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Social Entrepreneurs Can Receive Up to $90,000 with Echoing Green; Apply Starting December 2, 2014

Echoing Green

December 2, 2014 is the date that applications open for the 2015 Echoing Green Fellowship. Echoing Green provides seed funding for social entreprenuers to launch new organizations.  Thusfar, Echoing Green has invested more than $36 million in seed funding to more than 600 social entrepreneurs and their organizations. 

Here are some helpful links for those considering applying:

* Learn more about the Echoing Green Fellowship Programs:

* Sign up to receive information and application support:

* Visit the Echoing Green Application Guidance page to prepare:

Below are videos that provide some background on the Echoing Green Fellowship.

Think Beyond Plastic Business Accelerator Announces Executive Officers

Think Beyond Plastic

The Think Beyond Plastic Accelerator which was launched last month at the Our Oceans conference, announced the following executive officers yesterday:

  • Daniella Russo, a Founding Partner, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Russo’s executive experience with high-tech, Fortune 500 businesses, and NGOs has helped elevate plastic pollution in the global, social and environmental discourse. “Demand is growing for sustainable alternatives to the conventional disposable plastic products. Think Beyond Plastic Accelerator will play a pivotal role in connecting the urgency of global plastic pollution crisis with breakthrough solutions,” says Ms. Russo.
  • Destin Joy Layne, a Founding Partner, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Layne brings over fifteen years of experience leading innovation projects intersecting food, technology and sustainability, and executive management with nationwide philanthropic, political, and education initiatives.
  • Gregory T. Baxter, Ph.D., a Founding Partner, has been appointed Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Baxter is a published author with 20+ patents, who brings a wealth of expertise in biochemistry, nanotechnology and entrepreneurship. Dr. Baxter is on the Founders Board of Advisors at StartX Stanford Student Startup Accelerator and was a Fellow with The Innovation Accelerator, a public-private partnership with NSF.
  • Michael P. Washburn, Ph.D., a Founding Partner, has been appointed Chief Sustainability Officer. Dr. Washburn works at the intersection of science, policy, politics, and program development. He is former VP of Sustainability at Nestle Waters North America, and one of the country’s most respected sustainability experts. 
  • Pam Marcus, P.T., has been appointed Senior Director of Consumer Products. Ms. Marcus is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Lifefactory, Inc. She is an outspoken advocate for health and environmental issues.

This accelerator is a Public Benefit corporation that aims to address plastic pollution through innovation and entrepreneurship. Additional information on this new accelerator is available here.

April 4 is Nomination Deadline for 2015 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

A brief note: April 4, 2014 is the deadline for nominations for the 2015 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. Each award recipient receives $125,000 to support his or her work benefiting the people of California. Complete information is available here.

A video of one of the 2014 recipients (Eloy Ortiz Oakley) is listed below; you can view more videos here.

Application Deadline is March 31 for Google’s SF Bay Area Impact Challenge

A brief note: March 31 is the application deadline for Google's San Francisco Bay Area Impact Challenge. This program will award $100,000 – $500,000 to innovative SF Bay Area nonprofit organizations. Complete program information is available here.

January 7 is Deadline for 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship

A brief note — January 7, 2013 is the application deadline for the 2013 Echoing Green Fellowship. Echoing Green provides seed funding for social entreprenuers to launch new organizations.  Thusfar, Echoing Green has invested more than $31 million in seed funding to more than 500 social entrepreneurs and their organizations.  You can learn more about applying for an Echoing Green Fellowship here

Below are videos that provide some background on the Echoing Green Fellowship.

December 16 is Deadline for $1 Million Hult Prize

A brief note — the final application deadline for the 2013 Hult Prize, a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship that will award $1 million to the winning team, is December 16th.  Complete information on the Hult Prize is available at 

Below is a video highlighting the 2012 Hult Prize awards.

