Pitch Fest 2019

About the Pitch Fest 

Pitch Fest Finalists have applied to pitch their social venture to an audience of hundreds of investors, funders, entrepreneurs, and supporters at the Elevating Impact Summit Pitch Fest. Past winners have gone on to lead statewide programs, global networks, and critical social movements.  Deadlines to submit an application are closed for 2019. 

The Pitch Fest takes place on March 15th in Portland, Oregon as a part of the Elevating Impact Summit. To attend the Summit, purchase tickets here


What is a social venture?

Social ventures have a primary objective of solving social and environmental issues. They may generate profit, but their models should be designed to provide maximal social or environmental benefit. Their structures are for-profit, non-profit, hybrid, creative campaign, intrapreneurial initiatives, and other forms. They address problems across issues, from housing to education, to access to capital, and they fill a need where existing organizations and institutions have not effectively addressed the problem. 

Welcome 2019 Finalists! 

AllGo is a crowd-sourced review platform, similar to Yelp, that allows people to review restaurants, bars, gyms, and more on factors important to large-bodied people. It is the first social platform to consolidate America’s largest consumer group: plus size people.

Can Do Good makes it simpler and safer to collect redeemable cans by providing Portland residents bins just for cans. Ultimately this could allow a larger portion of the $30M-$60M/yr of unredeemed cans and bottle deposits to go the people who need it.

Caregiven is a powerful application that guides and empowers family caregivers to skillfully support the needs of a loved one by utilizing AI technology to act as a trusted advisor; providing an interactive roadmap to end-of-life processes.

Diaspora Cafe PDX is a space for the refugee and immigrant community, where cultural integration for new-comers happen naturally and with ease, and where on-the-job skill and English training helps participants break out of isolation, grow in confidence, and thrive.

Jits Urban Hostel Co. is a reentry program whose mission is to combat youth homelessness by offering a unique social hybrid model. By harnessing entrepreneurial spirit youth will co-create a range of services, while providing a place of shelter.


Coaches and Advisors 

Juan Barraza - Director of Student Innovation-PSU Center for Entrepreneurship at Portland State University

Erin Stevanus - Owner, studio b:ask. Strategic Design and Change Management Consultant

Dwayne Johnson - Social Alchemist, Innovation Architect, Ecosystem Builder. President - Globe Three Ventures

Direlle Calica - Director, Institute for Tribal Government, Portland State University

Jacen Greene - Director, Impact Entrepreneurs, Portland State University


Alumni Testimonials

julie sullivan pitch fest finalist

2017 Pitch Fest Finalist
Julie Sullivan, Co-Founder, Ground-Up PDX

“It was a great growing experience to learn to articulate our business pitch and have the opportunity to share about it with a large audience. Not only that, but the connections made with those who attended were invaluable.”     

Following Julie's pitch, Ground-Up PDX gew to more and larger retail stores, and employed 9 women as a part of their employment training program.                                                    

Nadya Okamoto

2016 Pitch Fest Winner
Nadya Okamoto, Founder, PERIOD

"I was so inspired by each of my fellow Pitch Fest finalists. As my organization grows and I face new adversities, these are the people that motivate and empower me."

When Nadya pitched her idea in 2016 she was in high school, and was piloting an innovative local initiative. Now PERIOD has 110 campus chapters and reached more than 150,00 people with period products and advocacy.

Oliver Alexander Orchid Health

2014 Pitch Fest Winner
Oliver Alexander, Co-Founder, Orchid Health

"It was great to connect with socially minded individuals and businesses. Plus, we loved getting valuable feedback from experienced attendees while making connections that are still part of our network today."

Since Orion Falvey and Oliver Alexander pitched Orchid Health, they opened a second clinic, and developed a team of 22 employees.