Turning Impactful Ideas Into Businesses at Startup Weekend – Social Impact!

11/12/2015 | By Charity Prado

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

Turning Impactful Ideas into Businesses

San Diego Startup Weekend — Social Impact Nov 13th - 15th

Written by Creators.ink

There is a perception floating around that only nonprofits can do social good. That, however, is a misconception. There is an emerging type of business called a social enterprise. This is where smart people, just like you, have figured out innovative ways to do good and make a profit for sustainable measures at the same time. It is the concept of using business as a platform to create a positive impact.


For example, Tom’s shoes has a 1-to-1 model of matching every pair of shoes sold with a donated pair. Also, the local company, Classy, is a SaaS platform for social good programs. When a company's main objective is to do something for social good but is also profit-seeking, it is called a social enterprise.


Solutions can come in many forms. From improving an individual’s quality of life to bettering the future state of the planet — the best and brightest will come together to make the next big change.


Social enterprise objectives typically fall into two categories: environmental and socio-economic.





There is opportunity for new solutions in water, energy, and waste both globally and right here in San Diego. California has long battled drought with indications of water shortages continuing to affect our future. Water conservation, recycling and desalination are solutions need to be improved and expanded to rescue us from water overuse and drought. For instance, desalination is the removal of salt and minerals from ocean water to make it drinkable. San Diego has a large amount of ocean water, but the cost of desalination is higher than alternatives in the U.S. Other countries, like Israel and Australia, depend on desalination because they have no other choice. How can we improve on the existing solutions that work around the world so that they work here?

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a huge market in California. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to generate a third of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. This has opened the door for a flood of investment and innovation in the renewable energy space. How can we make renewable energy more accessible and prevalent in San Diego?


Waste Management

There is also room for innovation in waste management — recycling, composting, and upstream production of non-decomposable materials (i.e. Styrofoam). How can we collect and manage waste more effectively in San Diego or globally?  Maybe the solution is to not create much trash in the first place…



Some of the major socio-economic pain points in San Diego, include the income and cost of living gap, access to quality education, and homelessness.

Cost of Living

San Diego is the fifth most expensive housing market in the entire U.S. There are more many more people residing in San Diego than there are high-salaried jobs, and yet still the housing market is through the roof. Could we re-concept how we coexist?


Education & Resources

There are innovations in education that can continue to be built upon here in San Diego. Consider High Tech High and how we can incorporate new practices like this in our everyday educational institutions. What  would it take to ensure that each person has the job and skill training to gain employment? Are there ways to incentivize more cutting edge teaching concepts in the classroom and  provide high quality teachers, mentors, and role models?


San Diego has the third largest homeless population in the nation. The 2014 San Diego Regional Homeless Profile study found that over 8,500 homeless persons live in San Diego County alone. In cities and in residential areas, people walk the streets unable to move forward and take the steps needed to get back on their feet. It doesn’t have to be that way. How can with help those with drug addiction, mental disorders, physical disabilities, and personal financial collapse? How can we create solutions to help the homeless put their lives back together?


There are more questions than answers for the social and environmental issues in San Diego and globally. This means lots of opportunity!

The team behind Startup Weekend - Social Impact invites the most promising entrepreneurs and students to share ideas, form or join teams, and build exciting businesses.

The weekend concludes with live demos, judged by a panel for real feedback, and prizes  awarded to winning teams to help launch their businesses. As this weekend is a part of a once-a-year Global Startup Battle, the winning teams will move on to compete with other winners from around the globe! Mentors, volunteers, experts and community leaders will be there to support throughout.


Come out, dive in — and be the next big San Diego social enterprise!

Register Here: http://www.up.co/communities/usa/san-diego/startup-weekend/7017

Discount Code: StartSomeGood