Startup group looks to dish up microfunding for projects

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A new group will soon begin hosting dinners that offer regular people the chance to pitch their ideas for the chance to win funding.

Lewisville Soup, modeled after other Soup groups including Detroit Soup, will hold its first dinner April 12 at Hedrick House. Catering is courtesy of Alkeys Lounge and Eatery and Black Walnut Cafe for the initial dinner, but the group expects future events to be potluck style.

Organizer Nicole Franczvai said the concept is that the public can attend for a $10 cover charge, which includes the soup and salad dinner.  Social entrepreneurs or anyone with an idea they think will impact the Lewisville community will have the chance to stand up and explain their concept, and make a pitch.

The cover charge money is put into a pot, and attendees vote for their favorite pitch.  The winning pitch takes the money as a micro-grant to put toward their project. At future dinners, Franczvai said she hopes they’ll come back to provide status updates.

The projects could be anything impactful to Lewisville, including art projects, business startups, charitable acts, educational experiences, performances, and random acts of joy and delight for the community.

Though Franczvai said the cash awards would be limited by the size of the audience — a few hundred dollars at most — she said nothing prevents audience members from choosing to donate additional money towards a project they like.

“The funding is only a small part of the benefit,” Franczvai said. “The exchange of ideas, and the synthesis it will bring are going to be the exciting part.”

Each presenter will be given time to make their case, and the audience will have question-and-answer time.

The deadline to apply for the chance to pitch an idea for the first dinner is March 29 at 11:59p Interested parties should submit an application online.

Four dinners will be hosted this year at Lewisville’s Hedrick House, courtesy of the Lewisville City Council, which has donated the use of the meeting facility.  Hedrick House is located at 1407 Creekview Dr. in Lewisville. Doors open at 6 p.m., Friday, April 12. Dinner is served at 7:15 with presentations at 8 and voting at 9 p.m.

To attend the dinner, RSVP to the group’s Facebook event page.

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