November 15 is Application Deadline for Telluride Venture Accelerator

Telluride Venture Accelerator The Telluride Venture Accelerator provides a $30,000 investment (plus additional benefits) to selected entrepreneurs in the areas of outdoor recreation, tourism, natural products, health, energy, water, and education.

The application deadline is November 15, 2012. Complete information is available here.

Greenstart Accepting Applications for Fall 2012 and Will Offer Additional $100K Per Startup


Greenstart, a cleantech startup accelerator, announced yesterday that it is accepting applications for its Fall 2012 accelerator program.  The application deadline is April 11 (to have the best chance of getting into the program, Greenstart suggests applying by the early application deadline – March 22nd).

Greenstart is targeting cleantech startups with an IT / software component (completeeligibility information is available here).  Entrepreneurs accepted into the program will receive $15,000 in seed funding (in exchange for 5% common stock), mentoring, and introductions to leading cleantech angel and venture capital investors.  In addition, entrepreneurs will the option of an additional $100,000 convertible note. Additional program information is available here.

Laws Signed in California that Create “Benefit Corporations” and “Flexible Purpose Corporations” (Guest Article)

Editor's Note: This is a guest article by Neetal Parekh, founder of Innov8Social, which covers topics in social innovation.  The following is adapted from an article originally published on Innov8Social.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 361 (benefit corporations) and SB 201 (flexible purpose corporations) which create new legal structures for social enterprises.  You can read the key points of each bill here and the official legislative update from the Governor's office here.

California is #6

The passage of the benefit corporation legislation makes California the 6th state to recognize a new form of corporation that is for-profit and committed to creating a positive impact on society and the environment. California joins Maryland, Vermont, Hawaii, Virginia, and New Jersey in the benefit corporation club.

A Look Back

If you have been following the benefit corporation legislation movement on the B Corporation public policy page, on Innov8Social, or on any number of sites following the developments, you may have been awaiting the midnight decision.

You can catch up on the progress of AB 361 in California:

A Look Ahead

Non-urgent bills such AB 361 and SB 201 signed into law will become effective January 1st, 2012. Until then, social entrepreneurs interested in becoming among the first benefit corporations in California, can use the time to decide which legal structure is the best fit, and become prepared to meet the various requirements. Attorney Donald Simon shares some tips on how a company can get ready for benefit corporation certification or re-certification as a benefit corporation in these two videos:

Attorney Donald Simon Defines 3 Terms Related to AB 361 (Benefit Corporations) 

Donald Simon's Q & A on California Benefit Corporation Legislation 

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Opens

LA Cleantech Incubator On Tuesday, October 10th, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) was officially opened during a ceremony that included Mayor Villaraigosa.  LACI's mission is to accelerate the development of clean technology businesses and to create sustainable, well-paying jobs in the Los Angeles region. It was created through a collaboration of the Los Angeles Cleantech Alliance which includes the Mayor's Office, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Community Redevelopment Agency for Los Angeles and local education and research institutions: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, UCLA, USC, CalTech, and Arts Center College of Design.

"The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is an important investment in the future of our great city," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "LACI will have an important role in developing new profitable businesses and creating jobs right here in LA. With this project, we take a big leap forward, toward a stronger and more sustainable economy that will help distinguish LA as a center of innovation and prosperity."

"Research shows that the best way to create jobs is to build new companies, and that is exactly our mission here at LACI. Our goal is to find and nurture up and coming clean technology companies and provide them with the tools and mentorship they need to succeed, including access to our growing network of government, business and education leaders. After just a month of being open, we already have two terrific portfolio companies and look forward to welcoming many more," said Fred Walti, executive director.

LACI, located in downtown Los Angeles, currently has two portfolio companies: 350Green (developing electric vehicle charging networks) and Gridtest Stystems (producing test equipment for electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure).  Gridtest was recently selected as one of the winners in the California region of the 2011 Cleantech Open competition (Gridtest won the Transportation category).

Additional information on LACI, including the application process for join the incubator, is available on the LACI website.

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