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If you have a Big Idea that could change the world and need help getting up and running, the Berkeley OnRamp is here for you.

The OnRamp provides hundreds of high quality resources that can turn your Big Ideas into the next big thing (and into big social impact): funding opportunities, startup incubator programs, training programs, and much more!

Upcoming Courses

Social Innovator OnRamp Course at UC Berkeley
IAS 150: Social Innovator OnRamp (4 units)

Instructors: Dr. Jennifer Walske (LinkedIn) and Dr. Sophi Martin (LinkedIn), plus industry experts in areas such as product design, product launch, social enterprise, and social investing.

Time: Wednesdays 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Fall 2016)
Where: Blum Hall (B100), at the Blum Center for Developing Economies

Read more
The Social Innovator OnRamp is an initiative of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to this free resource guide, the OnRamp and the Blum Center offer classes, competitions, workshops, and other initiatives at Berkeley, as well as a growing body of research and writing for academic, social innovator, and general audiences.

What is the Social Innovator OnRamp resource guide?
The website curates a wide range of resources for early stage social innovators, whether they are community organizers, social entrepreneurs, or people in industry, the social sector, and academia.

The OnRamp showcases funding and training resources, key organizations that are shaping the social impact movement, and links to reports, debates, and analysis. There are also resources for “second stage” social impact organizations focused on creating realistic strategies for growth.

Why a Social Innovator OnRamp resource guide?
There is a rapidly growing body of resources available to help aspiring social innovators grow sustainable and effective initiatives. But the networks are fragmented, and it can be difficult for new innovators to find what they need. Because there is often limited time, manpower, and bandwidth for turning ideas, prototypes, and pilots into growing initiatives, it is important for innovators to locate the right resources early on.

We started building this guide to help the nearly 700 students who participate annually in the Big Ideas@Berkeley social innovation competition. Each year, 30 to 40 winners are selected across 10 wide-ranging categories, such as creative expression for social justice and clean and sustainable energy alternatives, receiving $300,000 in prizes.  These amazing innovators, usually small teams of undergraduate and graduate students, then have a relatively short runway to create momentum for their initiatives.

In a 2013 study, 94 percent of winning teams reported actively working on their initiatives one year after being funded by Big Ideas. And every year, there are initiatives that take off dramatically, such as We Care Solar, Acopio, Cellscope, and Back to the Roots. In addition, every year there are many hundreds of young social innovators fail to find funding, but who have spent considerable time refining their ideas as part of the Big Ideas experience. The aim of the OnRamp is to reach these young visionaries with useful support.

We hope you will join us in building this resource. Please suggest resources we’ve missed, recommend useful OnRamp items to your friends and colleagues, and provide feedback about what materials are most useful.

Most of all, we hope the OnRamp will help you grow your initiative.

Sincerely,
The Blum Center Team


The Blum Center was established in 2006 to serve as UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for understanding and acting on poverty and inequality in California, the U.S., and across the globe. Its mission is to enable students, scholars, and researchers from multiple fields to work together to understand the complex factors that cause poverty—and to collaborate develop and implement sustainable solutions. The Blum Center operates on the idea that the university must be a force for tackling global challenges, and that to create sustainable and enduring change people from multiple departments, institutions, and communities must come together and work collaboratively.  For that reason, the Blum Center is creating and expanding:

-          An international network of academic, NGO, community, government, and business partners

-          A funding stream to support promising work

-          A body of research and writing for academic and general audiences

Click here to learn about the Blum Center’s main programs
Social Innovator OnRamp Course at UC Berkeley
IAS 150: Social Innovator OnRamp (4 units)

Instructors:
     Dr. Jennifer Walske (LinkedIn)
     Dr. Sophi Martin (LinkedIn)
     Plus industry experts in areas such as product design, product launch, social enterprise, and social investing.

Time: Wednesdays 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Fall 2016)
Where: Blum Hall (B100), at the Blum Center for Developing Economies

Application : http://tinyurl.com/OnRamp2016

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OVERVIEW: This hands-on course introduces students to case work, best practices, and the tools necessary turn ideas for the social sector into viable products and services. Throughout the class, students further shape, evaluate and grow their own early-stage projects and ideas with support from OnRamp instructors and invited experts.

