Nonprofits battle for venture capital

March 04, 2013

A group of eight Arizona nonprofits will compete Tuesday in Tempe for up to $100,000 in venture capital.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: This is the third year that Social Venture Partners Arizona has held its Fast Pitch event, which gives nonprofit organizations, many of which focus on children, three minutes to explain why their mission is most deserving of investment money. Park Howell, who chairs the Social Venture Partners Arizona board, says every group that applies for Fast Pitch is doing good work. But the reality of business demands a well-honed message.

PARK HOWELL: So we let folks know when we’re mentoring them that your story needs to take, as Joseph Campbell would call, the hero’s journey. You have to have character arc. You have to have conflict. You have to start the audience at A in the first second. And after 180 seconds, you have had to have taken them

GOLDSTEIN: Howell says a true venture capitalist is focused on how much money can be made from an investment, while nonprofit venture capital is used to make a broader community impact. Tonight’s event starts at six at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

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