After 6 weeks, our first round is complete! We now have 25 round one winners, who will now move on to the jury round (you can see them under the To 25 tab on the main page).
The top 20 in voting, plus 5 wildcards, will now have their videos ranked by the jury. Their total score will reflect up to 10 points for their ranking in the voting (wildcards will get no points from the voting round), and 40 points from the jury, based on specific criteria. The top 10 scores will move on to the next round!
Our 10 finalists will be announced next Thursday, June 02. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is some information on some of our jurors (more jurors and bios posted soon):
Tonya Surman: executive director, Centre for Social Innovation
Tonika Morgan: manager of programs and partnerships, Toronto Community Housing
Nogah Kornberg: Executive Director, Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada
Assaf Weisz: Co-Founder, Venture Deli
Karim Harji: Senior Manager for Partnerships & Social Impact at Social Capital Partners
Our process for selecting our 10 finalists, and 5 winners, is a little complicated (but effective, we think), so here it is explained:
Round 1, the voting round
Round 2, the jury round
Round 3, the finals
The Method Behind the Madness
Why such a complicated process?
In order to spread the word about the contest and get as many entrants as possible, and as much engagement as possible, we decided to do a video contest. This engages the public much more than a simple business plan competition, and also lets our jury 'meet' the entrepreneurs behind the ideas. It also forces the entrepreneur contestants reach out to their friends and family and start building a network that will help him/her out once they launch their business.
To limit the 'popularity contest' effect, whereby a bad idea can get lots of votes, we brought in the jury process. Because the jury's score counts for much more (80% vs 20%) of the overall score than voting, this ensures that only the best ideas make it to the finals while still giving some weight to the public voting process (good ideas will get more random votes, and having a big network of friends to vote on your video also means you may have more help once you launch your business).
Finally, we wanted our contestants to work hard to get their chance at $25,000, so we introduced the business plan phase. The life of an entrepreneur is a difficult one and requires lots of blood, sweat and tears. The effort our finalists put into their business plans will be directly reflected in their chances at winning the contest!
And, if nothing else comes of it, our 5 non-winning finalists will still have a great business plan that they can use to help guide their business and reach out to other means of support.
So that's it in a very big nutshell, and why the process seems kinda complicated...
It's May 25 - the last day to upload your videos and/or get votes for your already uploaded videos!
If you haven't entered yet but want to, you can still make it through to the finals by being chosen as one of the 5 wildcard entries. You won't get any points for your vote score, but if your idea/pitch is good and the jury likes it, you can still squeeze through!
You can see the top 20 videos (so far - the rankings may change by tonight) here, and we'll be notifying our 5 wildcard selections on Thursday morning! Our jury will then take a week to review and rank these 25 videos and we'll notify our 10 finalists on Thursday June 02.
There are 7 days left to get your video up on the Project Wildfire website for a chance to win $25,000 in startup funding, a year of mentorship, and a year of free workspace at the Centre for Social Innovation!
Even if you don't make it into the Top 20 in voting, you can still get in as a wildcard - our team will review all of the submissions that didn't make the Top 20 and pick 5 wildcards for the jury to consider. Wildcards won't get any points for their voting score (worth 20% of your overall score), but a good idea can still score high with the judges and make it through to the finals!
To make getting your video up on our website even easier, we'll be holding video booths to allow those who do not have access to video equipment to come in and record and upload their videos straight to the site.
Here are the upcoming sessions:
Schools Without Borders. May 10th from 2-4pm. 358 Dufferin St. Studio 109, in the Boardroom. RSVP on Facebook
The Centre for Social Innovation (Annex). May 10th from 6-8pm. 720 Bathurst St, 3rd floor, Room 3. RSVP on Facebook.
The 519 Community Centre. May 11th from 4-6pm. 519 Church St, Room 106. RSVP on Facebook.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to schedule a one-on-one pitch consultation with project director Mike Brcic.
Good luck with your wildfire!
The folks at MIT know a thing or two about startups. Here are some great lessons you can apply to your Project Wildfire pitch:
Hard to believe the day is actually here. After 18 months of hard work, dozens of meetings, many late nights and hundreds of hours of collaborations, Project Wildfire is about to launch.
All the pieces are in place: the website is up, the launch party is booked, the funding is in place, the mentors are ready... All we need now is your passion and your dreams.
The project came about through the founders' belief that while the private sector can't solve all of the world's most pressing problems, the world's most pressing problems can't be solved without the private sector. We believe that business can and should be a force for good in the world, and that by transforming the way business is done we can change the world.
Around the world, social business or social enterprise is changing the rules of the game. No longer strictly focused on the financial bottom line, social businesses are putting mission first - and making a profit while doing it.
We look forward to seeing the amazing ideas that will come about during the contest.
May you always live your dreams.
Mike Brcic, director,