(Photo by Aaron Kess of Aaron Kes Photography)
This prominent social impact incubator is getting a new leader.
Longtime SEED SPOT leader C’pher Gresham will be taking over as CEO of the incubator, effective August 1. He will succeed cofounder Courtney Klein, who has been SEED SPOT’s CEO for nearly eight years. Klein will serve as Gresham’s advisor through the end of the year, and then she will maintain her seat on the incubator’s board of directors.
“I am thankful for all the early supporters, mentors, and resources that the Phoenix community has invested in social entrepreneurs. With C’pher Gresham at the helm, SEED SPOT is in a great position to continue growing to new communities.” Klein said in a statement. “This is a transition designed to continue expanding upon our impact and I am excited to continue serving the organization in a new capacity for years to come.”
Gresham has been working for SEED SPOT since September 2014, where he started off as the director of entrepreneur initiatives. His most recent role was the chief strategy and operations officer, where he led strategic plans to expand beyond the incubator’s Phoenix, AZ, headquarters to D.C., Philadelphia and other major cities.
“I am humbled by the dreams and impact of the entrepreneurs we have supported over the past five years and cannot wait to scale that impact in the communities we are already serving in the years to come,” Gresham said in a press release. “As we look to the future, we will be doubling down on supporting entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and of all ages to ensure they are equipped with the tools, resources and a community to grow their ventures.”
In order to land the CEO role, Gresham went through a formal vetting process and was interviewed by every national board member, he told Technical.ly. He also said that he will remain based in D.C., but will be traveling regularly to other SEED SPOT markets.
I asked Gresham what some of his goals are as he prepares for the CEO gig, and he said: “We will serve over 1,000 entrepreneurs this year who are solving issues related to climate change, income inequality, food security, to lack of economic opportunity. We are deepening our roots in Phoenix and Washington, D.C., and are focused on expansion of our programs in Santa Barbara, Philadelphia, Seattle, and beyond.”
This leadership shift comes after SEED SPOT announced the hiring of Kelly O’Malley and S. Lovey Parker in February to lead its second Impact Accelerator program in D.C. The incubator wrapped up its second accelerator program in D.C. in April, where 10 ventures were selected to go through an eight-week where they were provided with in-depth support for scaling and attracting investment opportunities. The program ended with a demo day presentation.
SEED SPOT also hosts 2-Day Launch Camp events to help entrepreneurs validate ideas and formulate pitches for their ventures. The next D.C. 2-Day Launch camp is set for October 4-5 and registration is open now.
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