Report European Social Innovation Competition Madrid 2017

Thanks to everyone who joined and supported the 2017 Social Innovation Academy last week in Madrid. We packed so much learning, networking and skills building into three sunny days and it was a privilege to come together to explore social innovation, digital inclusion and accessibility, prototyping, fundraising, impact investment, scaling, communications, pitching and more.

The Academy is arranged for the 30 semi-finalists to learn, grow and plan for the future – particularly in how they develop their idea ahead of submitting a detailed project plan for the jury to review.

Based in citizen-led innovation space Medialab-Prado, we were joined by brilliant speakers, coaches, and workshop hosts from leading social innovation organisations across Europe sharing their insights and tips on how to succeed as a social entrepreneur. With expert advice and one to one, tailored coaching on one side, another of the most valuable aspects of the academy is the peer to peer support. Semi-finalist Juliette Piazza, founder of Inclusight said of fellow semi-finalists:

“We are all social entrepreneurs coming from different European countries. All at very different stages in our projects. All from different cultures. I’ve just shared and learned so much from them. I’ve met partners and I even met friends.”

At the end of the academy all 30 semi-finalists practiced pitching their idea to the jury, their coaches, mentors and each other at our partner Impact Hub Madrid‘s beautiful co-working space. Faced with the ‘timekeeping gong’ to mark the end of their 90 second pitch, this was not an easy task!

We’re thrilled the Academy was such a success, and we’re particularly inspired by all of the collaboration, partnership building and sharing that we saw. We look forward to seeing these ideas develop and we wish all our semi-finalists good luck with the rest of their journey through the competition!

The 10 finalists will be announced in late September so keep following us on Twitter @EUSocialInnov for our latest updates and insights to social innovation from across Europe and beyond. And keep your diaries free for 26 October when three 2017 winners will be announced in Brussels. In the meantime, have a look at our Flickr pageto see more of what we got up to in Madrid!

The European Social Innovation Competition team

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