There is no thematic restriction to projects, other than that they must be driven by social good: projects can be local or global, for profit or non-profit; start-ups or NGO initiatives; technical products or social processes.

WHO IS THIS FOR: Apply to this class with your new ideas or early-stage initiatives. This includes projects that you have already begun through participation in the Big Ideas@Berkeley or other classes or competitions; or through research, work or volunteer experiences. New ideas are also eligible.

HOW TO ENROLL: Students are encouraged to apply together in groups of two or more to get the most out of this action-based class. You may recruit a friend to join! For more information or to apply to the course go to http://tinyurl.com/OnRamp2016.

For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Walske, UC Berkeley Blum Center, jmwalske@berkeley.edu or 415.722.0439.

Is there something we missed? Fill out this form to let us know. You can also tweet new resources at #BerkeleyOnRamp!


  • The Blum Center for Developing Economies – Updates from our interdisciplinary Center at UC Berkeley for students, faculty, and practitioners interested in the fields of international development, poverty, and inequality. Sign up for the email list.
  • Development Impact Lab (DIL) – News and information from the Blum Center’s DIL initiative on the intersection of international development and technology, with resources for innovators bringing their projects to scale. Sign up for the email list.
  • Big Ideas@Berkeley – Updates and highlighted opportunities and resources from across the nation and globe from one of the oldest and largest social impact innovation contests in the US. Sign up for the email list.

FRIENDS AND PARTNERS

  • Global Poverty & Practice Minor
  • Big Ideas@Berkeley
  • Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering
  • Development Impact Lab
  • Blum Center for Developing Economies

  • Clinton Global Initiative University
  • US AID Global Development Lab
  • VentureWell

  • The Foundry @ CITRIS

  • IdeaLabs
  • Free Ventures


RESOURCE CATEGORIES

Funding

Competitions, grants, crowdfunding sites, and other financial resources for early stage projects.

Accelerators & Incubators

Organizations, networking groups, and other resources for getting ideas off the ground and into the marketplace.

Tools

Practical resources for implementation, including software platforms, prototyping services, and organizational tools.

Training & Support

Online classes, workshops, and other opportunities to build networks, develop your idea, and learn new skills.

Further Reading

Books, magazines, journals, blogs, and forums on development and social impact issues.

Networks

Leading supporters of new ventures, including organizations that provide second-stage funding and assistance.


ALL RESOURCES

Featured New Resources

Sci Dev Net
Added June 29, 2016

Website of news, views, and analysis about science and technology for global development for development professionals, policymakers, researchers, the media, and the informed public.

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Google.org
Added June 29, 2016

Google.org, founded in October 2005, is the charitable arm of Google, an Internet search engine company. Each year, Google.org donates $100M in grants, 200,000 hours, $1B in products.

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Tackling Hero Entrepreneurship
Added June 29, 2016

This report, including resources, tools, and life maps, was designed to help individuals, educators, and funders move us from a focus on the social entrepreneur to a focus on creating positive social impact. To get there, we need to help people work towards collective impact, give them the tools, accolades, and incentives to apprentice with problems they didn’t live before asking them to solve them, and support people to understand and build upon the existing efforts of others rather than “innovating” in a vacuum.

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Entrepreneurship.org
Added June 29, 2016

Online classes and other services by the Kauffman Foundation on entrepreneurial selling, intellectual property, how to build presentations, and much more.

Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) Conference
Added June 29, 2016

A world-renowned annual conference on social impact–with investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs–dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good.

Timeline: 1: Fall
Location: Bay Area
Eligibility: Any

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More resources
Competitions, grants, crowdfunding sites, and other financial resources for early stage projects.
Keywords overview: Any topic, Design+Innovation+Creativity, International Development, Social Impact, Startups+Business, Technology, Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
google.org

Through the global giving programs, they accelerate and scale the work of innovators around the world who are using technology to combat humanity’s biggest challenges. Locally, they support nonprofits in their efforts to tackle society’s greatest challenges and make our communities stronger.

Timeline: Many: year-round
Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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BigIdeas@Berkeley

Up to $300,000 in funding for teams with ideas for social impact across a number of categories. At least one team member must be a student at UC Berkeley or a Big Ideas partner university.

