KnightBlog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Communities
Mar 07, 2012

Charlotte hosts entrepreneur competition to address community issues

Posted by Susan Patterson

Meet Julie Jones, a second-grade teacher with a big idea. She was the winner at the first annual social entrepreneur competition, organized by Charlotte's Social Venture Partners and supported by Knight Foundation. Eighty-two organizations applied. Twenty finalists were selected, and then 40 volunteer coaches worked with the 2012 class to hone their messages and their 3-minute TED talk-like presentations. All were terrific, but Julie especially so.

Her idea: a grub composting program that uses a bioconversion process to divert food waste from our landfills while producing protein-rich chicken and fish feed. 

And how did she come to this idea? By watching her students dump food in the cafeteria trash cans each day.

She won the $15,000 grand prize, which she said will fully launch her Grub-to-Grub idea, as well as an additional $5,000 Coaches Award. To learn about the other projects and all winners, go to www.seed20.org.

From the coaches' enthusiasm for the idea-generators they worked with, from the enthusiastic sold-out audience for the presentation and from the idea-generators themselves, it's clear Charlotte needs more of this - more innovative contributions to addressing our area's most pressing problems.

By Susan Patterson, program director/Charlotte at Knight Foundation

Back to top

Comments