5 Great Moments at Irish Impact!

What a week! the 2nd Annual Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference at Notre Dame is in the books. It was three days of learning, networking and diving into social entrepreneurship. Below are some of the highlights. If you have your own, please leave a comment and let us know.

Oak Financial Wins the Zielsdorf Family Pitch Competition! Irish Impact Conference31 Oak Financial wowed the judges at the  Zielsdorf Family Pitch Competition with their Chapulin mobile banking product and took home $6,000. Chapulin’s mobile app combines common mobile banking tools such as check deposit, bill pay, and account tracking with the ability to conduct instantaneous peer-to-peer international and domestic money transfers. Combined with a prepaid card, the capabilities and convenience that this technology provides will empower underbanked groups such as hispanic immigrants and college students with the ability to manage their money conveniently and securely. The $2,000 People’s Choice Award went to Derrius Quarles and Million Dollar Scholar, an enterprise that helps disadvantaged students obtain the funds they need for post-secondary education. Voting for the People’s Choice Award was powered by VoteGiant, a new  app for online surveys designed to capture immediate feedback, which was co-founded by John Pestka, a class of ’95 Notre Dame graduate.

Shivani Shiroya of InVenture Gives a Fireside Chat About the Unbanked  

IMAG0110 Melissa Paulson, Irish Impact’s fearless leader, sat down with Shivani Shiroya, founder and CEO of InVenture, to talk about what InVenture is and how Shivani was able to convince investors that leveraging mobile technology to create credit scores for the unbanked was a good and profitable idea. Shivani’s story was an inspiring and exhausting one. She said that, “when you are passionate about something, you forget you are tired,” which she often was while working 14 hours at Citigroup and then heading home to work on InVenture.  She stressed that when you are starting a social enterprise, it is important to share your idea with people and to resist the temptation to go into stealth model. “Success is all about execution,” and the knowledge you gain by sharing far out weighs the risk of someone stealing your idea.

Dan Morrison and Clarence Wardell Slay the Crowdfunding Myth!

Dan Morrison, Chief Do Gooder at IMAGINE Social Good, and Clarence Wardell, co-founder of tinyGive.com, sat down with a group of Irish Impact attendees and got down and dirty on Crowdfunding. Despite the fact that people are expected to raise over $5 billion on crowdfunding sites this year, most project fail and don’t reach their goal. Kickstarter leads the pack with a 42% project success rate, while less than 10% of projects on Indiegogo succeed. Dan and Clarence shared with the group that success was not determined by the crowdfunding platform one chooses, but by the strategy and tireless execution one pursues. Kickstarter claims that 81% of projects that raise 20% of their goal go on to succeed. If you reach 60% of your goal, you are almost gauranteed (98%) to succeed. Therefore crowdfunding is much less about getting money from strangers than getting as much money from the people you know as quickly as possible. Wish you were there? You can watch it on Livestream here: http://bit.ly/1fiQCkn.


David Bornstein Says “Its About Meaning, Stupid.”


David Bornstein, New York Times writer, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, and co-founder of Solutions Journalism Network, captivated the crowd Thursday night with his talk on what it means to be a social entrepreneur and why it is so important to the future of our society. David shared that the important ingredient for a social entrepreneur is “durable motivation” – the type of motivation that does not quit after the tenth failure or the 100th criticism. It is a social entrepreneurs tirelessness and unwillingness to compromise, because in the end, it is about meaning and making life better not for themselves, but for all. Everyone should watch David’s speech, which we will publish shortly. To be notified, please email irishimpactnd@gmail.com.

“What’s Your Irish Impact?” Campaign Launch!

Just before David’s speech, we launching the What’s Your Irish Impact? campaign. Everyday, we meet Notre Dame students, alumni, faculty or friends that are changing the world in their own small way. It doesn’t matter if it is selling cupcakes and donating the proceeds to the local food bank or starting a social enterprise to provide jobs for the unemployed – every act of social good helps us step closer to a more just, sustainable world for all.

We want to hear your story. It is easy. Just shoot a short video (use your phone!) that is no longer than 30 seconds, state your name, your class year or affiliation with Notre Dame, how you are changing the world, and end with “What’s your Irish Impact?!” You can watch this video for an example and see the trailer below for some of the great videos we have already received. Oh – did we mention the video with the most views by the end of November wins an iPad Mini? Its the perfect Christmas gift.

Your Favorite Moment!

There were so many talks, workshops, side conversations and random encounters at Irish Impact and we want to know which one is your favorite! Leave us a comment below or email us at irishimpactnd@gmail.com with your favorite moment. Attach photos or links of you have them.

Thank you all for making #IrishImpact13 a huge success and we cannot wait to announce the dates for #IrishImpact14 so we can all get together again next year!

One response to “5 Great Moments at Irish Impact!

  1. Amazing few days in South Bend. Thanks to Better World Books, Hannah & Friends and Green Bridge Growers for showing off their inspiring and IMPACTful social ventures. Question for all, did Shivani really survey 4,000 people while researching her venture?


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