Over 100 people gathered at Projective Space in New York City on Wednesday, August 5th in celebration of the second-annual CommonBond Social Impact Award, which honors the nation's top MBA social entrepreneur. During our nomination period last month, we received over 600 nominations, and from those, selected three finalists to join us in New York and pitch their ventures to a panel of judges in hopes of winning $10,000, as well as mentorship from CommonBond's executive team.
At Wednesday's event, we heard passionate and inspiring presentations from two Wharton '16 MBA candidates: Sindhura Sarikonda, founder and CEO of Sanlaap North America, a nonprofit that rescues, shelters, and empowers human trafficking victims; and Jonathan Sockol, founder and CEO of DocPronto, which is building a mobile application that significantly improves emergency response times by sending medical professionals alerts regarding life-threatening emergencies—such as cardiac arrests, choking or strokes—in their immediate vicinity.
We also heard from Angie Hayden, Chief Design Officer of Project Pregnancy, which was founded by UCLA '16 MD/MBA candidate Margaret Threadgill as a free mobile app designed to improve health literacy and maternal and child health outcomes in underserved communities by providing easy-to-understand pregnancy health information approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
All three finalists presented the background behind their ideas and business models, the potential for long-term impact, the traction they achieved to date, and what the future looks like for their ventures. They also answered questions from the audience and our four judges:
- David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond
- Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise
- Rachel Wald, Social Impact Research Manager at Gerson Lehrman Group
- Evan Walden, CEO and Co-Founder of ReWork
Following the presentations, the judges deliberated before selecting the winner.
After a drumroll from the audience, and to an uproar of applause and cheering, David Klein announced Sindhura Sarikonda as the winner of the 2015 CommonBond Social Impact Award.
"This is one of the most meaningful awards I've ever gotten," Sindhura said. "We'll be using the funding that we get from CommonBond to fund 120 scholarships for our girls so that we can stay true to CommonBond's social mission, as well as our own mission."
Sindhura also noted that because her organization is at an inflection point now as a mid-sized non-profit on the verge of being a large non-profit, she would benefit immensely from the expertise and mentorship on scaling responsibly from David and the rest of CommonBond's executive team.
We want to congratulate all of the finalists for their excellent presentations and, above all else, the incredible social entrepreneurship work they are doing to solve some of our most pressing problems.
Dom & Tom, an interactive agency, generously awarded five complimentary branding sessions to the two runners-up, DocPronto and Project Pregnancy, to help them take their ventures to the next level.
Since Day 1, CommonBond has been dedicated to making a strong social impact as a for-profit company. Last night's event and the CommonBond Social Impact Award is a key way we are living our social mission by celebrating our nation's top MBA social entrepreneurs.
Whether you nominated someone, voted for a finalist, participated in the event or simply extended your support, thank you for joining us. We can't wait to see what next year's award brings!
To view more photos from Wednesday's event, please check out our Facebook album.