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April 4 Social Impact Summit to feature business plan competition

March 24, 2014

logo[6]A team of social entrepreneurs will be among the featured guests Friday, April 4, at the second-ever NIU Social Impact Summit, at the Barsema Alumni and Visitor Center.

The event, sponsored by Product Development Technologies and presented by NIU-based Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (CAUSE), is intended to educate students and others about social entrepreneurism, to inspire them to increase their societal and environmental impacts and to create a forum where individuals passionate about changing the world can network. Last year’s event drew more than 170 attendees.

This year at the Social Impact Summit, CAUSE launched a social business plan competition where students have the opportunity to compete for a $500 grand prize. The top three submissions will present at the Social Impact Summit and will be judged by the keynotes and panelists.

Ted Gonder

Ted Gonder

The event will also include presentations by social entrepreneurs, including a keynote presentation by Ted Gonder, a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans and the co-founding CEO of Moneythink–the only movement of young people restoring the economic health of the United States through preventative, transformative, and evidence-driven youth financial education. Since 2009, Moneythink has trained over 1000 college leaders to serve as financial mentors and college role models to over 7500 teenagers across 10 states.

Other presenters include:

    • NIU President Doug Baker;
    • Marc Lane, chairman of the Illinois Taskforce for Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise;
    • Rajesh Karmani, founder of Zero Percent;
    • Carl Alquire, founder of SmartGardner; and
    • Dr. McGee Young, founder of Meterhero

Tickets are $5 for NIU students and $20 for all others. Registration is available online at

Additional sponsors of the event include NIU Management, NIU University Honors Program, NIU Center for Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development, NIU Division of Research and Graduate Studies, Freedom Field, Orbus and Impact Engine.