Who We Are
The Brigham Young University Social Venture Academy & Competition (SVAC) seek to connect students with resources to make their ideas for social innovation into a reality. Each student is given educational resources and opportuniteis to win up to $18,000.
Winning venture plans will receive monetary rewards in the following amounts:
Best Ideas: $50-$100
Best Products: $500-$1,000
Best Ventures: $2,000-$5,000
Best Products Audience Award: $500
Best Ventures Audience Award: $3,000
These funds can be used on the venture (preferred) or split among the team members.
Interested in joining a team? Complete our online form.
Social Venture Academy (SVA) connects student social entrepreneurs with the resources and knowledge tomake their social venture idea a reality. We accomplish this by guiding student teams through a three-part curriculum: idea validation, product development, and execution. Students who complete the curriculum earn the credibility of a venture that is sustainable, replicable, and impactful. Social Venture Competition rewards social ventures at each level with monetary rewards as well as connecting them with mentors that have approved and invested in their venture model.
The idea behind EcoScraps started at an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in Provo, Utah. Co-Founder Dan Blake was having breakfast with his brother, and was amazed at the amount of food wasted during the course of a meal. He was intrigued by the idea of starting a business that utilized food waste to manufacture a different product.
He did some research and learned about composting. He learned that chemical based fertilizers (made out of synthetic petrochemicals) are high in the macro nutrients that plants need to grow. However, these chemicals end up killing the soil’s ecosystem making the plant dependent on synthetic chemicals. Chemical fertilizers also do not contain the micronutrients and trace minerals that plants need to thrive, making their fruit less nutritious.
Manure based composts add organic content to the soil and help build the soil’s ecosystem. However, they are typically lower in nutrients because the nutrients have already been digested by the cow, or chicken, or by whatever animal is the source of the manure. Manures, if not composted correctly, can also contain E. coli, salmonella, and other pathogens.
Co-Founders Dan Blake and Craig Martineau created EcoScraps which produces organic, chemical and manure free lawn and garden products. They use expired fruits and vegetables to create a premium soil. There quality products are all-natural, sustainable and specially formulated to help grow bigger, healthier plants.
EcoScraps has recycled 15.2 million pounds of food waste and reduced 9.16 million pounds of methane (which is the equivalent of parking 844,442 cars for two weeks). The purpose is turning what otherwise would be waste into something usable. And not just something usable, but something that, if used, will get the results that the customer is looking for. You’re not just buying a garden soil. You are purchasing a better way of life. It’s a premium product that is at an average price point. It not only will give you great results, but it’s doing right by the environment. It’s how things should be. It’s you saying, “I may not be an environmentalist, but I do care about the environment. I think nature is beautiful. I’m a responsible person, and I care about leaving my part of the pl.com better off for my children than how I found it.”
"I’ve always had a drive for social entrepreneurship. My goal in life is to affect the world in a positive way through creating a business that is also profit-minded so that the good that the business does is sustainable. I decided in college that I would dedicate my life to social entrepreneurship, and this was a great opportunity to start chasing that dream." - David Andrus
How to Get Involved
Student teams that want to be involved in the Social Venture Competition will fill out an online application
and be connected by one of the leadership members.
Social Venture Academy Student Director: Brittany Bird, MPA 2013
Social Venture Competition Student Director: Liz Fukui, MPA 2013