Patricelli Center’s Seed Grant Finalists Announced; Final Pitch Feb. 28

Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced the finalists for its 2014 PCSE Seed Grant Competition.

These $5,000 awards are intended to fund the launch or early stage growth of a Wesleyan-connected social enterprise, project, program or venture. Last year’s winners used the seed funding to launch a grant-funded community supported agriculture effort in Middletown, work with incarcerated youth in Chicago, advocate for farmers’ working conditions in Bali, and scale up the MINDS Foundation and Maji Safi Group, two Wesleyan-borne social enterprises.

This year’s finalists will pitch their projects at a public event from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 28 in Exley Science Center Room 121. All members of the Wesleyan community are invited to attend.

BUKO-300x99The 2014 PCSE Seed Grant finalists are:

BOUNDLESS UPDATED KNOWLEDGE OFFLINE by Joaquin Benares ’15.
Boundless Updated Knowledge Offline (BUKO) aims to bring the video lectures, e-textbooks, and other online education tools to those who need them most.

FILMMAKERS TO CHANGEMAKERS by Victor Goh Jin Chieh ’16, Mia Deng ’17, Jacob Sussman ’17 and Hans How ’17.
Social enterprises maximize their social impact by publicizing their cause to increase awareness and attract donations and volunteers. Video marketing is a powerful tool that entrepreneurs, activists, and institutions should utilize; however, video production services are highly cost-prohibitive. We are a student-run film production company that seeks to address this problem by matching student filmmakers with clients that want to use video in their cause marketing strategy at an affordable rate.

GERMINAL FUND by Jason Brandner ’16, Zac Kramer ’17, Ben Marvin-Vanderryn ’17, Max Winter ’16, Lalo Lopez ’16, Adam Saul ’16, Gege (Mia) Deng ’17, Vanessa Chen ’16 and Katherine Lu ’15.
The Germinal Fund is a student run nonprofit that offers microloans and probono consulting services to low-income entrepreneurs in Middletown, CT. We serve the needs of small businesses through a combination of lending and hands-on training. In doing so, we hope to germinate the seeds of poverty eradication.

JOOMAH by Kwaku Akoi ’14, Will Durney ’14, Oladoyin Oladapo ’14, Olayinka Lawal ’15, Rebecca Njeri ’16, Geofrey Yatich ’16 and Michael Yee ’14.
JooMah is a web and SMS platform that will connect job-seekers in Sub-Saharan Africa with targeted employment opportunities nearest them.

MIDDLETOWN FOOD INITIATIVE by Will Curran-Groome ’14, John Lubeck ’14, Scott Zimmer ’14, Jenna Doctoroff ’14, Francesca Moree ’14, Hailey Sowden ’15, Gregory Foley ’15, Theodore Sullivan ’15, and Catherine Walsh ’16.
MFI-300x76The Middletown Food Initiative is a new project designed to increase access to and affordability of produce within the extended Middletown community. The Initiative will provide shares of produce weekly to members of all socioeconomic demographics, and will subsidize the cost of shares for low-income members using grant funding and by instituting a tiered pricing system.

SUMMER OF SOLUTIONS HARTFORD by Jennifer Roach ’14.
Summer of Solutions Hartford is a food justice and youth leadership development non-profit located in Hartford, CT. They are launching an internship program to create jobs for young people teaching gardening and cooking in elementary schools and building community gardens.
Fiscal Sponsor: Grand Aspirations

WISHING WELL by by Tavo True-Alcala ’15.
The Wishing Well project will help universities design portable water stations for use at large campus events. These stations will reduce the use of disposable bottles as well as be a visible sign of the university’s commitment to sustainable practices.

For questions about the Seed Grant Competition or other Patricelli Center programs, contact PCSE Director Makaela Kingsley ’98 or visit the Engage blog.