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Aug 26, 2018

10 Social Enterprise Teams Win Prizes at SEA Change Pitch Event

Fit to Navigate wins crowd favorite at SEA Change Social Enterprise Accelerator Pitch Day – Columbus 2018.
Photo courtesy of GIVEBACKHACK Columbus.

On August 22, more than 200 individuals gathered to hear eight organizations pitch their social enterprise concepts at SEA Change Social Enterprise Accelerator Pitch Day – Columbus 2018. A total of 15 organizations completed this year’s accelerator program, eight of which were selected to pitch at this public event. More than $100,000 in cash prizes were awarded by a judging panel comprised of Carrie Almasi, United Way of Central Ohio; Pete Georgeff, Rev1 Ventures; Nichelle McCall, SEA Change Ohio; Timmy McCarthy, Business of Good Foundation; Allen Proctor, SocialVentures; and Emily Savors, The Columbus Foundation.

POINT was awarded $36,900 in cash. Point Global (POINT) is a 501(c)(3) on a mission to eliminate barriers to do good. POINT’s app is the easiest way for an individual to find local

volunteer opportunities. Now volunteering is as simple as shopping on Amazon. POINT’s web dashboard gives charities the easiest way to both find and manage volunteers. For an affordable subscription, charities can access POINT’s in-app training, group management and live analytics. With POINT, each volunteer administrator can annually recover 500 lost hours, redirecting $9000 into their mission per administrator.

Pip by BONIFIER was awarded $24,500 in cash, $1,000 in in-kind legal services from Yocum Law, and 12-month coworking space at COVA Cowork/Bottoms Up Coffee Co-op. Pip is an application that provides mental health support to help hospitalized kids address their fears and learn positive coping skills. The trauma of a major illness can reverberate throughout a child’s life, but only a minority of children in treatment for major illnesses currently receive any psychological counseling. Pip provides children with 24/7 access to evidence-based mental health support and a judgement-free conversation environment. By pairing Pip with a wearable tracker, Pip can also provide care teams an opportunity to access dynamic assessments of a child’s overall well-being.

Fit to Navigate took home the crowd favorite award, which included $2,000.68 in cash from event attendees. The judging panel also awarded the social enterprise $12,600 in cash, plus $7,500 in in-kind business consulting services from Next Step Business Consulting. Fit to Navigate imagines a world where health transformations and an enriched tribe are available to all who seek it.

Fit to Navigate intends to create that world by providing business and learning opportunities for those who wish to enter the fitness industry and receive certifications along the way. By implementing a business collective program through a one-on-one training program with incarcerated women, and instilling the importance of entrepreneurship, personal growth, and relationship-building, the social enterprise will engage individuals both in and outside of prisons throughout Central Ohio.

WillobeezSoulVeg was given $11,000 in cash, plus $7,000 in website design services from Makeshark. Founded in 2013 by Carnell and Malik Willougby, WillobeezSoulVeg provides health conscious vegetarian/vegan cuisine infused with the rich cultural tradition of African-American soul food. Because residents of underserved communities are disproportionately dying of preventable diseases, many of which are related to poor diets and eating habits, Willowbeez SoulVeg offers food demonstrations that are structured to engage participants in simple wellness and food preparation options.

Comeback Collective was awarded $5,000 in cash, $1,000 in in-kind legal services from Yocum Law (a social enterprise and former SEA Change participant), and $3,900 in in-kind coworking space at Versa. Comeback Collective is an online personal development platform for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and the organizations that serve them to help bridge the gap between pre- and post-prison release resources. Through online courses and curriculum, interactive discussions, inspirational content, and an engaged support community, Comeback Collective is dedicated to reducing the prison population and empowering returning citizens to make their comebacks.

Family Mentor Foundation’s (FMF) Mee Box concept took home $5,000 in cash, plus $1,800 in in-kind video production work from Reel Hoot, and $2,600 in in-kind design from MoonBea Design. In 2017, FMF worked with Columbus, Worthington, and Southwestern schools to provide weekend boxes (Buddy Boxes) of food for 525 students weekly. This school year, FMF will serve 710 students with unmet nutritional needs. Inspired by the success of the Buddy Box program, Mee Box is a parallel initiative focused on meeting unmet emotional needs of children.

Lilac Pack won $5,000 in cash, plus coworking space for three months at Haven Collective. Lilac Pack provides care packages filled with products to support new mothers’ physical recovery from childbirth and to support their nursing goals. Lilac Pack includes products from tested and trusted brands, that have been hand-picked by moms, and reviewed and recommended by medical professionals. In addition, the social enterprise hopes to hire low-income moms seeking to re-enter the workforce after childbirth at a living wage, and include childcare stipends as part of its compensation package.

Shatter was awarded $5,000 in cash, plus in-kind services from SocialVentures, including mentorship through its Mentor Match program, and a free Expert Eval session (a one-on-one consultation with an industry expert to review the social enterprise’s business plan). The team also won a two-hour consultation from Drive Capital. Shatter is a software platform that combines technology, research and user data to counteract unconscious bias, nudging applicants and recruiters to overcome their potential biases in-real-time and educating all parties in the process. The social impact component is to increase the number of women selected to fill decision-making roles, and to help close the gender pay gap.

In addition to the eight organizations that were selected to pitch at the public event, two more teams were awarded in-kind donations. My Story Time received $1,000 in in-kind business consulting from Greater Columbus Consulting. And Wild Tiger Tees was awarded $7,000 in in-kind website design services, provided by Makeshark. My Story Time is a series of simple rhyming children’s books that cover healthcare topics. Wild Tiger Tees’ products are designed in-house and printed by local youth who are experiencing homelessness. In partnership with Star House, these youth receive training in graphic design, screen printing, and other soft skills to help them gain employment and independence. The Wild Tiger team participated in the Cleveland edition of GiveBackHack, the launchpad for social innovation, in May 2018.