Are you launching a start-up or early stage growth company? Can you demonstrate commitment to delivering lasting social or environmental impact? If so, we want to hear from you.IESE is excited to be partnering with Mustard Seed to host the Mustard Seed Fast Pitching Competition on February 27, during IESE’s annual flagship conference: Doing Good Doing Well Conference

How it Works?

The pitch competition is open to entrepreneurs in start-up or early growth phase, who can clearly identify a social and/or environmental mission, their target market, and how they plan to scale their business and also a measurable impact. Interested individuals or teams should read the eligibility criteria below, prepare a two-minute pitch video, and submit their entries via the Mustard Seed website. All those who submit, whether they make it to the final stages or not are welcome to attend the final pitching event on February 27.

What is Mustard Seed?

Mustard Seed is passionate about enabling the brightest and best talent to create sustainable and impactful businesses of the future. Co-founded by Alex Pitt and Henry Wigan in 2013, Mustard Seed addresses a rising appetite for entrepreneurship and socially-minded enterprise among graduates. By investing in business with a clearly defined social or environmental mission, Mustard Seed bridges a critical funding gap to support early stage ventures.

How Mustard Seed Invests?

Mustard Seed cares about your motivations: why are you starting a company? From the final event, the Mustard Seed Investment Committee will select the Top 5 Finalists for consideration. The Audience will select one of these winners. Mustard Seed typically invests between $100,000 and $800,000 and provides significant support toward scaling through its global member network.


How to Apply?

To apply, put together a 2-minute pitch video answering the following:

  • What social/environmental problem are you solving and how?
  • Why are you the right team to solve this problem?
  • What traction do you have (users, revenue, prototypes, etc.)?
  • How does your business make money? How does it scale?
  • How much money are you seeking and how will you spend it?
  • How is this start-up going to make the world a better place?

Video pitches must be submitted by February 18 via 15 Finalists will be announced by midnight on February 19, 2015.

What We Mean by Social and Environmental Impact?

  • Team: What drives your team? Why do you care about this topic?
  • Focus: Does the business provide a compelling solution in one of our target areas: employment, education, social inclusion, physical and mental health, family, community, or resource efficiency?
  • Alignment: Does the solution provided address the root cause of the issue? Is social/environmental impact core to company strategy?
  • Measurement: Can the outcomes be measured and monitored?
  • Scale: Can the company achieve significant scale of impact? What is the scale of the problem to be addressed?
  • Fit: How can the Mustard Seed network support this mission?

Pitch Day and Beyond

At the Event:

  • The overall event will include keynote speakers, the pitch competition, and an Audience Choice award through participatory voting
  • The 15 finalist teams will have 3 minutes to pitch, 2 minutes for Q&A
  • The Audience Choice Award will be announced at end of the event

Following the Event:

  • Mustard Seed proactively follows up with the top 5 finalists but is open to meeting all companies that submit a video entry
  • 5 finalists will be selected by the Mustard Seed Investment Committee and announced on within one week
  • Due diligence prior to investment typically takes between two months and one year; teams should expect intensive follow up with Mustard Seed; where the business model evolves and pivots, Mustard Seed may invest after more substantial periods of time
  • Mustard Seed will typically invest in 1-2 companies post-event