The Entrepreneur's Pledge is a network of roughly 100 experienced, sustainable-thinking entrepreneurs who have founded well-known and successful companies and want to use their talent to build and support social businesses. At our most important event on 09 June 2017, we invite 10 teams to pitch at our Summit and work on their challenges in an in-depth, 4 hour workshop. This gives us the chance to go beyond just giving advice: we will have the time to get our hands dirty and work on your biggest problems.
Our entrepreneurs, some of whom have built billion dollar businesses, want to dedicate their time, knowledge and network to help you take your company to the next level. As founders, we believe that it is our responsibility to use our entrepreneurial skills to help social businesses, so we can increase their positive impact on the world.
Apply here to have the chance to meet some of Germany’s most successful entrepreneurs and work on your social business’ challenges:
How will it work?
After submitting your application until 31 May, we will select 10 teams among all applicants who will be invited to pitch to our pledgers on 09 June. You will have 5 minutes to pitch your project and touch upon the questions that we ask in our application form. There is an extra 2 minutes for Q&A. After the members vote on the projects they wish to support, the 5 projects with most votes will host a 4-hour workshop with the Entrepreneur's Pledge members afterwards.
We will reimburse you for travel costs and provide food and drinks, whether you make it to the final round or not. Due to space limitations, we limit the invitation to a maximum of two team members. At least one of them should be the founder.
What companies are we looking for?
The Entrepreneur's Pledge is interested in leaving impact on a big scale. We have no strict rules on what problem your business intends to solve, as long as you intend to scale your solution to maximize the change you create.
At the Entrepreneur's Pledge, we believe that positive change can be achieved if good people found good, impact-driven businesses. Accordingly, your company needs to be a business—and depend on a clear business model, not donations. While our focus is on for-profit impact business, we won’t specifically exclude non-profits from applying. The main criteria will be the importance of your cause, your approach to leaving impact, your willingness to bring change on a big scale and the problems that our pledgers should help you with in the workshop.
What will I get out of it?
Needless to say, you will have access to the input and feedback of inspiring serial entrepreneurs who will only focus on your business for an entire afternoon! To make the most of this time, you should define problem areas of your business that pledgers should help you to solve and moderate the workshop, so the time is spent effectively. It is best to work on big, open-ended questions in which our pledgers can invest their knowledge:
How should we organize our business so we can best serve our purpose? How will I be able to scale to be a multi-million dollar company or more? How should we compete in a market with other, profit-driven businesses? How can we improve our value chain in terms of efficiency and sustainability? How will I make sure that our company has enough financial resources to survive?
There will be enough time to dive into several questions in your session, so make sure you have more that one prepared in your application. Pledgers are happy to make useful introductions and if necessary and possibly follow up on discussed challenges after the summit is over.
Who will pitch?
Next to spreading the word online, we distribute our call for pitches among impact investors and the entire Gründerszene. There are also companies from within our network that will apply, but no preferential treatment is given to them in the process.
What if I don't make it to the final round?
We believe that it is necessary for ideas to compete—also in the impact-driven sector—to make the most impactful, promising ventures flourish. Entrepreneurs should not be afraid of failing, but of never trying. Not making it to the final round is therefore not a failure, but a learning experience with good feedback. Unquestionably, even without the workshop the opportunity is great for making connections and your visibility. At our previous event, the Summit was not just a success for founders who made it to the last round, but also for businesses that didn’t get enough votes. Apart from getting useful feedback, these businesses received useful contacts and arranged partnership agreements with our members’ companies.
How will I get to the location in Paretz and back?
After we invite you to the summit, we will work out a solution with you individually. Don't worry about that for now.
What about confidentiality?
We won’t require anyone attending the summit to sign an NDA. Our pledgers want to help interesting, purpose-driven ideas to flourish — and not steal or copy them. We work in a supportive, friendly environment and our pledgers commit to not sharing confidential information.