DSIC Partners with Blake Mycoskie and SSTM
Dell Social Innovation Challenge is thrilled to team up with the dynamic Blake Mycoskie and his new foundation (Start Something That Matters, or SSTM) to reach even more students who want to follow their dreams. This year, DSIC will offer a first-ever fundraising platform to every DSIC 2013 Semi-Finalist team. We will also extend an invitation to our VIP entrepreneurs to take a look at the variety of incredible Semi-Finalist projects and offer them the opportunity to make an investment in any projects of their choice. Even better, Mycoskie’s SSTM foundation will provide a $100,000 matching fund for the select 2013 Semi-Finalist projects that raise money. The SSTM team will handpick up to 25 of the 2013 Semi-Finalist teams for mentoring support and matching grants up to $5,000.
Today, a 35-year old Mycoskie looks back on what sparked his long-term vision of encouraging people to incorporate giving into business through his recent New York Times bestselling book and brand new foundation, both aptly called Start Something That Matters. While traveling through Argentina in 2006, Mycoskie realized that the impoverished villages he came through had no access to everyday needs like shoes and fresh water. After learning about a traditional Argentinean shoe created from natural fibers by the indigenous people, Mycoskie planted the seeds for his sustainable and for-profit shoe retailer, TOMS Shoes— known for donating one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. This revolutionary One for One global movement has expanded through TOMS Eyewear donating one pair of eyeglasses to a person in need for every pair sold.
Just like most university students who submit their awesome projects to DSIC, a socially conscious and entrepreneurial spirit has followed Mycoskie since his university days. While studying at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas, Mycoskie started his own laundry service company (EZ Laundry) after realizing that SMU did not have an on-campus laundry service. By figuring out a common need of his fellow university students and using what he learned through business studies, Mycoskie built his laundry company into a larger operation involving seven universities and 40 employees. Before long, he moved to Nashville to start his own media company (Mycoskie Media), which promoted music through large billboards; which he later sold to Clear Channel, one of the most influential media conglomerates in the US— at the ripe old age of 25. An avid advocate of social-minded organizations, Mycoskie is a dynamic partner that DSIC is proud to work with.
Respectful credits: The Wall Street Journal (“Sole Man Blake Mycoskie,” by Kelsey Hubbard: January 7, 2012), TOMS website (“Blake Mycoskie’s Bio”), and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (“BBA Student Stories: Blake Mycoskie”)