Caravanserai Project held the Graduation Ceremony and Pitch Competition of the Social Entrepreneurship, Engagement and Development (SEED) Lab Pre-Accelerator.
The twelve graduating 2020/2021 SEED Lab Fellows had the opportunity to showcase the progress they have achieved over the past eight months and pitch in front of a numerous audience their mission-driven ventures, a mix of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. The social entrepreneurs who were part of the 2020/2021 SEED Lab cohort are developing ventures that aim to provide innovative solutions to social and economic issues that challenge the wellbeing of particular communities. They were also awarded a Professional Certificate from University of California Riverside Extension, as part of the partnership developed by Caravanserai Project with the University.
The 2020/2021 SEED Lab cohort includes the following mission-driven entrepreneurs: Holly Armstrong (Academic Solutions USA, education); Natalie Boehm (The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation, mental health, disability); Darcy Carozza (Palm Springs Dance Project, education, mental health), Carey and Jack Lai (Yohocare, empowering seniors by facilitating access to technology), Keila Mazariegos, Corey Jackson and Jennafer Larsen (Center Against Racism and Trauma, social justice and antiracism); Stephanie Orozco (The Pleasure Institute/El Instituto del Placer, sexual education in Spanish and English); Sandra Ramirez (The Coachella Valley Parents, social justice and education); Oscar Ruiz and Michael Gomez Daly (Amplify – use of open source technology to facilitate community engagement and social justice); Lolofi Soakai (MALO – social justice, cultural preservation, Tongan community); Nancy Stingley (Nana’s Academy – education, youth empowerment).
The SEED Lab Fellows’ pitches were evaluated by a group of local mission-driven leaders Debbie Espinosa (President and CEO FIND Food Bank), Jeremy Hobbs (President Western Wind Foundation), Valtteri Salomaki (Co-Founder, Free Logic Inc.) and Lisa Wright (Chief Executive Office, United Way of the Inland Valleys). Prizes worth over $10,000 were awarded to the Fellows by Caravanserai Project, Western Wind Foundation and Free Logic Inc..
Jeremy Hobbs, President of the Western Wind Foundation, stated “The Western Wind Foundation has been fortunate to support over the last ten years around 100 organizations in the Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire from the Palm Springs Art Museum, The LGBT Center, DAP Health to FIND Food Bank. We pay particular attention to local start-up mission-driven organizations and providing seed funding to the SEED Lab Fellows is part of our commitment to advance the work of budding social entrepreneurs in the region and increase their impact.”
Caravanserai Project is currently recruiting for the 2021/2022 SEED Lab Cohort and applications are open until August 1, 2021. SEED Lab Pre-accelerator was launched in 2018 and is an 8-month pre-accelerator for early-stage social entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire designed by Caravanserai Project and implemented in partnership with the University of California Riverside Extension. It aims to tap the deep reservoir of unrecognized talent within marginalized and under-served communities and support their efforts to identify and develop pioneering paths out of inherited problems that have buried and muffled those voices.
About Caravanserai Project
Caravanserai Project is a Palm Springs based hybrid social impact venture striving to identify, mobilize and energize mission-driven leaders to build sustainable, relevant and future-ready ventures, for profits and nonprofits alike, whose work and leadership will generate irreversible system change. Our work focuses on the development and implementation of accountability systems, supplying specialized skills and futures-thinking strategies and bringing together networks of individuals to help their ideas flourish, accelerate and change the world.
More about Caravanserai Project – www.caravanseraiproject.org
More about SEED Lab – https://caravanseraiproject.org/seed-lab/
SEED Lab Applications – https://caravanseraiproject.org/seed-lab/
2020/2021 SEED Lab Pitch Competition – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R2yc772lqA