We’re excited to feature the following ventures that have been carefully selected by the SEED acceleration partners. These entrepreneurs will participate throughout the conference, sharing the entrepreneur perspective in these ecosystem-level conversations.
Learn more about these entrepreneurs in the SEED Venture Marketplace at:
Damon Packwood, Executive Director
Gameheads provides tech training to low income students ages 11-25 using Video Game Design, Video Game Development and DevOps. Our vision is to develop diverse talent and bold new voices, to train our students for the tech eco-system and to prepare them for college, career and civic life
The Challenges: Our two biggest challenges are organizational growth and funding. To increase our impact and the number of students we can serve we need to grow our program and operations staff. A critical step to reaching this stage is to A) recruit new board members who will focus strictly on strategy, business development and operations, and B) work with our board to develop a strategic plan that includes milestones for reaching the next stage of growth.
Kyle Rawlins, CFO, Development Director
Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, through its innovations in architecture and real estate development, seeks to end the crisis caused by mass incarceration by designing and developing new prototypes, with and for its non-profit, government and community partners, such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms and transitional housing for formerly incarcerated men and women.
The Challenges: Human resources (project manager) and project financing
Rebecca Hui, CEO
Roots Studio digitizes the creative content of traditional artists from rural regions with the global $32 billion dollar art, interior decor, and design licensing markets. We have digitized hundreds of unseen art from 1600+ artists and licensed them onto stationery, and clothing, amidst other products from our proprietary online cultural library, averaging a 500% multiplier on the value of art. We are backed or affiliated with Echoing Green, JB Straubel and Boryana Dineva (co-founder and CTO of Tesla), and Sophia Amoroso (GirlBoss) amongst others.
The Challenges: Challenge 1: How do we rapidly build partnerships with brands? We are looking to get in front of core creative partners in the design, interior, and fashion world. Possibility of establishing a “collection” (ie. St. Frank’s, Tory Burch, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, etc.)
Eric Enno Tamm, CEO
ThisFish Inc. is an emerging leader in seafood traceability software that improves business efficiency and increases trust and transparency in seafood supply chains. Our mission is to improve the social, environmental, and financial sustainability of the seafood industry.
The Challenges: First, we need to raise seed capital to hire software developers and a sales team to scale our software product. Second, we need to develop a methodology to scale distributed sales and customer support in distant regions, especially Southeast Asia.
Erin Millar, Founder and CEO
Discourse Media is reimagining journalism down to its DNA: from how we select and report stories to our technology and story formats to our ownership and financing. We are building new media that exist to serve people not to sell advertising.
The Challenges: Capital and marketing/sales
Sona Shah, CEO
Neopenda is innovating medical technologies for high-growth emerging markets. We create end-to-end solutions that enable high quality patient care and nuanced data insights for stakeholders. Our first product is connected continuous vital signs monitor for critically ill newborns in resource-limited hospitals.
The Challenges: 1. Supply chain- as we continue to validate our solution in clinical trials over the next year, we are strengthening our supply chain (including large-scale manufacturing and distribution) that is crucial for successful implementation. We are seeking support in identifying and securing partners across the supply chain.
Kevin Fisher, CEO
Sail Internet provides fiber-caliber internet service in 1/10th the time and with 1/10th the deployment cost of fiber.
The Challenges: 1. continued scaling of the business while maintaining our 5-star Yelp rating, 2. more rapidly closing roof-rights deals (which enables more rapid expansion)
Alex McIntosh, co-founder & ceo
Thrive Care makes high-performance skincare, customized with regenerative plants. Our team of rural farmers, chemists and entrepreneurs in USA & Costa Rica combine regeneratively-farmed ingredients–unique to Thrive–with innovative eCommerce and customization to help our customers live healthier, while restoring degraded farmlands and improving rural farmer livelihoods. Thrive Care grew 500% on Amazon in 2017, and aims to be a $500M+ model for regenerative business and human wellness.
The Challenges: 1) Managing our rapid growth by bringing on board VALUES-ALIGNED investors who will continue to support our vision and positive impact.
Rachel Connors, Co-Founder and Chief Enthusiasm Officer
Yellow Leaf Hammocks is a social enterprise dedicated to job creation and community transformation for mothers in rural Thailand. Through our first product line- ridiculously comfy hammocks- we’ve lifted more than 200 families and three communities out of poverty for good.
