Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 PCSE Seed Grant Challenge. These student-led social ventures will each receive $5,000 in unrestricted funds as well as training, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace, and other resources from the Patricelli Center.
Recipients were selected from a strong pool of finalists who submitted written business plans and pitched to a panel of expert judges comprised of alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Applicants were assessed on their project design, leadership qualities, and potential for social impact.
The 2015 Seed Grant recipients are:
Assk (Rachel Verner ’15)
Assk is a company that strives to normalize sexual consent through apparel and education, thereby preventing sexual violence. The apparel may serve as a broad reminder on a t-shirt, as a sign of solidarity for survivors, and as an immediate, intimate reminder in the bedroom. By educating people on how to speak up and prevent sexual violence, and by encouraging people to recognize sexual violence as their own issue, Assk will instil and increase social responsibility, and will breakdown stereotypes surrounding survivors of sexual violence.
View Assk’s pitch deck
Potlux (Brent Packer ’15, Aaron Rosen ’15, Jared Geilich ’15, Gerard Liu ’15, Keren Reichler ’16, Cassia Patel ’16, Ellen Paik ’16, and Gabe Frankel ’15)
Potlux is on track to be the first online community where collegiate sustainability initiatives are effectively aggregated and shared. The potential for this platform is huge: facilitating best practice movements across the college network, inspiring new ideas, building intercollegiate collaboration, and catalyzing project funding.
View Potlux’s pitch deck
The Wesleyan Doula Project (Alexandra Stovicek ’17, Hannah Sokoloff-Rubin ’16, and Julia Vermeulen ’15)
The Wesleyan Doula Project is the only university-based doula project in the country. As doulas, we provide emotional, physical, and informational support to women choosing to terminate their pregnancies at Connecticut Planned Parenthood clinics. A student-run, volunteer collective, we are part of a greater movement to address growing inequalities in reproductive health care by advocating for reproductive choice at Wesleyan and within the broader community.
View the Wesleyan Doula Project’s pitch deck
These winners exemplify the spirit of innovation and impact shared by so many members if the Wesleyan community. Assk, Potlux, and The Wesleyan Doula Project follow in a long line of successful Wesleyan-connected social ventures — from SHOFCO to RefugePoint, Sustainable South Bronx to Musician Corps, and so many more. They have well-designed business plans, address a clear need, and are led by star entrepreneurs.
Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the Patricelli Center, said “This was an especially tough year for selecting grantees. The culture of entrepreneurship at Wesleyan is exploding, and we have so many talented students who are passionate about tackling the world’s pressing problems. It is a privilege for me to support Assk, Potlux, The Wesleyan Doula Project, and all of the student entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs connected with the Patricelli Center.”
For more information about the PCSE Seed Grant Competition and other Patricelli Center programs, visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/patricelli.