Plan Your Entry

group of people

Now that you've decided to enter, we're here to help and support you! As you plan and refine your entry, be sure to look over:

Get help and guidance from experts in the field of human-centered design, a method used by sustainable organizations worldwide as a creative approach to problem solving.

AND we offer FREE SVIC Consultation with UNH Students who have previously been involved with the SVIC.

Juliana Good ’21 and 2017 SVIC Student Track 3rd Place Winner!
Changemaker Coach & SVIC Consultant

Entry Requirements & Guidelines

woman presenting to audience

Once you have determined your Eligibility and reviewed the Rules & Terms, use these Requirements & GuidelinesJudging Criteria & Rubric and the Support & Resources below to begin planning your entry. 

Requirements & Guidelines

Contestants must prepare two components as part of their entry, a 2-page summary and a 3-minute video, and upload them during the Submission Application step. Submissions will be judged partially on the viability of the initial proposal; that is, fully developed business plans are not to be submitted and are not within the scope of the competition (see Judging Criteria & Rubric below for more details). 

1. A brief 2-page written summary "pitching" your concept for a social venture which solves the idenfied social or environmental problem. Your summary will be one of two key components of your entry and will be reviewed by judges in both rounds of the competition. This document gives you the chance to expand a little more on some of the important components and key concepts found in your three-minute video.

Technical specifications:

  • .PDF uploaded to Submission Application
  • Strict maximum of 2 pages (not including citations)
  • 12 pt. font
  • margins 1 inch or more

2. A 3-minute video, the primary tool for summarizing the nature and scale of the problem you want to address and for "selling" the innovativeness and effectiveness of your social venture solution. View the Video Production Workshop and see the additional Support & Resources section below to create your video.

Technical specifications:

  • .mov or .mp4 file, uploaded to YouTube (instructions within the Submission Application form)
  • strict maximum of 3 minutes and no larger than 1GB (click here for video 
  • All are encouraged to contact UNH’s Parker Media Lab (PML) with questions about video formatting. PML is located in the Dimond Library on UNH’s Durham Campus. It is staffed and open Sunday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can contact them for advice by phone at (603) 862-1747 to speak with any of the staff team, or by email to reach PML’s manager, Micheal McIntire.
  • Public domain videos, photos or other content can be included in your three-minute video. Written permission is required for all copyrighted and protected source materials.

As you refine your idea and iterate potential solutions, ask yourself some of these questions
as they pertain to your idea:

Defining the Problem:

  • What specific social (or environmental) problem does your innovation address?
  • Why is this social problem important and who benefits from addressing it?
  • What is the scale of the problem?
  • Is the problem localized or is it of national and/or global importance?
  • What is/are the root cause(s) of the problem?
  • Are there additional contributing factors to the problem?
  • Are current solutions to the problem offered?
  • Are they effective?
  • Why or why not?
  • Are any of them market-based?

Describing the Solution (social venture):

  • As briefly as possible, what is your vision?
  • What change do you ultimately want to create in the world?
  • Why do you believe a market-driven solution will be most effective at addressing the problem?
  • How will you achieve your vision through your social venture? (In non-technical terms, briefly describe the strategic approach of your social venture innovation.)
  • How will you bring your social innovation to the intended market?
  • How will your social venture be financially self-sustaining within a reasonable time period?
  • What is the geographic area and size in terms of number of people served by your social innovation?
  • What is your social venture "value" proposition, that is, what are the recognized benefits the social innovation brings to the market?
  • Why is your solution innovative?
  • Why is your solution more effective than existing solutions aimed at addressing your identified problem?
  • How do you know that your social innovation is actually addressing the root cause(s) of the problem, and not just a symptom?
  • How will your solution create the intended impact?
  • How long will it take for your social innovation to have a lasting and meaningful impact on addressing the problem and at what cost? (Note: Social innovations that are closer to being implemented and at a lower cost in addressing the problem will be judged more highly than those that require significantly more time to bring to market and at a higher cost.)


Judging Criteria & Rubric

people talking at a table

Judging will take place in two rounds:

  • The Preliminary Round of judging takes place online by an impressive panel of judges from around the world.

Eight (8) finalists in each track will be notified by email on November 12, 2019. 

  • The Final Round will take place, live at UNH on Thursday, November 29, 2018 where the eight (8) finalists in each track will present their entries to an illustrious judging panel of social venture experts. Finalists will be offered optional presentation coaching November 18-20, 2019 to help prepare for their Final Round presentation.
  • A maximum of two (2) representatives from each finalist team are allowed to present, although other team members are encouraged and invited to be present in the audience.
  • judges

    The two team members representing each finalist team are required to arrive at the competition venue by the appointed time for check-in, presentation practice and important AV briefings.

