Nine companies working at the intersection of profit and purpose from around the mid-Atlantic are entering Conscious Venture Lab’s (CVL) fifth accelerator program this fall.
The West Baltimore-based program, run by CVL and SHIFT Ventures at Baltimore City Community College, runs 16 weeks through Dec. 20, and in January 2020, the program will host a demo day. Until then, founders will participate weekly training sessions and get access to mentoring from leaders including CVL founder Jeff Cherry and entrepreneur-in-residence Brian Le Gette.
A number of partners are also joining this year to provide support, including Baltimore software development consultancy SmartLogic, management consulting firm SC&H Group and corporate innovation consulting firm Econic.
The program is also receiving investment from three new supporters this year:
- The Seth Goldman and Julie Farkas Fund at ImpactAssets, created by Honest Tea cofounder Goldman and his wife, Farkas
- Richard Silberstein, president of Silberstein Insurance Group
- Tina Naser, principal at Oliver Wyman, who is also joining as a mentor
The founders that make up the cohort come from around the region, and are working on projects such as reducing homelessness, increasing voter participation and providing tools for nonprofits. Organizers said they are also focused on supporting companies that reflect the diversity of the region: This year’s cohort five women-founded companies and four minority-owned companies.
“We’re looking forward to working with these teams to drive Baltimore’s economic growth through socially conscious, community-focused entrepreneurism,” Cherry said in a statement.
Here’s a look at the companies:
- HostHome Community is bringing new technology to connect people experiencing homelessness with housing. (Check out this recent profile of founder Ava Pipitone.)
- LifeTagger, founded by Kendrick Pullen and Marlon Brown, created a messaging platform to send texts or other kinds of information based on proximity.
- MileMarker, led by CEO Aimee Martin, is working to improve surgical resident education by providing feedback to residents from attending surgeons.
- Politicking, led by cofounders Wen-Kuni Ceant and Jordan Wilson developed a mobile app dedicated to promoting voter participation among millennials.
- iQuantile, led by New York-based founder and CEO Cyrus Kazi, created an organizational management system software for nonprofits.
- ReVased, a Baltimore-based company founded by sisters Aviva and Arielle Vogelstein, works with event managers to donate flowers used at functions and celebrations to charitable organizations.
- SafetyPin Technologies, led by Founder Jenny Thompson, created a product designed to provide assurance to all parties in the sharing or gig economy providers are vetted, are who they claim to be and can be trusted.
- School Duels, a Baltimore-based company, developed a platform to deliver news and updates about high school sports. The team includes CEO Jake Shipley, Johns Hopkins University entrepreneurship professor Jim Liew, entrepreneur Neil Klineberg and EA Sports cofounder Jeff Burton.
- We Are Marcus, a D.C.-based company founded by Christopher King, created an online character-development program for minority students who lack access to mentors.