Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute


The Third Annual Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute will take place November 7-9!

Building on the success of the last two years, this Institute will feature tools that are essential to the success of a social venture, a keynote talk, plenary sessions with inspiring and innovative social entrepreneurs, a pitch session, a workshop on compassionate communication, and field trips that showcase local efforts to transform structures and habits of mind to create ecological sound and socially just communities work for everyone.

The detailed 3-day schedule can be found below.

Cost: $200, 10% early bird discount until October 10 (discount code "Earlybird")

Student rate: $100 (discount code "Studentspecial")

Full and Partial Scholarships are available.  To apply click here.

Registration ends at midnight, October 26.

Your ticket gives you access to Friday's opening plenary and reception, all the workshops on Saturday (including a Keynote presentation and the pitch presentations), and either the Compassionate Communication workshop or a field trip on Sunday. 

Meals included are:

  • Friday reception
  • Saturday Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Sunday Breakfast and Lunch


Eventbrite - 2014 Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute

Invited speakers include:

  • Dennis Derryck, the founder of the Corbin Hill Food Project, which works with farmers from upstate New York and community groups in New York City to deliver fresh, local produce to Harlem and the Bronx. The Corbin Hill Food Project is transforming the CSA model so that farm fresh food is accessible to all. 
  • Omar Freilla, the founder of Green Worker Cooperatives in the South Bronx, which is dedicated to incubating worker-owned green businesses in order to build a strong local economy rooted in democracy and environmental justice.
  • Paul Schmitz, the founder of Public Allies, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting young people through full-time community service and leadership development programs.  Paul is recognized as a foremost expert in Collective Impact and one of America’s most influential nonprofit leaders.
  • Veronika Scott, founder of The Empowerment Plan, has built an organization that began around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family.
  • Yve-Car Momperousse and Stephane Jean-Baptiste, founders of Kreyol Essence. Kreyol Essence offers an extensive array of organic, wellness-based beauty, body, and health care commodities. The creation of KE was fueled by Yve-Car’s vision to stimulate economic activity in Haiti through jobs instead of aid.

Featured Models and Tools:

  • The Business Model Generator Canvas: The BMG Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.
  • The Matrix Map:The Matrix Map is a visual tool that plots all of the organization's activities -- not just its programs -- into a single, compelling image. By illustrating the organization's business model -- through a picture of all activities and the financial and mission impact of each one -- it supports genuinely strategic discussions.
  • People-Centered Design: This Design Process helps people hear the needs of those they’re designing for, create innovative approaches to meet these needs, and deliver solutions that work in specific cultural and economic contexts.
  • Collective Impact: Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of people from across different sectors (i.e., nonprofit, for-profit, government, education) to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem. There are five conditions that, together, lead to meaningful results from collective impact: Common Agenda, Shared Measurement, Mutually Reinforcing Activities, Continuous Communication, Backbone Support.

The Institute will include local, healthy meals, and panels and workshops where you will:

  • Apply and evaluate leading models pivotal to the success of social ventures.
  • Know and incorporate elements of creating a collaborative, inclusive economy into their social ventures or areas of work.
  • Integrate the insights and know-how of experienced social entrepreneurs, peers and consultants.
  • Develop relationships that continue beyond the Institute with a diverse group of social entrepreneurs and people in key supporting sectors such as education, business, finance, policy, and community organizing.


Eventbrite - 2014 Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute


Friday, November 7 Milstein Hall Auditorium, Cornell University

5:00 - 6:30pm  Registration

6:30- 8:30pm Opening Plenary with Dennis Derryck, Omar Freilla, Paul Schmitz, Veronika Scott, Yve-Car Momperousse, and Stephane Jean-Baptist. (This event is free and open to the public)

Reception to follow

Saturday, November 8 Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Downtown Ithaca

8:00am Breakfast begins

8:15-9:00am Morning Gathering, Orientation, and Yoga

9:15-10:15am Concurrent Workshops

  • Introduction to the Business Model Generation Canvas
  • Introduction to the Social Impact and Financial Sustainability Matrix Map
  • Collective Impact Workshop with Paul Schmitz

10:30-11:30am Concurrent Workshops

  • Business Model Generation Canvas Clinic with mentors
  • Social Impact and Financial Sustainability Matrix Map
  • Collective Impact Workshop with Paul Schmitz
  • Persuasive Pitching
  • Social Enterprise and Impact Investing 101

11:30 am Lunch begins 

Noon-1:00pm: Keynote by Veronika Scott

1:00-1:30pm Relationship Building and Yoga

1:45-2:45pm Concurrent Workshops

  • Will it Work? Assessing Your Concept's Viability
  • Worker Owned Cooperatives : a holistic approach to business development
  • Collective Impact: Report from Toronto Collective Impact Summit
  • Solving Problems by Design
  • Pitch Clinic with mentors

3:00-4:00pm Concurrent Workshops

  • Cause Marketing and Branding Defined
  • Creating a New Paradigm:  The Social Entrepreneur’s Organic Potpourri to Serve the Most Vulnerable
  • Collective Impact: peer-to-peer dialogue
  • Design Clinic with mentors

4:15- 5:00pm Relationship Building and Yoga

5:00 Dinner Starts

5:30-6:30pm Panel: Learning from Failure 

7:00-9:00pm Pitches 

9:00pm Networking at a local restaurant and bar

Sunday, November 9:  Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Downtown Ithaca

9:00am Breakfast

9:30am Field Trip and Workshop Options (choose one)

  • Workshop at GIAC on Communicating to Build Trust and Understanding
  • Field Trip I: Closing the Loop on Food Dignity (bus tour)
  • Field Trip II: The Pocket Neighborhood: A model for sustainable communities (walking tour)

12:45pm Lunch at GIAC

1:30-2:00pm Closing


Eventbrite - 2014 Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute


This event would not be possible without the generous support of our co-sponsors: Department of Development Sociology, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Engaged Learning + Research, Entrepreneurship at Cornell, Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service, the United Way of Tompkins County.



 The following information is available from our previous Institutes:

  • 2013 and 2012 Institute Programs downloadable to the right
  • 2013 Summary of Institute Participant Evaluations
  • 2013 Institute Pictures available in the slide show to the right
  • 2013 TEDxCornellU Program downloadable to the right

Word clouds from the 2013 participant evaluations.


Looking back on the 2013 Institute, what stands out?



Anything else you would like us to know?