  • The two members representing each finalist team are also required to be in the audience for the entirety of the Final Round and for the Keynote Address and Award Presentation.
  • Each team will have a total of five (5) minutes to introduce their team members and play their video in front of a panel of Final Round Judges.
  • The Final Round judges will have five (5) minutes for Q&A with each team following their presentation.

Submissions will be evaluated by all judges using the Judges' Scoring Rubric, which includes the following equally weighted criteria:

  1. Identification of Social or Environmental Problem
  2. Originality and Uniqueness of the Proposed Social Venture 
  3. Social/Environmental Impact Potential
  4. Business Model/Financial Sustainability
  5. Presentation Quality 



Support & Resources

people in discussion

There are many wonderful resources available for contestants which will help strengthen your entry and hone your pitch. In addition to research guidance, video production support, NEW this year, we are offereing entry planning workshops AND SVIC consultants to help support you through the entry process and provide valuable feedback to get your idea competition ready!  

Prepare to Enter the NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge

Prepare to enter the 2019 SVIC with the help of leading experts in design thinking and Human Centered Design (HCD), a methodology used by sustainable businesses and non-profits worldwide as a creative approach to problem solving!

Contestants will be guided through a process to help understand the underlying nature of a social or environmental problem of their choice and will develop a proposal for their solution in a 2-page summary
and a 3-minute video.

  • two full-day workshops (Friday, Sept. 27 & Friday, Oct. 18) designed to help individuals or teams
  • prepare for the competition (entries due: Monday, Oct. 28 & Live Final Round: Thursday, Nov. 21)
  • hands-on support & resources
  • one-on-one coaching with previous SVIC winners & finalists
  • understand social innovation as a business approach to address humanity’s toughest challenges
  • learn & practice the tools of HCD and its’ three phases: emphathy, inspiration, ideation


2. Library Guide for SVIC Contestants

A great resource for background data gathering and to define and document the nature, scope, causes, and consequences of the environmental/social problem you are aiming to help solve and for researching other existing solutions to these problems.


3. Further Readings in Market Based Solutions


4. Video Creation Support & Resources

For UNH students: 

For registered UNH students, the Parker Media Lab (PML) supports students and faculty in production of rich media. Staff of the PML have the expertise to guide you through the project and the PML also provides you with all the guides and equipment to help you plan, shoot and edit your media assignment.

For all contestants:

Although the services of the Parker Media Lab at UNH (PML) are available only to UNH students, they have a number of web-based resources to help any competitor with your video submission. In particular, we recommend the “Forms & Guides” section of the Media & Collaboration Services website:

Find out more online or stop in to the UNH Parker Media Lab.


5. Want to talk through your idea with someone?

We offer FREE SVIC Consultation with UNH Students who have previously been involved with the SVIC.

Juliana Good ’21 and 2017 SVIC Student Track 3rd Place Winner!
CSIE Changemaker Coach & SVIC Consultant

Juliana is a junior Music major. She is an active member of the UNH Symphony Orchestra as the principal violist, and participates in several other ensembles within the Department of Music. Juliana also works for the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra as a coach, where she mentors two sections of young violists to help them learn their music and advance their technical skills. Outside of the Department of Music, she is working on starting her budding nonprofit company, Crescendo Inclusive Curriculums (a 2017 NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge Student Track winning idea), which has the goal of expanding access to fine and performing arts for students with special needs. Juliana is enthusiastic about working with fellow UNH students to develop ideas that will “Do Well and Do Good” in the world. Contact her to schedule SVIC Coaching, or just to chat about what the Center has to offer! 


Get Inspired!

1. View past finalist videos.

2. Examples of selected successful social ventures:

With sincere thanks to Hummingbird Pictures LLC and Holly Mosher, Director and Producer, Bonsai People

3. Watch presentations by leading social entrepreneurs and social innovators: 

View Muhammad Yunus' Keynote Address to UNH at the New Hampshire Social Business and Microfinance Forum and the Social Business Innovation Challenge, now the Social Venute Innovation Challenge.  9/30/13

View archived streaming video from the Pathway to the Challenge event with Gary Hirshberg and Sally Sampson. 10/28/14

View Gary Hirshberg, Founder and Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, and 2015 Social Innovator of the Year deliver the keynote address, “Inventing the Future: How Social Entrepreneurship Can (and Will) Save Our World!”  11/20/15

View Joe Keefe, President and CEO of Pax World Management LLC, and 2016 Social Innovator of the Year, in a signature dialogue with Paul College Dean, Deborah Merrill-Sands on “The Role of the Financial Markets in Achieving Gender Equality and Economic Growth”.  12/1/16