Introducing the Inspiring Enterprise: Social Entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz

The following is a guest blog written by Janneke Lang of the Inspiring Enterprise, announcing a new Santa Cruz accelerator program for socially and environmentally conscious organizations.

Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp Presents- (1)

Santa Cruz is best known for its university, beautiful coastline, redwood forests, and progressive lifestyle, attracting everyone from environmentalists and artists, to extreme sports enthusiasts. Meanwhile a tech industry and economic development movement is brewing, creating excitement and buzz. How do we bridge the socially and environmentally conscious lifestyle with a tech movement that is sure to attract money and ambitious business-people?

I believe they can work hand in hand. My name is Janneke Lang and I am the founder of The Inspiring Enterprise, a startup accelerator for social ventures. At The Inspiring Enterprise, we are committed to creating a community of driven, passionate entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. We believe that Santa Cruz has a unique opportunity to bring together the business community, tech industry, city government, local citizens, and UC Santa Cruz to share knowledge and resources, drive innovation and progress, and create change together.

The Inspiring Enterprise’s debut event is Cruz Cares: A Pitch Contest for Social Change, and will be hosted in conjunction with Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp on March 4, 2015 from 6:00-9:00pm at the Del Mar Theatre. Startups and established, nonprofit or for profit businesses focused on a social or environmental issues will pitch a new and unique idea to a panel of judges with the chance to win $10,000 of seed funding, community support, and media coverage.

Cruz Cares is seeking applicants for this event. The deadline to apply for Cruz Cares is February 23, 2015 at 11:59pm PST. To participate in Cruz Cares, apply at Those accepted will be announced February 28, 2015.

Cruz Cares has specific eligibility requirements that reflect our values and vision. The requirements include: the startup or established businesses must pitch a new and original idea, reside in or relocate to Santa Cruz, target a social or environmental issue, be able to demonstrate potential impact, and must have complete research and develop concrete planning prior to submissions. To read about the timeline, eligibility, and to stay tuned with announcements and our newsletter, visit

Cruz Cares is also seeking sponsors for this event and is offering three tiers: Community $200, Business $500, and Leadership $1000. Sponsors will receive an event T-shirt, mention in the press, VIP seats, logo on T-shirt, The Inspiring Enterprise website and Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp website, and will be announced at the event. If you are interested in exploring further this opportunity, please visit

If you want to be a part of an event that will benefit the community as well as provide new opportunities for business and jobs, Cruz Cares is where you want to be.

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