San Diego Social Innovation Challenge


The Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) is a student social venture competition organized by the Center for Peace and Commerce at the University of San Diego. Through the SIC, university students in San Diego generate ideas for innovative ventures that respond to a social or environmental issue of their choice, and compete for seed funding to launch or expand their ventures. Social ventures may be for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid models with a domestic or international focus.


Competition Organizer

University of San Diego Center for Peace and Commerce

Local US Event
San Diego, CA
Submission Date


Business Plan Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Competition Category
  • Graduate - Local U.S.
  • Undergraduate - Local U.S.
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Technology - Green
  • Women or Minority-owned
  • PitchBurner
Who's Eligible

This is a student-based, academic challenge. In order to be eligible to apply for the “San Diego Track” of the University of San Diego Social Innovation Challenge, you must be a degree-seeking university student enrolled in at least 12 credits (per semester) as an undergraduate or 6 units (per semester) as a graduate student during at least one of the semesters or quarters of the 2014-2015 academic school year. Students must be enrolled in a university which is physically based in San Diego County and attend that branch/extension located within the county for those attending universities headquartered outside of San Diego with branches in the county. Students must comply with the Social Innovation Challenge deadlines to be eligible to enter the competition. Late entries will not be eligible.

Students enrolled in the aforementioned colleges or universities will be eligible for the “San Diego Track” award money only; only University of San Diego students will be eligible for the internal University of San Diego Social Innovation Challenge award money. A minimum of $17,500 and a maximum of $35,000 will be awarded to student projects in the “San Diego Track.”

In the case of proposals for nonprofit or for-profit businesses, you must be a C-level officer or director of the organization (e.g., Executive Director, CEO, COO) and, in the case of a for-profit organization, a majority owner, or part of a team of eligible students who are a combined majority owner.

Important Dates

Round 1: February 16, 2015
Round 2: March 30, 2015
Final Pitch: April 28, 2015
Awards Ceremony: May 1. 2015

Competition Prizes

A total of $75,000 will be divided among as many winners as the judges choose to select. The amount awarded will vary depending on the student's educational institution (USD students have access to more award money) and the budget the venture has put together in their business plan.