(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)
The Georgetown-based Halcyon Incubator celebrated the commencement of a new cohort on Thursday with another announcement — two years ago, to the day, the incubator itself was launched. In that time, S&R Foundation COO Kate Goodall informed the gathered crowd, the incubator has served 32 ventures, which have raised a collective $10 million in funding and “impacted” 2 million lives around the world.
What better way to celebrate than by introducing a new cohort, the fifth to travel through Halcyon’s stately halls?
Goodall assured the event attendees that these young, social enterprise-focused entrepreneurs are working on much more pressing issues than simply “the latest dating app.”
“If successful, this cohort of fellows is going to change the world,” she said, by way of introduction.
Here’s who is a part of the class:
Gator Halpern and Sam Teicher — Coral Vita
- Two ocean-loving entrepreneurs, Halpern and Teicher have founded a company that can grow corals on land (much faster than they grow in nature) and then transplant them to dying reefs around the world.
Ashley King-Bischof — Markit Opportunity
- Inspired by her work in east Africa, King-Bischof has created a mobile platform to connect smallholder farmers to markets where they can sell their goods.
Noobtsaa Philip Vang — Foodhini
- Vang’s for-profit social enterprise offers immigrant home chefs the opportunity to make an income through their food, sold and delivered via Foodhini’s online platform. Read more on the inspiration behind this company here.
— Halcyon Incubator (@HalcyonIncubate) September 8, 2016
Carey Anne Nadeau — Open Data Nation
- Nadeau is on a mission to provide transparency into various public agencies using open data and a little data science magic. Nadeau and Open Data Nation were among the representatives for D.C. at SXSW 2016.
Bobby Moore and Zéluis Teixeira — SOAR
- Baltimore-born SOAR aims to help students showcase academic achievements and advocate for their futures online. It’s sort of like a modern take on a resume.
Stacie Whisonant — PYT Funds
- PYT (Pay Your Tuition) Funds helps students reduce their college debt by finding alternative ways to pay, like crowdfunding. PYT Funds is one of three finalists in the Vinetta Project $20K challenge.
Gary Mao — Roots Studio
- Roots Studio aims to help rural artists digitize their work and find new monetization strategies on the internet. The company currently works with artists in five Indian states.
Phil Esterman and David McPeek — StoryTime
- StoryTime sends free stories by text message to low-income families without books. The idea is to increase reading time and thereby increase the child’s vocabulary.
After the introductions there was a panel discussion on social entrepreneurship ecosystems before the crowd moved on to networking, cupcakes and a little Lao food courtesy of Foodhini. Former and current fellows mingled with advisors, investors and other entrepreneurs.
The eleven entrepreneurs and eight ventures mentioned above will spend the next 18 months working to develop the ideas, raise money and scale their businesses. It’s only just the beginning.-30-
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