Launch Some Good: A Weekend Jam to Foster Social Entrepreneurs

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How do you build a generation of social entrepreneurs? You get them hacking.

What is Launch Some Good?

This weekend, at Hub Ottawa, a group of participants and mentors will get together to develop start-up ideas for social good. Developers, designers, communicators, and generally anyone with "a social impact itch that isn't being scratched in their work or schooling. People who are action oriented and want to start doing something," according to David Rust-Smith of SME (Socially Minded Endeavours) who is hosting the event in hopes of encouraging the next generation to come up with, and action, business ideas with a positive social or environmental impact.

A Design Jam? How does it work?

The event kicks off tonight with networking, idea pitches and team creation. Then teams will spend the weekend working feverishly to put together 10 minute pitches, to be presented to a panel of judges on Sunday. Mentors will be on-hand all weekend to answer questions and assist them throughout the process. Teams have the opportunity to win prizes to turn their ideas into reality, including $200-400 toward implementation and Hub memberships. It's extremely similar to other jams like StartUp Weekend, but I have to admit that I totally love the social and environmental spin on this one.

The Importance of Jamming (& hacking!)

As of this morning, the event was sold out; even the pitch session audience tickets are all gone. IMHO, not only is it wonderful to see groups like Invest Ottawa take interest in fostering socially-minded entrepreneurship, but to do so using a business design jam approach is even better. I've written about design jams (and hackfests) before including StartUp Weekend, WxT Codefest, Royal Ontario MuseumUXCamp Ottawa and LearnHack YOW. Getting people from a variety of disciplines to collaborate on a problem is a fantastic way to create a more rounded holistic solution. And jams create intense environments that focus people's energies to get right to work. (Plus the competitive aspect heightens the urgency of forming a complete idea before time is up.)

Good luck to all the teams this weekend. Enjoy every minute!