profit disaster preparedness initiatives have failed. By the Red Cross’ own statistics, only 6% of Bay Area families are prepared for a disaster. Aside from lacking a compelling product, the major reason these groups have failed is that they market from the top down. They post billboards on the side of the freeway and blanket the airwaves with commercials, but people don’t listen.

The Solution
LReady solves this problem by approaching preparedness from the bottom up and leveraging the power schools and families have over parents. In the same way students spearheaded antismoking efforts after learning about the harmful effects of cigarettes in school, LReady will educate students about disaster preparedness so they can get their parents to take action at home.

LReady does this by providing schools with the tools they need to get prepared internally and educate their students about emergency safety. For example, LReady provides schools with curriculum materials that culminate in a homework assignment to build a disaster plan at home with the web-based LReady platform. The LReady website provides its users with the tools they need to quickly build disaster plans, buy the proper emergency supplies, and stay connected with a multi-channel messaging system during a actual emergencies.

To see exactly how this works, please visit our product demo at www.lready.com/schools.

What We Need
We are looking for a graduate student who wants to lead the development of our GSVC business plan entry and perhaps have an ongoing role in the company. We need specific help with sales, strategy, and software development.
We will provide all student team members with a modest stock options package. If you happen to be a programmer with experience in Flash, Flex, or ActionScript, we can send some cash your way too.

The Company
LReady is a for-profit corporation. The beta version of the non-messaging planning system will be launching in January. Schools are signed up for the pilot launch, and the company is revenue generating through its brick and mortar channels.


Chris Hulls, chris@lready.com, (415) 462-0002 x706.


We're building a community website for avid book readers.

This can be a highly profitable venture by monetizing a mature, educated and affluent audience and by enabling authors, small publishers and independent booksellers to connect with communities of dedicated and intellectually engaged readers.

It can also have positive social impact by resisting the homogenization of culture and promoting literacy, especially among the younger population, by adding a social dimension to books.

We're looking for a current graduate business student or recent grad to contribute to our social and marketing strategy and help us win the Global Social Venture Plan Competition.


Those interested please contact florianpestoni at hotmail dot com.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Market for Change

Vision and Scope

Millions graduate from sub-Saharan Africa's tertiary institutions each year and face unemployment rates of over 60%. Educated young people have two options: either stay in their home countries and face unemployment, or go overseas and contribute to the "brain drain."

Outsourcing customer support and back office functions has provided over a million jobs in India, China and the Philippines. We believe the same thing can happen in Africa, if two major hurdles are addressed: negative perceptions of the continent (fueled by a belief that all countries and locations carry the same risks) and of outsourcing in general, and structural problems with current business models for brokering outsourcing deals to Africa.

Market for Change aims to tackle these challenges by:

1.Developing a global set of quality and fair trade/social impact ("Responsible Outsourcing") standards designed for small and medium-sized companies in developing countries

2.Creating a web-based brokerage and escrow service that screens vendors according to these standards and acts as a legal and financial intermediary between US clients and African firms

3.Showcasing social impact with a custom-built wiki for content generated by students and workers in the industry

Opportunities for Graduate Students

We are looking for students for a range of roles. Most critically, MfC needs help developing a marketing plan to pitch outsourcing services to non-profits and socially-responsible businesses in the US. We are also looking for help with our financial plan and revenue model (based on commissions from the brokerage service).

Contact Information

Leila Chirayath
Market for Change | www.marketforchange.org
mobile: +1 917 856 9933
skype: leila.chirayath

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


People and technology making language learning come alive

InterLangua provides ‘foreign’ language tutors from developing countries to U.S. universities, corporations and individuals. The tutors live in their own countries and work over Internet using a high quality, low bandwidth video conference. Currently Spanish language tutors from Guatemala work with U.S. students at Yale, Duke, Marist College and Nextel, among others. InterLangua-Chinese will launch from Shenzhen, P.R. China in January 2008, the only wholly foreign-owned company located in a Chinese government sponsored business incubator..

InterLangua is committed to training knowledge workers in emerging economies. Our tutors provide U.S. clients with one-to-one tutorials in their native language. The student logs on to their language tutorial from the convenience of their laptop or desktop. Tutor and student see each other with full-motion video, and hear and speak synchronously. These one-on-one sessions, based solely on the curriculum needs of the student, allow for maximum language speaking fluency and convenience. The tutors also learn how to use an advanced set of technologies and to develop collaborative teaching methods. By moving their language tutoring skills from isolated locations to the U.S., tutors earn substantially more than they otherwise would.

InterLangua seeks assistance to resolve issues pertaining to scaling an entrepreneurial, transnational service business. Some of the business skills we seek include the following:
  • Analysis of current consolidated business plan
  • Prepare current business financial model for venture financing
  • Synthesize marketing and coordinate sales strategies in new market segments
  • Provide cross-cultural training and team development systems

Explore our website at www.interlangua.com to understand our exciting services. Please note: the InterLangua-Chinese website will launch in two months so all available tutorial services are currently for Spanish.

