Accelerator / Incubator

Cohort Opportunity at Lunar Startups, with Amanda Heyman and Danielle Steer

Lunar Startups creates opportunities and access for underestimated entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply to Cohort 2 is January 13. Danielle Steer, Managing Director of Lunar Startups, describes the events leading to the formation of their organization as a “serendipitous perfect storm.” In 2017, the Knight Foundation became interested in supporting underrepresented, underserved entrepreneurs, such as women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Around this same period, the late Glen Nelson bequeathed a gift to help American Public Media to invest in the future of journalism. This led to the launch of the Glen Nelson Center. Also, around this same time, Ecolab moved their global headquarters, leaving their former building vacant….

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Meet the FINNOVATION Fellows, with Katrina Becker

FINNOVATION Fellows are the next wave of social entrepreneurship in the Upper Midwest. Katrina Becker has been quietly working in the background of the social entrepreneurship scene in the Twin Cities. She recently joined the FINNOVATION Lab as the Fellowship Program Manager. The FINNOVATION Fellowship is a nine-month incubator and fellowship program to support impact entrepreneurs. You may have heard about the FINNOVATION Fellowship in episode 252 of Social Entrepreneur. With the launch of this program, the FINNOVATION Lab is building a powerful engine of change in the Midwest – a cohort of individuals with bold ideas and the passion for executing innovative solutions to intractable issues. In this episode,…

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Kate Goodall Explains Why Halcyon is Like the X-Men

Halcyon catalyzes emerging creatives who are striving for a better world. Kate Goodall, the CEO at Halcyon explains their work this way: “If you think of the X-Men, and you think of Charles Xavier’s Academy for the Gifted, that’s kind of like Halcyon. We take these amazing social entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. They all come together in this inspirational setting to grow together. And they support each other towards solutions that can impact many lives around the world.” Halcyon supports scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. They are looking for people with a great vision for solving important problems, and who has the talent to do so. For these folks, Halcyon provides…

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134, Verengai Mabika, Development Reality Institute (DRI) | The Climate Change Challenge and Opportunity

Verengai Mabika sees the opportunities created by climate change. Eighty percent of Zimbabwe’s businesses depend on Agriculture. Most agriculture in Zimbabwe is rain-fed. Climate change brings record high temperatures and frequent droughts. When crops fail, so does Zimbabwe’s economy. The droughts, combined with land reform, changed Zimbabwe from a net exporter of agricultural products to an importer of food. There are currently around four million people who need food aid in Zimbabwe. Verengai Mabika has a passion for designing green communities. He was trained as an urban planner with an emphasis on environmental design. In 2009, there was a sharp rise in political violence. Verengai told me, “I was surprised…

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109, Clara Brenner, Urban Innovation Fund and Tumml | Creating an Ecosystem

Clara Brenner is creating a startup ecosystem for urban innovation. More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Globally, 512 cities have at least 1 million inhabitants. With urbanization comes unique challenges, from transportation to public health. To meet these challenges, entrepreneurs need a unique blend of business and political savvy. Clara Brenner and her co-founder Julie Lein are dedicated to solving core urban problems. Together, they co-founded the Urban Innovation Fund and also Tumml. Tumml is an accelerator whose mission is to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. Their 33 portfolio companies have raised over $35 million in investments. They have created more than 300…

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066, Andrew Stern, Global Development Incubator | Think Differently About Impact

Think Different. You probably remember that as an Apple motto. But Andrew Stern of Global Development Incubator (GDI) applies the think differently model to the social impact space. It takes a different kind of thinking to apply the incubator model to nonprofits, but that’s what GDI does. You have to think differently if you want to help social enterprises go from startups to scale, but that’s what GDI does. You have to think differently about multi-stakeholder initiatives in which philanthropists, government agencies and private organizations team up take on Sustainable Development Goals. Again, that’s what GDI does. One of the initiatives GDI launched in 2016 is Convergence. Convergence is a…

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066, Andrew Stern, Global Development Incubator | Think Differently About Impact

036, Teju Ravilochan Unreasonable Institute | Providing Entrepreneurs What They Need to Scale Impact

In many ways Teju Ravilochan’s story is the story of many immigrant families. His parents were born in India, but he was born in the United States. His parents learned how to adapt to their new culture through their own experience but also through the experiences of their children. Teju also learned about the world through the eyes of his parents. It was on a trip to India as a young man when Teju saw someone around his age who was begging for money. He was confronted with the sad reality of the “birth lottery,” the fact that the circumstances in which a person is born can influence the economic…

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036, Teju Ravilochan Unreasonable Institute | Providing Entrepreneurs What They Need to Scale Impact

015, Tonya Surman, Centre for Social Innovation | The Master Gardner

Tonya Surman is a master gardener of social innovation. Tonya’s journey began when she was four years-old. Her mother left and her father became the sole parent. Tonya, her father and sister struggled with poverty. She says “My father raised us on love and not food.” She points to this experience as the source of her resilience, strength and a need to create an impact. At the age of 19, Tonya left University and traveled the world. While she was living in a small hut on the Andaman Sea in Thailand, news arrived that a nearby village had been devastated by a mud slide. The primary contributing factor was deforestation….

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015, Tonya Surman, Centre for Social Innovation | The Master Gardner

003, Luni Libes, Fledge | The Conscious Company Accelerator

At 37 years-old, Michael “Luni” Libes had just completed his fifth successful tech startup. Looking for a way to support his fellow entrepreneurs, Luni became a mentor-in-residence for Pinchot University’s MBA of Sustainable Business program. After watching graduates struggle to launch their mission-driven businesses, Luni founded Fledge, the Conscious Company accelerator. Each year Fledge runs a program with seven mission-driven, for-profit companies. With six cohorts completed, Fledge has 39 graduates from ten countries, one-third of whom are in Africa. Each company is making an impact on some of the most pressing challenges of our times. In this episode, Luni shares: The story of how he started Fledge The difference between…

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003, Luni Libes, Fledge | The Conscious Company Accelerator