Here's who is part of SEED SPOT's inaugural DC cohort - Technical.ly DC

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Apr. 20, 2017 10:20 am

Here’s who is part of SEED SPOT’s inaugural DC cohort

The 10 social impact ventures work in 10 very different areas.

Courtney Klein speaks at the kickoff of D.C.'s first SEED SPOT cohort.

(Photo via Twitter)

On Wednesday night, 10 early-stage social impact ventures took the floor, and the mic, at WeWork White House to introduce themselves to the broader #dctech community. Collectively, this group is part of SEED SPOT’s first full-time cohort in D.C.

“We are excited to work with each founder and surround them with the support and community to succeed,” SEED SPOT cofounder Courtney Klein said in a statement. “With their strong mission focus and market-based solutions, we know each venture will be able to maximize positive social impact.”

Recall — the Arizona-born accelerator program identified the District as its second city a while back, and officially expanded here starting in the new year. Then the program started an application and interview process — ultimately identifying 10 ventures that make up its first D.C.-based group. These ventures are now embroiled in a 14-week long intensive training program, but on Wednesday night it was time for a little community meet-and-greet.

Here, in all their diverse industry glory, are the 10 companies in SEED SPOT’s first cohort:

  • Mia Learning, and cofounder Darren Cambridge. Mia Learning uses tech (a bot) to help kids pick books they will like reading.
  • imby, and founder Michelle Chang. imby (intended as a foil to “nimby” or not in my backyard) is a digital platform where citizens, real estate developers and government can “create more responsive communities.”
  • Impact College, and founder Dipanwita Das. Impact College teaches online courses that make the world better.
  • AcademME, and founder Brooks Garber. AcadeME seeks to lower the cost of education by providing students with easy access to information about different education options, thereby basically doing marketing for those education providers.
  • JOB-IQ, and founder Molly Matthews. JOB-IQ does digital job skills prep for job seekers.
  • The Mentor Method, and founder Janice Omadeke. The Mentor Method helps young professional women find mentorship opportunities.
  • i4Spy, and founder Lavinia Popinceanu. i4Spy, founder Popinceanu told Technical.ly via email, is “cyber security SaaS protecting mobile consumers from spyware.”
  • Mayla, and founder Naamal De Silva. Mayla uses storytelling to build people’s connection to nature.
  • Empowered to Run, and founder Steve Sinha. Empowered to Run is looking to build a bigger and more diverse talent pipeline for public office.
  • The Forgotten Fruit, and cofounder Stephanie Westhelle. The Forgotten Fruit helps “forgotten produce” find its way to profitability for farmers through snacks.

The 10 ventures will grow and change over the course of the next weeks — if you want to keep tabs on them SEED SPOT will host “Venture Thursdays” each week through the end of the program. Venture Thursdays are lowkey pitch practice for the entrepreneurs, and they’re open to the public.

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Tajha Chappellet-Lanier

Tajha Chappellet-Lanier is the lead reporter for Technical.ly DC. The California native previously worked for NPR and the editorial board at USA Today. She can talk travel plans all day, and has strong opinions on the best doughnut in D.C.

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