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Intellect

Tipping Bucket wins 2009 BYU Social Venture Competition

To most people, $1 might seem like a drop in the bucket, but for The Tipping Bucket, every dollar brings a social entrepreneur closer to his or her goal of implementing positive change.

The Tipping Bucket’s plan to put funds into the hands of young social entrepreneurs won the student team first place and $10,000 at the Sixth Annual Social Venture Competition. Established in 2004 by the Brigham Young University Center for Economic Self-Reliance, the Social Venture Competition is designed for students who, through a business venture, are combating social issues in areas such as health care, poverty and education.

Students began The Tipping Bucket with the idea to build a Facebook application that would allow users to make $1 donations to help fund various social venture projects.

“Over the years, I’ve connected with so many people who are not just passionate about their ideas, but are actually ready to go forward and make a difference — if only they could find some way to fund them,” said SaraJoy Pond, a doctoral candidate in instructional psychology and technology from Berthoud, Colo., and founder of The Tipping Bucket.

Pond’s concern grew into the idea for The Tipping Bucket, which was her way of getting funds into the hands of bright, young social entrepreneurs.

“Each project will have a deadline and a funding goal — the tipping point that will enable that project to succeed,” said Josh McLane, a law student from Mission Viejo, Calif., and a member of The Tipping Bucket team. “If the bucket tips before time runs out, all pledged donations are collected and the project moves forward. If not, then none of the donations go through, and a new project gets its turn in the bucket.”

The Tipping Bucket team members included Pond, McLane and Shawn Moore, a BYU international business graduate from St. George, Utah.

Second place and $4,000 went to Sain Terre, an organization that plans to market and distribute the innovative product of a Ghanaian inventor, the “soilet,” a device used to capture and decompose human waste. The invention is projected to help decrease the number of sanitation-related illnesses in underdeveloped areas.

“I just want to see child mortality decrease,” said Ammon Franklin, a sociology master’s student from Littleton, Colo., and one of the founders of Sain Terre. “To be involved in a project with such significant potential to save lives and increase quality of life is great.”

Sain Terre also won the Audience Choice Award, earning another $3,000 to help implement its plan.

Third place and $1,000 went to Start UP, an organization that plans to connect entrepreneurs in Brazil to business training and capital.

In addition to the funds awarded in this year’s competition, each finalist team has the opportunity to earn additional support funds from the BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance. To receive more funding, the teams have until March 2010 to meet plan-specific objectives approved by the center.

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

Writer: Cindy Badger

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