The Challenges: Funding for growth and balancing fundraising with running the business.
Rupa Gupta, Founder and CEO
Sown To Grow is a student goal-setting, reflection and learning platform. Students set learning goals, track their own progress, and write reflections on strategies that work best (or new ones to try). This process empowers students and builds critical learning skills, and we’ve shown differentiated impact for struggling students. Over 30,000 teachers and students have jumped on so far, and dozens of schools are on paid contracts.
The Challenges: Growth and sustainable business model
Christine Su, CEO and Co-Founder
PastureMap is building a climate smart meat supply chain, by helping ranchers make profits while building healthy grasslands. Our first product is a smartphone and web platform that helps ranchers combine grazing records with soil and rainfall analytics to increase productivity per acre. We’re connecting their data through the supply chain to achieve a triple bottom line: 1) traceable, healthy beef that’s better for consumers, 2) profitable rancher and farmer livelihoods, and 3) building soil carbon and healthy grasslands.
Bart Myers, CEO
Countable is a civic tech engagement company with the core mission to lower barriers to political engagement. We provide a platform which empowers non-profit organizations, political campaigns, corporations, media companies, and celebrities to engage deeply with their audiences to drive action.
The Challenges: We need help forging relationships around building out topical issue “hubs” using our “Action Center” framework. These hubs will help to drive awareness, community and action. Each issue hub will focus on a key topic like Gun Violence prevention and include resources to learn about the issue, news, legislation, advocacy opportunities, access to organizations and causes, and many ways to get involved.
Sumit Kadakia, Co-Founder
Andrew Falcon, CEO
Full Cycle Bioplastics
Emily Lutyens, CEO and Co-Founder
Minhaj Chowdhury, Co-Founder and CEO
BlackTech Week (Miami) – builds tech assets in black communities by offering a model for attracting training, networks, funding and inclusive policies.
Entrepreneurs: Ryan Hall & Felecia Hatcher
Cell-Ed (Palo Alto, California) – offers a complete mobile solution to reach, train and upskill today’s workforce on any mobile device, including flip phones.
Entrepreneurs: Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami & Sonali Joshi
ELiTE Education (New York) – increases public schools’ capacity to integrate rigorous and engaging computer science and engineering programs as a part of their culture and curriculum.
Entrepreneurs: Chelsey Roebuck & Philip Gonzalez
Haven Connect (Berkeley, California) – allows low-income applicants to easily find and apply to affordable housing through streamlined leasing and waitlist management.
Entrepreneurs: Caroline Caselli & Adam Brodzinski
honorCode (Atlanta) – coalesces educators and local business communities to build future workforce ecosystems within K-12 schools.
Entrepreneur: Dylan Stone -Miller
Neture Inc. (New York) – provides free and low-cost broadband internet access to underserved communities and disconnected households.
Entrepreneur: Marlin Jenkins
Noirefy (Chicago) – is a digital platform connecting diverse professionals from under-represented backgrounds to corporations for career advancement opportunities.
Entrepreneurs: Shaniqua Davis & Terence Kizer
Sparrow (San Francisco) – is a U.S. wireless company bridging the digital divide and connecting people with purpose by donating to someone in digital poverty for every new customer.
Entrepreneurs: Amy Tucker & Matt Bauer
STEM NOLA (New Orleans) – designs and delivers engaging educational programs and events that bring exposure, inspiration and training in STEM to underserved communities.
Entrepreneurs: Calvin Mackie, PhD & Shantell Bolden
Tech Exchange (Oakland, California) – generates equitable technology access by providing community members refurbished computers, internet, training and tech support.
Entrepreneurs: Seth Hubbert & Shinquell Green
The Mentor Method (Washington, D.C.) – is an all-inclusive system for better diversity and inclusion through mentorship.
Entrepreneurs: Janice Omadeke & Mia Thomas
Unloop (Seattle) – enables people who have been in prison to succeed in careers in tech through intensive software development training, re-entry support, and career opportunities with tech employers.
Entrepreneur: David Almeida
Young Creative Agency (New Orleans) – connects under-represented young talent to real-world work and support networks that increase inclusion in the creative economy.
Entrepreneur: Alberta Wright