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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Living Cultural Storybases

Skilled Volunteers for an
Exciting and Challenging Initiative on Cultural Diversity

The cultural and linguistic diversity of our planet is fast disappearing into an urban monoculture.
Living Cultural Storybases’ (LCS) is an ambitious new global initiative to nurture the oral heritage of minority cultures in the digital world. Two approaches are balanced: respectful engagement of endangered or indigenous communities and novel mobile digital technologies. Our aim is an appropriate solution to celebrate and share traditional stories and songs, reconnecting the generations in a dialogue around self-empowering narratives. See http://www.storybases.org

LCS is incorporated in California with a Board of four uniquely-experienced leaders, founders of previous successful community informatics initiatives and has joined the Community Development Institute’s non-profit incubator in East Palo Alto so has 501c(3) status. First approaches are being made to major world foundations for funding plans for our first engagements with desert nomads in Mali and highland peoples in Peru. LCS is fortunate to be guided by an eminent panel of Advisors, including Unesco’s Intangible Heritage section in Paris, who are enthusiastic about our mission and potential impact.

We are recruiting volunteers in the Bay Area for cultural research, software prototypes, promotional and development activities, linking incubation with teams in the field. The ideal candidates would be passionate about our mission, self-organising, methodical and eager for this unique opportunity to learn from diverse cultures around the world. Specifically we seek:

  • Computer Science skills for early architectural designs of private ‘virtual cultural networks’ and the software prototyping of interactive audio-based systems and databases
  • Project Communication and Fund Raising skills to help in sponsor diligence and the writing of eloquent, persuasive and accurate grant proposals
  • Website Design skills to extend a multilingual website, both for external communications and as a project tool.
  • Cultural Research and Impact Evaluation skills both to guide our understanding of minority cultures and to define proxies for evaluating LCS impact on the strength of oral heritage, cultural cohesion and identity
  • Business skills to lay the foundations of an economic sustainability plan based on the value of cultural diversity, the human creativity it sparks and respectful trade in intangible or tangible cultural goods, ie cultural return on investment (CROI) as well as SROI.

For further information, please contact coordinator@storybases.org with a CV.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Paul Rankin, President LCS Inc., UK

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mannar Inc. Designs for Education

Mannar Inc's Vision

Mannar Inc. has been formed by a graduate of Stanford University's Learning, Design, and Technology program, to develop customizable digital content for K-12 classrooms (interactive Learning Pages, or iLPs). Mannar Inc. was started with the vision that the days of heavy book-laden backpacks will soon be a thing of the past and electronic medium with powerful multimedia-enriched learning content will soon replace textbooks. The move towards digital content is well under way with both big publishers augmenting their textbooks with some kind of digital content and smaller companies cropping up to fill in the gaps.

So, what is Mannar Inc. trying to do that would make its product different?

Mannar Inc aims to develop content that is shaped by current research in Education and Educational technology and not just to digitize existing content with a sprinkling of multimedia.

Mannar Inc's product is modular - each iLP addresses a particular content standard in its entirety (including activity, content, assessment, etc). Teachers wanting a single lesson can get a single lesson without having to subscribe to the entire program or committing to a full textbook (for example buying a song from iTunes instead of an album!)

Mannar Inc. has a component-based approach to the content. This would enable teachers to go to our website and design their own lessons from many different available components to suit their style (activity-based approach, inquiry-based approach, etc).

Mannar Inc's Business Model

Mannar Inc. aims to create a business model that makes use of both an underutilized and under-served work force – stay-at-home parents. The founder of Mannar Inc. who herself was once a stay-at-home parent has been told by many highly educated and motivated parents that they would welcome an opportunity to use their education and talents without having to commit or commute to a full-time job. Because of its component-based approach to developing content, Mannar Inc. is well placed to offer such an opportunity to qualified individuals. Mannar will build a network of such individuals giving them an opportunity to work in their fields of expertise while providing opportunities for training in new fields.

As the founder of Mannar Inc., I would like to invite individuals with a passion to improve education to come and join my team. I would like to partner with passionate individuals in writing a comprehensive business plan, and creating a successful business model. As an early stage start-up, opportunities abound for continued collaboration and compensation.

Please email vidyar1@gmail.com for more information

This venture is based in Fremont, CA

School Leaders Network

The Venture:

The mission of the School Leaders Network is to advance student learning by enabling first-rate knowledge sharing and collaboration among school leaders. Today, school leaders – “the CEOs of their schools” – remain largely isolated. There are no systems to help them network with each other or collaborate on-the-job effectively, and hence they spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. As a result, there is low crosspollination of knowledge and resources as well as reduced innovation, which impair student learning. At School Leaders Network we believe that school leaders are the most influential individuals in their schools and have the ability to realize high quality teaching and learning. By enabling knowledge sharing and collaboration for principals and assistant principals, we seek to significantly increase the intellectual and capital resources available to school leaders, and thereby improve schools. We seek to build a specialized online forum with innovative technology and facilitation which assumes that the membership base is not like-minded, but diverse, and that advanced relevance engine and routing technologies is needed to make this work for school leaders.