Timeline: 1: Fall
Location: Any (see eligibility criteria)
Eligibility: Students

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Better Ventures

Venture capital firm providing funding to companies creating scalable, technology-driven social impact projects with initial investments of $25,000-$200,000 in early-stage companies. Strong preference for Bay Area-based companies, especially in Oakland and Berkeley.

Timeline: Rolling deadlines
Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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DRK Grant by Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Partners with entrepreneurs to build strong and capable non-profit organizations. Provides unrestricted capital via multi-year funding to startups, management assistance, support, and a network of entrepreneurs are provided.

Timeline: Rolling deadlines
Location: US
Eligibility: Non-profit

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Echoing Green Fellowship

Provides seed-funding, up to $90,000, to social innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide who challenge status quo and aim to create social change addressing key issues. Provides individualized leadership development opportunities, peer learning workshops, technical assistance, one-on-one counseling, and access to the impressive Echoing Green network, including over 700 program alumni.

Timeline: 1: Fall
Location: US
Eligibility: Any

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More resources
Organizations, networking groups, and other resources for getting ideas off the ground and into the marketplace.
Keywords overview: Any topic, Design+Innovation+Creativity, International Development, Social Impact, Startups+Business, Technology, Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
VentureWell

Higher education network providing grants, fellowships, competitions, sponsored events, programs (incubators, accelerators), conferences, networking opportunities, and investments for young scientists to help launch ventures that improve life for people and the planet. enrich classrooms, curriculum and campuses. Promotes science and technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship on university and college campuses, and commercialization of ideas.

Timeline: Many: Year-round
Location: US
Eligibility: Student, Faculty

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Rock Health

A full-service seed fund for early-stage medical and biotech startups–with funding, access to networks, hands-on support, medical expertise, and an option to work in San Francisco. Also sponsors several events, including the Rock Health Summit, to connect professionials in healthcare delivery and technology.

Timeline: Many: Rolling
Location: Bay Area
Eligibility: Any

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Santa Clara Global Social Benefit Institute–GSBI® Online

Provides startups with several learning labs, Silicon Valley mentors, a network of investors and other entrepreneurs, as well as fellowships and research opportunities for University of Santa Clara students and faculty. Through weekly calls over the course of 6 months, mentors works with social entrepreneurs to develop opeorational and social impact strategies, metrics, and investment summaries.

Timeline: 1: Spring
Location: Any
Eligibility: GSBI Online: Non-profit, For-profit For Students, Faculty (Fellowship and research)

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Impact Hub Bay Area

Innovation lab, business incubator, and social enterprise community center offering coworking and event spaces in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, for social impact organizations, as well as member networking with other professionals addressing social and environmental change; guidance, resources, events, workshops, and a variety of programs.

Timeline: Rolling
Location: Bay Area
Eligibility: Any

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The Foundry @ CITRIS

An applied technology incubator at UC Berkeley that supports early stage startups developing disruptive solutions for today’s biggest challenges. Theprogram provides: $5,000-$10,000 in seed funding for startups; more than $50,000 in resources including office, meeting & lab space, cloud computing, legal services and education; customized mentorship specific to your needs from our extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts; A strong community of fellow founders and access to design and prototyping tools at the CITRIS Invention Lab.

Timeline: 2: Spring, Fall
Location: UC Berkeley
Eligibility: Any (UCB Affiliated)

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More resources
Online classes, workshops, and other opportunities to build networks, develop your idea, and learn new skills.
Keywords overview: Any topic, Design+Innovation+Creativity, International Development, Social Impact, Startups+Business, Technology, Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
Philanthropy University at Haas

A global initiative to provide free online courses designed and taught by industry leaders from UC Berkeley, McKinsey, Hewlett, Kiva, and others. Our faculty will assist in shaping the curricula, teach courses, source faculty from other top universities and integrate our Global Social Venture Competition with this initiative.

Timeline: Many: Year-round
Location: Any
Eligibility: Students (UC Berkeley)

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How to Build a Startup: The Lean LaunchPad

In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup. The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback.

Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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EdX

Interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, nonprofits, and institutions, including courses on computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing,

Keywords: Any topic
Timeline: Many: Year-round
Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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Code Academy

Learn to code interactively, for free.

