The Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch showdown is Tuesday and the competition always starts a buzz, and this year, literally. The annual competition of local social innovators showcases entrepreneurs who find opportunity in creating wealth for everyone. Common Acre is starting with the bees who play a crucial role in the food chain.
The group is building a better home for the insects because bees are under attack by both disease and a shrinking habitat. They and other pollinators need wildflower meadows, which are becoming scarce.
This year Common Acre struck a deal to use buffer land around runways at Sea-Tac Airport to raise bees naturally and free of chemicals. The “Flight Path” project is turning scrub land into pollinator habitat and transforming a corner of the airport concourse (named Terminal “Bee”) into an art and education exhibit.
The group says creating pollinator habitats will do a lot to support our local food economy. “One in three bites of food is due to bees ‘being or not.’ Can we pollinate the crops we have?” said Bob Redmond of Common Acre.
The first hives went in earlier this year and the project launched with donations. The plan is that revenue from honey sales will sustain the program in the future. Currently, 30 sites account for over 200 acres of pollinator habitat.
View all of the 14 finalists competing for a piece of the $250,000 in grants and investments.
* Update! Congrats to the 2014 Fast Pitch Winners!
|Dyslexi-type||Microsoft Award Technology for Good||High School Venture||$10,000|
|Pay It Forward||Women’s Funding Alliance Award for Girls & Women.||Established Nonprofit||$7,500|
|Pay It Forward||Tableau Foundation Slalom Data Innovation Award||Established Nonprofit||$10,000|
|InvestNextDoor||Outerwall/Points of Light Civic Venture Award||Startup For-profit||an opportunity to win $50,000|
|SEEDclassroom||Impact Donor Award||Startup For-profit||$3,500|
|Evrnu||Audience Choice Award||Startup For-profit||$3,500|
|Evrnu, SEEDClassroom, Bike Works||Grow50||3 winners||$120,000 in consulting|
|Dyslexi-type||First Place||High School Venture||$1,500|
|Club What||Second Place||High School Venture||$500|
|Scholarship Junkies||First Place||University Venture||$4,000|
|MiPS Bank||Second Place||University Venture||$1,000|
|Tiny Trees||First Place||Startup Nonprofit||$15,000|
|Edge Schools Foundation||Second Place||Startup Nonprofit||$3,000|
|Unleash the Brilliance||First Place||Established Nonprofit||$20,000|
|Bike Works||Second Place||Established Nonprofit||$4,000|
|Evrnu||First Place||Investment Fund For-Profit||$140,000|
|Lendr||Second Place||Investment For-Profit||$55,000|
|Recovery Cafe||Most Improved||Established||Glory|
|Select Semifinalists & Finalists||Angel Checks||All tracks||20-$500|