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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

From Sustainable Farming to West African Libraries, S&R Foundation’s Halcyon Incubator Expands Support of Social Entrepreneurs with Announcement of Second Class of Fellows

Entrepreneurs will scale innovative ventures designed to tackle 21st century social challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 15, 2014 – The Halcyon Incubator, the nation’s premier incubator for supporting social ventures, today announced its second class of fellows. The class of entrepreneurs was selected based on their innovative approaches to solve some of the most pressing social issues.

The fellows will take part in a 14-month program designed by the S&R Foundation to springboard their ventures with access to rent-free housing and office space, mentors, complimentary strategic, legal and PR resources, as well as access to potential funders from a variety of sectors. The Halcyon Incubator does not take equity in the fellows’ ventures.

“The leaps and bounds already made by our first class in just two months raises the level of excitement and buzz at the Halcyon Incubator,” said Dr. Sachiko Kuno, CEO, S&R Foundation. “We can’t wait to see what innovation and enthusiasm the second class injects into the program.”

The second class of fellows and their ventures are as follows:

Stephen Moilanen – Solstice Initiative – Mr. Moilanen aims to partner with neighborhoods to fully leverage the power of community solar. Solstice Initiative will provide to individuals, who either rent homes or cannot afford solar arrays, the opportunity to access low cost solar power through its unique community hub model.

Brian Ferguson – Angel’s List – Mr. Ferguson’s goal is to ensure that former inmates maximize their chances of successfully reintegrating into society and reduce the likelihood of returning to prison. Angel’s List is an easy-to-use website that aggregates a myriad of organizations, job opportunities and reentry programs for former inmates returning to the general population.

Daniel Kuenzi and Eric Ellestad – Local Roots – Mr. Kuenzi and Mr. Ellestad address the systematic pain points in the produce industry that result in the spoilage of over 40 percent of all produce. Local Roots utilizes vertical growing, climate-controlled, farming environments uniquely housed in shipping containers that can be located in neighborhoods to ensure that all communities have access to locally grown produce.

Andrew Foote – Sanivation – Currently over 4,000 children in East Africa die daily from the effects of diarrhea and unsanitary conditions. With Sanivation, Mr. Foote addresses this issue by creating an enterprise model to bring affordable in-home toilets and sanitation services to East Africa.

David Dewane – Librii – Mr. Dewane’s venture will modernize the public library model and deliver it to Sub-Saharan Africa by implementing a series of low-cost libraries. Librii balances digital and physical offerings, and utilizes local partnerships to spread information, knowledge and culture in the region.

Mariama Kabia – Memunatu Magazine – Ms. Kabia wants to empower over 10 million teenage girls in West Africa by closing gender literacy gaps with a community-driven classroom magazine. Memunatu Magazine will specifically target girls through engaging educational content, and be distributed in secondary schools throughout the region.

Param Jaggi – Ecoviate – Mr. Jaggi encourages people and organizations to create a more sustainable planet by reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Ecoviate builds innovative environmental technologies designed to reduce the amount of carbon in the air.

Amelia Friedman – Student Language Exchange – With only one percent of college students studying non-European languages, Ms. Friedman looks to increase cultural and linguistic awareness around underrepresented languages. The Student Language Exchange has created peer-to-peer programs in American universities to engage and encourage students through language learning.

Samuel Owen – Motion Sickness Canceling Headphones – Mr. Owen is attempting to mitigate the effects of motion sickness, which affects upwards of 40 percent of the population, by building innovative technologies using ultrasound waves.

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