InterLangua contact information:
Elisabeth Montgomery, Ph.D. – General Regional Manager/Pacific Rim
Office: Emeryville, CA Contact: 510-301-2104

Kid Scoop

Kid Scoop is a newspaper feature published in more than 400 newspapers in the United States, Thailand, Uganda, Canada, and Korea. The page’s weekly circulation is 7.5 million.

As a company, Kid Scoop addresses two key issues: youth disenfranchisement and the state of journalism.

Research and educational experts agree that disenfranchisement, a lack of connection to school and community, and low academic skills lead to problems that diminish human potential creating serious social problems.

Kid Scoop’s program provides community newspapers with proven tools and structures to improve literacy rates and provide children a way to connect with their community.

Kid Scoop’s potential for integrating its proven and easily replicated educational program into the structures of thousands of community newspaper business models worldwide opens a door for global communication and understanding on a weekly, even daily basis.

The goal of the Kid Scoop Foundation is to develop funding for outreach and educational programs that support community newspapers in setting up partnerships with schools to forward literacy and civic participation.

A graduate student would assist in the development of a strategic plan, identify potential funders and partners and develop proposals for these potential funders and partners. We are particularily interested in a student with knowledge of the web and how we can expand training and programming to small newspapers around the world in a cost-effective way using the internet.

Vicki Whiting
President and Founder
Kid Scoop
(707) 996-6077
181 Andrieux Suite 200
Sonoma, CA 95476

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Catalog Choice

Catalog Choice - a national direct mail opt-out site. The site currently focuses on catalogs but can easily be expanded to other forms of mail. The service is free to consumers. There is a companion service that we are offering to Merchants whereby we provide them with the list of opt-out requests in machine readable form. The service is provided by Catalog Choice, a project of the Ecology Center; National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). You can visit the site at www.catalogchoice.og. Our merchant service is profiled at www.catalogchoice.org/merchant. The site launched on October 9, 2007. Within four weeks, we have 100,000 registered users opting out of over 750,000 catalog titles.

Chuck Teller
Executive Director
Catalog Choice at chuck@catalogchoice.org

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Consume Alert

Consume Alert is a FOR-Profit start-up with a social mission. Through a suite of web-based applications and services, Consume Alert will protect consumers from unknowingly purchasing or retaining recalled and otherwise hazardous products, vastly reducing the 27,100 deaths and 33.1 million injuries related to consumer products that occur each year in the US alone. Consume Alert is currently being developed by a team grad students, with input from several faculty advisors, from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and School of Information (formerly SIMS).

Our greatest need for the founding team is for web-developers, especially those with skills in MySQL, PHP and XML.

There are also several other areas in which students could get involved for class projects and b-plan teams:

- Web Design
- Market research
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Issues related to IP and the Web
- Financial modeling and analysis
- Social impact analysis

In addition to the GSVC, we will be entering the Berkeley B-plan competion, and potentially other business plan competitions. We are also scheduled to present to VCs in December. Any student working on the b-plan or otherwise involved with the project will have the opportunity to participate in these events.

Jennifer P. Toney
MBA Candidate, 2008
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley

Investment Tool

I would like to develop an online investment tool to help independent investors invest in SRI funds and responsible companies.

While working at KLD Research and Analytics (a socially responsible investment research firm), I became aware of the lack of SRI tools for independent investors. Most SRI funds and research outfits work primarily or exclusively with institutional investors and large public pension funds. There is a lack of awareness among independent investors about SRI funds, opportunities to invest in more environmentally/socially responsible companies, and information about the ROI on those SRI opportunities. As a result, individual investors who might be interested in SRI must do their own SRI research (which makes them absorb an opportunity cost for that time). It also forces investors to locate and pay for an advisor that specializes in this, which raises fees and may not deliver a return that matches the fees.

My idea is to create some type of online tool to help independent investors invest in SRI funds and companies with positive social/environmental performance. It would kind be an SRI version of Ameritrade or E*Trade on which investors can learn about and invest in a variety of SRI funds or make single trades based on companies’ social and financial performance. My theory is that if you can make SRI more accessible to independent investors and demonstrate that returns can be decent, you can tap into a large market of socially-minded independent investors and small social ventures who like the idea of SRI but have limited means and time to find a money manager knowledgeable about SRI strategy. My goal is for the holdings to be quite liquid so that lower-net-worth investors (i.e. younger people) have an incentive to save and invest their money but still be able to “withdraw” it easily. The tool should focus on ease of use, point-of-investment information about social responsibility, and quality of investment opportunities.

Ways that others can help/get involved in launching this business plan:
  • Web-development and software engineering
  • Research – researching ROI of SRI funds; developing and executing framework to select socially responsible companies
  • Marketing – assessing market for individual investment in SRI
  • Product development
  • Business plan development
  • Development of SROI (social impact assessment)
Megha Doshi | MBA Candidate 2009 | UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
1.224.875.2368 (mobile) | megha_doshi@mba.berkeley.edu