Keywords: Technology
Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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PlusAcumen Courses

Non-profit venture fund investing in companies that deliver critical goods and services in water, health, housing, energy, agriculture, poverty, and education. Provides a series of free online courses that foster financial and operational skills and imagination, focusing on social entrepreneurship themes including storytelling, human centered design and more.

Timeline: Many: Year-round
Location: Any
Eligibility: Any

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More resources
Practical resources for implementation, including software platforms, prototyping services, and organizational tools.
Keywords overview: Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
Drupal

Powerful, feature-rich, open source content management platform used to make websites and applications, with thousands of add-ons, external applicaitons, and services.

Keywords: Design, Web
Location: Any

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Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, UC Berkeley

This new home for design innovation features design studios, flexible space and access to tools for prototyping, iteration and fabrication. Memberships available for the UC Berkeley community.

Location: UC Berkeley

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Innovation @ CITRIS

1,300 square-foot lab and prototyping space consisting of an array of traditional prototyping equipment that range from the basic craft tools to machining and electronics instruments at UC Berkeley that works in conjunction with the Marvell Nanofabrication Lab. Memberships available for the UC Berkeley community.

Location: UC Berkeley

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Berkeley Institute of Design Prototyping Materials Database

List of resources in the Bay Area for prototyping. Compiled and hosted by UC Berkeley Institute of Design.

Location: UC Berkeley

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Trello

Free project and personal task management application for desktop and mobile platforms, and updates in real-time

Location: Any

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More resources
Books, magazines, journals, blogs, and forums on development and social impact issues.
Keywords overview: Any topic, Design+Innovation+Creativity, International Development, Social Impact, Startups+Business, Technology, Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
Tackling Hero Entrepreneurship
Daniela Papi Thornton

This report, including resources, tools, and life maps, was designed to help individuals, educators, and funders move us from a focus on the social entrepreneur to a focus on creating positive social impact. To get there, we need to help people work towards collective impact, give them the tools, accolades, and incentives to apprentice with problems they didn’t live before asking them to solve them, and support people to understand and build upon the existing efforts of others rather than “innovating” in a vacuum.

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Sci Dev Net
SciDev.Net

Website of news, views, and analysis about science and technology for global development for development professionals, policymakers, researchers, the media, and the informed public.

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Stanford Social Innovation Review
Stanford

Magazine and website written for and by social change leaders in the non-profit, business, and government sectors who view collaboration as key to solving environmental, social, and economic justice issues.

Keywords: Social Impact

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Changemaking 101: A Student Guide to Social Entrepreneurship
Ashoka U

Tool featured on the Ashoka U website (http://ashokau.org/) that serves as a comprehensive introduction to social entrepreneurship, complete with: resources to learn more deeply about this approach to social change; replicable models of social entrepreneurship at work on college campuses; strategies for how to build momentum for social entrepreneurship activities; tips and tools to be an effective student leader and changemaker; and ideas for starting a social entrepreneurship club, launching a venture, or adding a social entrepreneurship-oriented perspective to an existing club.

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Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, With a New Preface
Paul Farmer

Farmer, a physician and anthropologist with 20 years of experience working in Haiti, Peru, and Russia, argues that promoting the social and economic rights of the world’s poor is the most important human rights struggle of our times.

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More resources
Leading supporters of new ventures, including organizations that provide second-stage funding and assistance.
Keywords overview: Any topic, Design+Innovation+Creativity, International Development, Social Impact, Startups+Business, Technology, Prototyping, Manufacture, Organization, Analysis, Web, Coding, Publicity, Data, Payments, Tutorial, Design
Google.org

Google.org, founded in October 2005, is the charitable arm of Google, an Internet search engine company. Each year, Google.org donates $100M in grants, 200,000 hours, $1B in products.

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Erwin Marion Kauffmann Foundation

Focuses on grant making for advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

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Lemelson Foundation

Works with partners in establishing and supporting projects that inspire youth to become inventors, stimulate and provide invention and entrepreneurship education, and support the launch, earliest incubation and mentoring of invention-based enterprises.

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Ashoka

The largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. It has built a global network of more than 10,000 innovators, hundreds of partners, and tens of thousands of changemakers from 125 countries by running more than 70 online competitions during the past decade, with partners such as GE, Google, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many other innovating organizations.

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The Aspen Institute

A global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The Institute’s Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses.

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