SEED20 is an annual competition for social entrepreneurs presented by Social Venture Partners. Each year they select twenty deserving nonprofits from the Charlotte area, help them through coaching to refine their pitch, and then choose the ten best to present at SEED20 OnStage to a live audience and compete for awards. This last year, there were over 500 in attendance, and $60,000 awarded.
SEED20 is also one of our favorite clients. In their fifth year, of which we’ve been involved four, we want to take a look at everything we’ve created together: hundreds of videos (one which won an Emmy), a touchscreen sculpture, and a website to power it all.
Once the twenty are selected, one of the first steps is to introduce them to the public. This gives the participants an early opportunity to capture the public’s imagination, and test their initial skills presenting their organizations, while giving SEED20 some early content to use in promoting the event to follow. The challenge here is to work with the nonprofits before they have had a chance to go through the coaching process and refine their pitch — for them this is the very beginning, and many have never showcased their efforts publicly before. We work them to help channel their untold stories and excitement into a brief and confident introductory introduction.
Narrative filmmaking is one of our favorite things to do. With Seed20, we have the opportunity to tell some great stories that that help connect the powerful and emotional stories of presenters with potential contributors, attendees, and future participants.
From an introduction to SEED20 and the OnStage event, to how SEED20 participants make a difference, and the legacy SEED20 has already created in its five years, these pieces are among our favorite work.
Over the course of a month, the installation moved throughout town, giving everyone a chance to play. It’s final destination was the reception hall on the night of the big event, providing a fun conversation piece and a handy reference for the organizations being represented on stage.
In the fifth year of the event, the body of videos representing all the entrepreneurs who have participated had outgrown the website. SEED20 needed a site that could better surface this, and be a platform for more ongoing outreach throughout the year as well.
We built mobile-first, as we often do for sites like this, since so many people will be visiting on their phones via links shared on social media. The interface is easy to use with nice large buttons for the presenters, and because we have such great photography to pull from, the design elements fall to the background in support of the imagery. The site is also many times over more simple to update with simple drag & drop page layout controls and options for nearly every design feature, making it easy to keep things fresh going forward, even by staff with no prior experience.
Digital Impact Award
In 2015, we wanted to find a way to help one of the leading runners up at SEED20 — a nonprofit who has potential, and could be served by a solid website, an interesting video, or both. So we created the Digital Impact Award, worth $10,000 of in-kind services, and gave the inaugural award on stage to the deserving crew at ACE Your Prostate Exam.
This year, we were excited to give this award to Focus Charlotte, and are looking forward to helping them better tell their amazing story of helping Vietnamese refugees to their current and potential audiences on the web.
Here’s to many more great years of SEED20, and hundreds of new, exciting social entrepreneurs!