After an exciting night of fantastic pitches and great networking at Seattle’s McCaw Hall, EOI was honored to bring home two awards for EOI Policy Associate Kelli Smith’s pitch about Pay It Forward at the fourth annual SVP Fast Pitch competition on Tuesday, October 28.
Pay It Forward is a tuition-free higher education policy that opens up access to college through an innovative system: instead of paying upfront tuition each year, students contribute a small, fixed percentage of their post-graduate income to a state trust fund over twenty years.
Kelli was one of only fourteen finalists selected to pitch this innovative project at SVP Fast Pitch, a business training and pitch competition for nonprofit and for-profit social innovators. In front of an audience of over 700 innovators, philanthropists, investors, and other supporters, Pay It Forward received the Data Innovation Award, sponsored by the Tableau Foundation and Slalom Consulting, as well as the Women’s Funding Alliance Award for Girls and Women.
In addition, Pay It Forward received Audience Angel Awards – worth $500 each – from two randomly selected audience members who chose to support Pay It Forward as their favorite program out of all of the finalists and semifinalists.
EOI was honored to have been a part of SVP Seattle Fast Pitch this year, and we look forward to many years of partnership with the entire Social Venture Partners team and our fellow innovators.