Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Cruz Cares: A Pitch Contest for Social Change

By Sara Isenberg
Editor-in-Chief, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

[Editor’s note: February 28, 2015 — Just in: CruzCares contestants announced for this Wednesday’s Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp​: Habitat for Humanity, ruly, Biofuel, Rising International, Housing First, Civinomics.]

February 19, 2015 — Santa Cruz, CA

Social Accelerator Launches with Local Pitch Contest

$10,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the best social ventures during a pitch contest

  • What: Cruz Cares: A Pitch Contest for Social Change
  • When: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 6-9pm
  • Where: Del Mar Theatre, Santa Cruz
  • Purchase ticket ($25): at Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup event page

“I came to Santa Cruz to follow my dream of creating an accelerator for startups looking to make a difference, and I found the community was already looking for it,” said Janneke Lang, founder of The Inspiring Enterprise, co-host of the event.

On March 4, startups and established nonprofit or for-profit businesses focused on a social or environmental issues will pitch new and unique ideas to a panel of VC judges with the chance to win $10K of prizes and seed funding, community support, and media coverage.

Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp will host the event in conjunction with The Inspiring Enterprise, a local nonprofit committed to growing a community of social entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz.

Event organizers are seeking applicants. For more information, visit

Cruz Cares is the launch of a movement in Santa Cruz County that bridges the growing tech industry, a prolific nonprofit community, with a Santa Cruz perspective to spawn amazing startups that have a social or environmental focus.

In addition to ​Nina Simon (Executive Director MAH), Ryan Coonerty (3rd District Supervisor for the County of Santa Cruz) will be speaking about entrepreneurship, community involvement, and Santa Cruz values.

You don’t have to pitch to participate in this event or this movement. Join the startup community at Cruz Cares to contribute. Cost of attendance is tax deductible and will fund future programs at The Inspiring Enterprise.

“This is the sort of program we have been wanting to create in Santa Cruz for awhile,” says Doug Erickson, founder of the Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp. “Cruz Cares could be the catalyst we need to create a unique approach to solving problems that embodies our community’s values.”

“This program will provide the support for innovative new businesses to thrive locally,” says Robert Singleton, cofounder of Civinomics, a local tech startup. “We have a chance to make Santa Cruz the go-to destination for social entrepreneurship.”

Sponsors of this Cruz Cares event include Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Cruzio Internet, Santa Cruz Tech Beat, Discretion Brewery, It’s Great Media, Santa Cruz Works, Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp, and South Swell Ventures.



Sign up for our free weekly email digest!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Now

Facebook Feed

This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts.
Click to show error
Error: Server configuration issue