The past month in Seattle has seen an incredible surge of efforts around sustainable, conscious, impactful business. Showcased across four events, more than four dozen emerging, impactful, social enterprises have shared their stories with the city and with the world.
The tsunami of activity began on September 23rd at the Fledge “Demo Day,” where seven “fledgling” companies shared their visions on the Playhouse/Intiman Theater stage. This was followed less than a week later by eight social entrepreneurs sharing stories at Bloom Seattle. Eight days after that, 35 ideas were pitched at #SocEnt Weekend: Next 50, with 11 ideas making it through to the Sunday night pitches, again on stage at the Playhouse/Intiman Theater. Not even two weeks later, 14 more impactful companies took the stage at the Fisher Pavilion, in front of an audience of more than 700 people at the second annual Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP). Plus, this audience was wined and dined surrounded by these 14 finalists, with 12 other semi-finalists in booths.
All in all, over four dozen companies, all out to improve the world, all presented in under 30 days. Simply astounding!
But wait… there is one more event in this series yet to come, and one more addition that will solidify Seattle as the center of excellence for impactful innovation. Friday, October 26th, is the grand opening of the new Center for Impact and Innovation, the new home of HUB Seattle, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Social Venture Partners Seattle. This building is also the new home of the Unitus Seed Fund, Ashoka Seattle, Nsansa, the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, Fledge, and a multitude of others.
Even more exciting than these five events, is the thought of what comes next. This is the start of something big. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, when we look back at where the impactful innovation began, some may remember one or two of these events, to the opening of the building, or some other detail. But more importantly, they’ll hopefully look back to Seattle in the twenty-teens as the start of the place and era where businesses began making big, positive impacts on the world.
image: David Herrera via Flickr cc (some rights reserved)