MCN Update: 22 September 2015

Greetings and Salutations.
The Mentor Capital Network (formerly known as the William James Foundation) has opened our application process for our 2016 program. If you are, or know of, an entrepreneur who is building a for-profit company where their social, environmental, or cultural value are strengthening the company’s margins, please let us know.

We’ve changed the name of our program from a “Competition” to a Collaboration After 12 years of calling our program a competition, we’ve decided that collaboration is a better term for the combined efforts of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and the MCN team to strengthen companies that are making our world a better place to live. (But yes, there are still prizes and finalists.)
Say Hello!

If you are going to be at any of these events this fall, find me or Rachel Andersen (at Net Impact) and say hello! We always like checking in with our mentors, entrepreneurs, and investors

  • SOCAP (San Francisco, CA Oct 6-9)
  • Opportunity Collaboration (Ixtapa, Mexico, Oct 11-16)
  • Bethesda Green (Bethesda, MD, Oct 27)
  • Social Venture Network (Baltimore, MD, Nov 5-8)
  • Net Impact (Seattle, WA – Nov 5-7)
  • Anytime you’re in Washington, DC and we’re not travelling.

Let Social Entrepreneurs know about our business plan competition & mentorship program!

The Mentor Capital Network (MCN) is changing how business is done. We identify and support entrepreneurs who are designing companies for the long-term: building in social and environmental values to create truly sustainable business models.  

We are looking for companies to apply for our 2106 program by December 1st, 2015. Successful applicants will be notified on or before December 14th. all the information you would need can be found via our website —   

Applicants must represent for-profit companies (planned or existing) that has defined social, environmental, and/or cultural goals built into how they are profitable. They can be of any age or educational status, and based anywhere in the world. The company must either still be in the planning stage or be open to coaching or mentoring about how it operates.  

The MCN offers these benefits to the companies in our program:

  • Mentors: each company is provided with a team of mentors, who (together) provide an average of 20 pages of business plan feedback. 90% of these mentors sign their scorecards, giving the entrepreneur an option to connect with industry leaders as potential mentors, customers, investors, and champions. Our end goal is to provide our entrepreneurs and mentors with the right long-term mentorship relationship. 

    Tricia Compas-Markman, founder and CEO of DayOne Response,  says “For social enterprises that are in that early stage prior taking on investment, I really think that all [of those] companies should be involved with the [MCN]competition because it provides immediate feedback on your plan, even if you only get through the first round. The feedback helped build our team focus. It should be in the entrepreneur handbook – you’ve got to do [MCN].” 
  • Prizes: Every year, some of the biggest names in sustainable business have shown their support for MCN by offering their professional services and products to the top companies. They get to help the next generation of social entrepreneurs, and receive promotion and access to new clients. The 2016 prize pool – a combination of cash and professional services (legal, website, design, etc.) – will be worth more than $50,000.

    Egg Energy Co-Founder Alla Jezmir says “It was wonderful. Provoc, one of the In-Kind prize sponsors, developed an excellent graphic that we used to explain our business model, which is a tough thing to capture. Also, the access to the social finance and the entrepreneurial space has been terrific through the network. We’ve met a lot of great people, people who have become huge supporters.”
  • Investors: Participation in the MCN business plan competition significantly increases an entrepreneur’s  chance to be a part of our “Green Grab” program, which puts companies in front of accredited investors to pitch for professional debt or equity investment.

    Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison, noted that “Impact Investing in the climate change solutions space is not easy.  The [MCN] separates the folks who just have a good heart and the folks that also have the skills to create climate wealth.”
  • Community: The [MCN] connects entrepreneurs to other people trying to solve similar problems in different markets.

    Mozambikes Co-founder Lauren Thomas says, “Presenting our business in front of some of the world’s prominent social business thinkers [at the MCN Annual Gathering] was a really great exercise, and we really enjoyed the questions from the audience. We especially enjoyed the breakout session with the cycling gang, which was really fun since we got to meet other social entrepreneurs out there using bicycles for their innovative solutions. We’re already helping each other get connected to some other potentially helpful industry players”
  • DisciplineWe are providing constructive commentary on actual business plans. By drawing up these plans in detail, entrepreneurs get a big picture view of what their company can do.  

    [The MCN] is critical for entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and get ready to raise capital. MCN is] helping to create a future pipeline for investors. – Kesha Cash, Impact America Fund