About 200 social ventures applied to join the first class at the Halcyon Incubator in Washington, D.C. Now, seven ventures have been chosen and will move into the newly renovated Halcyon House in September.
Eight risk-taking social entrepreneurs representing seven organizations will participate in the 14-month program, which provides housing, office space, mentorship, and strategic, legal, and PR resources – for free.
Besides, Halcyon doesn’t take any equity in the ventures. It also doesn’t require the fellows to know if their ideas will be a for-profit, nonprofit, or government solution. If there’s any catch, it’s that the entrepreneurs should have the commitment to grow their ideas to achieve meaningful social outcomes.
Halcyon has provided these descriptions of the seven chosen ventures on their website:
Diana Sierra (Be Girl) – Up to 40 percent of school-age girls in developing nations fail to complete their educations because they lack sanitary feminine products that provide assurance, protection, and comfort to them outside of their homes. Ms. Sierra is closing gender gaps and ensuring continued educational opportunities by providing environmentally friendly, affordable, and customizable feminine menstrual management products. Be Girl has tested its impact with pilot programs in Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania, where girls reported feeling safer to attend school.
Param Jaggi (Ecoviate) – Mr. Jaggi’s venture Ecoviate encourages a more sustainable planet with innovative environmental technologies designed to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Ecoviate’s advocacy is evidenced in its practice of planting one tree for every product sold or downloaded, with the goal of planting over one million trees to reduce the amount of carbon in our air.
Ari Raz (PureJoy) – Mr. Raz’s venture, PureJoy, is based on the concept that high quality, nutritious baby food should be a right, not a privilege for babies and young children. PureJoy plans to produce and deliver organic, premium baby food for all families, regardless of their economic status.
Olivier Kamanda (Ideal Impact) – Mr. Kamanda’s Ideal Impact is a community-oriented tech company designed to bridge the gap between those who want to serve and organizations that vitally need support. Ideal Impact utilizes a unique platform specifically designed to promote and advertise service and volunteer opportunities directly to readers of social impact news stories.
Matthew Fischer (Control A+) – In the United States alone, one in 10 children suffer from asthma and over $60 billion is spent on treatment. Through Control A+, Mr. Fischer is developing an early warning system for asthmatic children capable of alerting parents and doctors before an asthma attack occurs. With gathered data based on indoor and outdoor environmental monitors, asthmatic children are empowered to live more normal lives.
Ben Reich and Dan Gallagher (Datasembly) – Every year millions of open data sets are released by thousands of governments but unfortunately, there are no standards for releases, making it difficult it to extract value from the data. Datasembly is a platform that aggregates and indexes open data, allowing communities to fully harness the power of public information with potential groundbreaking discoveries capable of changing lives for the better.
Heather Lawver Sewell (NewsEase) – Literacy and communications are crucial life skills in the development and maturation of children. To facilitate these skills, Ms. Sewell will launch NewsEase, an online news initiative for teachers and students. Utilizing easy-to-use templates that are based on classic book series, NewsEase will allow teachers to launch newspapers in their classrooms, empower students to publish stories and to connect with other NewsEase readers around the world.
Having just announced their first cohort, Halcyon is already gearing up to open the application process for their second class of fellows in July.
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