We believe that the facilitation of knowledge sharing and collaboration among school leaders is an opportunity to make a high-leverage investment in education reform. By using technology, community expertise and the power of the network, we seek to make a meaningful impact on all schools with a small relative investment. We expect that crosspollination of knowledge and innovation will have a meaningful effect on how students learn. At School Leaders Network we have high expectations not only for students but also for adults, including ourselves and the leaders of our schools. We believe that school leaders can make a big difference, and that we can help them do so.

Status and Needs:

A group of 4 Stanford MBAs/MA in Education students have been working on this project since January, and we would love to partner with Berkeley or other students to expand and strengthen our team. Our plan includes raising funding for the project before the summer and continuing the startup upon graduation to make our vision a reality. There are lots of areas that additional team members could help us with, so we are flexible and can accommodate interests. Some areas that we need help with include: (1) helping take the business plan (which is work-in-process) to the next level, (2) conducting market/customer research to get feedback from principals on what they'd find most helpful, (3) finding people who can create a prototype of the product and get school principals to serve as alpha users and give us feedback, (4) working on the design of the full product and put together a product roadmap, development plan and budget, (5) putting together a financial model, (6) reaching out to partners (principal networks and content partners) to help grow the partnership base...

Those interested please contact:

Eduardo Briceño

Co-Founder, School Leaders Network

MBA & M.A. in Ed. Candidate, 2007 | Stanford University

(650) 219-8827



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Build the Growth Plan for a $200B Senior Housing Market

The Challenge: Build (GSVC) business plan for the $200 Billion Senior Housing Market

The HealthVentures Project: 35 million senior citizens today will double within two decades. HealthVentures is seeking a collaborative team to help develop a unique product for this market with a compelling customer acquisition and marketing approach, and the accompanying financial projections. This is a probable GSVC business-plan entry.

Project Leader: R. Paul Herman, Founder/CEO of HIPinvestor.com; former McKinsey and Company management consultant; former director of strategy for eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's investment company; former Chief Development Officer for Ashoka.org; entrepreneur of financial services company delivering both profit and human impact.

Project Scope:
Review the market sizing and segmentation, and customer surveys to date
* Refine the product features and service offerings for this $200 Bil market
* Build a unique customer acquisition and marketing plan
* Document the operational requirements
* Translate the projections into financial statements
* Participate in the GSVC business-plan competition

Your Role: Build and collaborate with the founder on the business and product design and planning. Collaborate with peers, potential customers, business partners and industry experts to develop a compelling product and service offering. Help launch the company into this huge market.

Time Commitment: About 5-7 hours per week for meetings with founder, independent research, team collaboration and plan construction.

Benefit to You
: Launch exciting startup entering large market. Collaborate with serial entrepreneur. Blend business and social worlds. Potential for consulting or employment post-launch. Probable GSVC business-plan entry. Possible class credit.

Join or learn more at:
415 902 7741

Bashan Hills Kosher Organic Meat Company, Berkeley, CA

Bashan Hills Kosher Organic Meat Company seeks to bring kosher, organic and/or natural beef (and potentially lamb) to the national market. Bashan Hills will partner with smaller-scale ranchers who are guided by sustainable farming practices and who treat their animals humanely and responsibly. Animals will be slaughtered according to Jewish Law (under Orthodox supervision) in facilities that ensure the highest degree of animal welfare. At present, no such product exists for kosher consumers. The kosher market is a fast-growing niche comprised of Jews, Muslims, and many other consumer populations.

I intend to partner with a larger producer whose infrastructure, marketing, and distribution channels are already established. Bashan Hills would then be a specialty brand, with its own kosher production line, within this already existing operation. Ultimately, I want this product to be sold in national chain stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s as well as local kosher food markets. Dr. Temple Grandin, who is the nation's premier authority on humane slaughterhouse design and practice, is a strong supporter of this endeavor. She has high-level contacts throughout the ranching and retail industries and has already put me in touch with Mel Coleman, Jr., CEO of Coleman Natural Meats, whose father pioneered the natural meat industry in the 1970s. He is also enthusiastic and supportive about the idea and could be a potential partner.

At this point, I am looking for a business student(s) to (1) develop a comprehensive business plan and (2) conduct the necessary market research that we could then present to potential partners. Ideally, I would like this project to be entered in the 2007 Global Social Venture Competition. I am open to discussing different compensation possibilities (monetary, equity, partnership) with the right student.

Those interested please contact:

Rabbi Daniel S. Isaacson
1481A Blake Street
Berkeley, CA 94702