CASE Social Venture Prize

In addition to Duke resources such as the Program for Entrepreneurs and Start-Up Challenge, CASE awards an annual Social Venture Prize – $10,000 plus coaching – to help Duke MBA social entrepreneurs vault their ideas forward.

Specifically, the CASE Social Venture Prize comes with a $10,000 grant, plus one-on-one coaching from CASE Senior Fellow and author Dan Heath (Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive links). The CASE Social Venture Prize is only available to current Fuqua students and even students with only an “idea on a napkin” can apply.

The Prize is not designed to reward PowerPoints or prose; it is intended to fund the smartest plan of action.  The grant can be spent at the student’s (or team’s) discretion, either for direct expenses or to fund your time. (For example, using the money to pay one’s expenses over the summer, in lieu of an internship, would be fine.) Furthermore, the winner will receive at least 60 minutes of coaching from Heath every month from March to August.

Application process:

  • A 1-2 page (short but rigorous) application is due in mid-February.
  • The top 3 applicants will be interviewed shortly thereafter.
  • The winner is announced by the end of February.

Winners will be selected based on the thoughtfulness of their proposed plan. For instance, is it achievable? Is it measurable? Would the plan, if executed, yield critical insight (or progress) for the social enterprise? For more information, see the application or email CASE.

The Fine Print:  Applicants to the CASE Seed Prize must be current Duke Fuqua Daytime MBA students.   CASE reserves the right not to award the Seed Prize in any year if appropriate candidates are not found.


Q: Who is eligible for the CASE Seed Prize?
A: Any Fuqua Daytime MBA student.  First Years and Second Years are eligible.   If joint degree student, you must be enrolled at Fuqua this year to be eligible (or have completed a year at Fuqua already).

Q: Can I apply with a team?
A: Yes, you can apply for the Prize as an individual or as a team.

Q: Seed funding is great! Are there other places I can compete for funding?
A: There are several other avenues students with social venture ideas can pursue!

In particular you can submit your idea to:

  • If you are a Duke student with a social venture idea, you should consider applying to the Social Ventures track of the Duke Startup Challenge.
  • Echoing Green also has a fellowship program to fund and support early stage social entrepreneurs (deadline usually early Jan).
  • The Dell Social Innovation Challenge has now spun out of the University of Texas at Austin into its own social enterprise, Verb. Check out their new website for details on upcoming competitions –
  • Executive summaries for entry in the Global Social Venture Competition are due in January
  • A new global competition called the D-Prize funds social venture ideas based on specific distribution challenges.