COLUMBUS, Ohio, 2 May 2016—The Center for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) and SEA Change have selected 15 Central Ohio organizations to participate in SEA Change’s three-month intensive social enterprise accelerator program. SEA Change is a blended learning program that combines a 12-week online curriculum on enterprise development with weekly hands-on technical assistance from entrepreneurial support leaders and experts from Northeast and Central Ohio.
“SEA Change is the second accelerator program presented by CSED, complementing the eight-month SE Catalyst immersion initiative that launched in February, to hit the Central Ohio market. SEA Change is designed for new social entrepreneurs seeking intensive learning prior to launching their ventures,” said Allen Proctor, CSED President and CEO.
The accelerator will begin in May and run through July. Following the conclusion of the 12-week process, SEA Change participants will experience a series of pitch practice sessions before making their final pitch to a group of investors, partners, mentors and clients at a pitch event.
In 2015, SEA Change selected eight participants from its first cohort of 13 in Cleveland, Ohio, to pitch their enterprises at its SEA Change Happen event. Rust Belt Riders, an organic waste hauling service that provides commercial food waste producers a logistics-based solution to keep food waste out of landfills was a participant in this first cohort. SEA Change awarded Rust Belt Riders $20,000 in funding at the SEA Change Happen pitch event.
“SEA Change is a much-needed program in the start-up community,” said Dan Brown, Co-Founder of Rust Belt Rides. “When we first started, we were trying to determine if Rust Belt Riders would become a project, a hobby or a viable business. The SEA Change program allowed us to do a deep dive into thinking expansively about advancing an environmental cause in a way that would strengthen our community. One year later, we are a vibrant business providing a valuable and environmentally sound solution to Cleveland’s businesses.”
CSED and SEA Change selected the following organizations to participate in the 2016 Central Ohio cohort:
“We are excited to see how SEA Change will contribute to Columbus’ growing social enterprise movement. The 15 organizations we have selected will learn how to increase their social impact, while sustaining smart business operations,” said Bill Leamon, Managing Director, The Business of Good Foundation, a SEA Change founding philanthropic partner.
At the end of the SEA Change program, participating organizations will compete for funding. Up to $100,000 in social impact investments will be made (grants, loans, etc.) to launch or scale social enterprises. The Columbus Foundation awarded SEA Change a $50,000 grant and IGS contributed another $25,000, and local partners of the accelerator include the Tony R. Wells Foundation, ECDI, CauseImpact LLC, among others.
About the Center for Social Enterprise Development
The Center for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in June 2014. Its mission is to provide information, training, mentoring and support to enable cause-driven organizations to develop new business initiatives that demonstrate the potential of producing new sources of revenues to support and advance their missions. CSED programs are open to all interested individuals and organizations who are dedicated to producing social impact from commercial activities primarily in the Central Ohio region. For more information, please visit http://www.cincohio.com.
About SEA Change
SEA Change is a Social Enterprise Accelerator developed in Cleveland that provides coaching, connections and capital to social entrepreneurs who have big ideas to improve their community. SEA Change connects resources, funders, innovators, and mentors to accelerate your idea from concept to successful social enterprise. SEA Change is operated collaboratively by a mix of existing organizations who bring expertise in launching, supporting and financing start-ups, advancing non-profits and engaging the community. Cleveland founding partners include ideastream, ECDI, the Hispanic Business Center, and LaunchHouse, with funding provided by The Business of Good Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, Generation Foundation, the Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. The Columbus program is supported by The Business of Good Foundation and The Columbus Foundation. For more information on SEA Change, please visit http://www.seachangeneo.org.