The Jury Round!

uploaded by Mike Brcic

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

The Process, Explained

uploaded by Mike Brcic

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

  • entrants upload their videos and try and get as many votes as possible
  • contest closes 11:59 pm, May 25
  • The Top 20 videos (in voting) move on to the jury round, and receive points based on their ranking (#1 gets 10 points, #2 gets 9.5 points..., #3 gets 9 points, etc... #20 gets .5 points)
  • We pick 5 wildcards - videos that didn't make it into the Top 20 in voting but we feel represent promising ideas and entrepreneurs - they get no points for voting but can get points from the jury

Round 2, the jury round

  • Our jury will assign points to each of the 25 videos (Top 20 + 5 wildcards) based on ranking criteria that can be found here. The jury's score counts for 40 out of a possible 50 points, with the other 10 coming from the public voting
  • Results will be announced Thursday June 02
  • The top 10 scores move on to the finals

Round 3, the finals

  • Starting June 13, our 10 finalists will attend weekly workshops and work with their mentor teams over 7 weeks to develop a rock-solid business plan based on their business idea
  • On August 4, they will present their business plans to the jury at a public Dragon's-Den style event, with 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for questions, per presenter
  • The jury will pick our 5 winners that night, based on their business plans
  • One grand prize winner will receive $25,000 in startup funding and 4 runners-up will receive $2,500 in funding. All 5 will receive a full year of mentorship and free workspace at the Centre for Social Innovation.

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.

7 days to go!

uploaded by Mike Brcic

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!

Click here for more details about the contest, including ranking criteria and video tips, or click here to enter your video!

Video Booths are coming!

uploaded by Mike Brcic
video booths

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 wildfire@socialinnovation.ca if you would like to schedule a one-on-one pitch consultation with project director Mike Brcic.

Good luck with your wildfire!

New Pitch Workshop Added!

uploaded by Mike Brcic

If you're still working on your Project Wildfire pitch and want some tips and feedback, come on out to our pitch workshop this Thursday!

[more details]

Pitch Tips from MIT

uploaded by Mike Brcic
pitching pitch

6 Pitch Lessons from the MIT Media Lab

The folks at MIT know a thing or two about startups. Here are some great lessons you can apply to your Project Wildfire pitch:

http://www.rocketwatcher.com/blog/2011/04/6-pitch-lessons-from-the-mit-media-lab.html

Almost here.

uploaded by Mike Brcic

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.

Yours,

Mike Brcic, director,

Project Wildfire

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Anika Jarrett commented on "The Process, Explained" 2011-05-27 9:07am

Once explained, I've come to realize just how much thought, consideration and diplomacy was put into planning each phase of this competition. As visionaries and leaders, this is what being socially responsible is all about. Competition or no competition, there should always be room for fairness! The process was wery well explained, and easy to understand. Kudos to Mike and to the rest of the team over at Project Wildfire!

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Barry B commented on "Voting closes at midnight tonight!" 2011-05-26 12:13am

Voting closed at 12 but we are still able to vote?...Congrats to all the finalists!!! Everyone's hard work and ideas were great!

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Project Wildfire | The Centre for Social Innovation 215 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2C7 ph: 416-644-1020 | wildfire @ socialinnovation.ca