Summit Series: Capitalizing on ideas?

Katharine Herrup is the Opinion Editor for Reuters.com. This is the last of a three-part series on Summit Series. Read Part I: “A new kind of currency” and Part II: “Entrepreneurs set sail”.

Every member of Summit Series sold their belongings or shipped them back home to their parents’ place so they could travel with just one suitcase and live in different cities every six weeks. The idea is to meet “interesting” people face-to-face who are doing something good.

“It’s a time in our life to see the world,” Summit Series co-creator Elliott Bisnow said. “And to do that and to live with your best friends and work with them is incredible.”

“It’s cheaper to travel and rent places than live in a city,” added Josh Zabar, one of Summit Series’s members.

Part of their travels include aid missions. In the spring of 2010, the group went to Haiti with actress Kristen Bell and Bobby Chang. They gave out 1,000 LifeStraws, a couple hundred Incase backpacks and $10,000 worth of school supplies from Staples, which has been a sponsor of previous Summit Series events.

Summit Series: Entrepreneurs set sail

Katharine Herrup is the Opinion Editor for Reuters.com. This is the second of a three-part series on Summit Series. Read the first part here.

The first major Summit Series event happened in May of 2010. Just after starting the company two years ago, the team of seven young men between the ages of 24 and 26, were able to get President Bill Clinton, media mogul Ted Turner and co-founder of the Carlyle Group David Rubinstein to come and speak. They were a part of an impressive group of 750 attendees.

“We hosted the country’s most innovative young minds and thought leaders from presidents to astronauts to social media gurus to photographers to celebrities,” Josh Zabar, one of the original seven members, said.

Summit Series: A new kind of currency

Katharine Herrup is the Opinion Editor for Reuters.com. This is the first part of a three part series on Summit Series. Read part two: “Entrepreneurs set sail”.

Who doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur these days?

The end result sounds ideal: doing exactly what you want to do. Of course getting a business up and running is incredibly tough work that mostly ends in failure, but if yours is one of the rarer ones to succeed, then you have accomplished what every person dreams of — being your own boss.

Elliott Bisnow and Brett Leve, 25 and 26, created Summit Series, an event-driven company that brings together social entrepreneurs in their twenties and thirties to share their ideas and hopefully achieve a greater impact. As the name implies, Summit Series is all about gatherings.

from PopTech:

The future of microfinance?

The way Ben Lyon sees it, the finance world is in the middle of a revolution, and the simple text message is at the heart of it.

Lyon created a system to bring formal financial services to microfinance institutions and poor entrepreneurs via a mobile phone. He believes the new software, to be launched by the organization he founded, FrontlineSMS:Credit, could change the world of microfinance by changing the way the poor interact with the institutions.

The self-described “ideas man” will be among the first speakers at this week’s annual PopTech conference, held in Camden, Maine.

A chaotic kind of love: starting a successful non-profit

LindawithStudentThis is part of an ongoing series of interviews I am doing with women entrepreneurs, and part of the kickoff to a series on social entrepreneurship.

Recently, I spoke with Linda Mornell, (pictured at left with a Summer Search student) the founder and former CEO of Summer Search, an educational and character building program that gives low-income students the opportunities and support to transform their lives. Linda, A former psychiatric nurse, spoke about the challenges of starting a non-profit organization, which now has seven offices. She also addresses the potential hazards of being too invested in your company.

What is Summer Search?
Summer Search essentially became a leadership and character development program. We look for kids who shows signs of altruism. The alumni are incredibly self-aware and empowered individuals who are very committed to their own personal growth and helping others.

Gen X vs. Gen Y entrepreneurs

making moves

Matt Wilson, co-founder of Under30CEO.com, is a digital marketing strategist at Shadow Concepts LLC. Follow him on Twitter as he urges people to start businesses they are passionate about. This is part of the kickoff to a series on social entrepreneurship. The views expressed are his own.

When it comes to starting a business there are advantages and disadvantages to taking the leap at various points during your lifetime and there are distinct differences between entrepreneurs from different generations.

Gen Y entrepreneurs, also referred to as “millennials,” are famous for their .com start-ups like Facebook and College Humor, but equally as infamous for their entitled attitudes and over-exuberance. These young entrepreneurs are fresh out of school (some because they’ve dropped out all together) and have decided to take the world by storm, with or without their parents support. For millennials there is little to lose: no mortgages, no families, and not a whole lot of obligations. Besides, if you find yourself unemployed, ski towns out west are always hiring. Try doing that when you’re 36.

Starting a new career at 60


The following is a guest post by Marci Alboher, vice president at Civic Ventures, a think tank making it easier for millions to find encore careers with personal meaning and social impact. This is part of the kickoff to a series on social entrepreneurship. The views expressed are the author’s own.

Mark Goldsmith created Getting Out and Staying Out, a program that reduces the recidivism rate of young men released from prisons and jails. Elaine Santore founded Umbrella of the Capital District, a service that pairs retired handy people with aging homeowners who need help with small home repairs. And Adele Douglass (see above photo) created Humane Farm Animal Care, the nation’s first program to certify that farming practices are humane from birth to slaughter.

They are all social entrepreneurs — creative, inventive, enterprising individuals who bring their talent and passion to solving the problems of our day — and they are all over the age of 55.

Social entrepreneurship series

This package kicks off a series centered around social entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation. With less of everything –- jobs, money –- we are confronted with what to prioritize and, therefore, are forced to think about how we want to spend our time. Is it with family? Is it changing careers? Is it contributing to a greater good?

This series capture what social leaders and innovators are doing now in order to improve the quality of life –– not just their own, but other people’s as well. It also provides expert advice on these matters.

We have three pieces for each topic and a video to go along with one of them: the difference between GenX and GenY entrepreneurs, how to launch a socially conscious second career that has personal meaning and impact, and how to start a successful non-profit that is complimented by a video of a Summer Search grad, Jabali Sawicki, who is now a leader in his own field.