Last night entrepreneurial incubator Seed Spot celebrated its second cohort of ventures at a kickoff party, revealing the 15 ideas that were selected from hundreds of applications to participate in the program. The party, held at The Duce, introduced the start-up businesses to members of the Phoenix community and served as an opportunity to network with potential clients and creative partners.
Seed Spot co-founders Courtney Klein Johnson and Chris Petroff took to the stage to thank their board of directors, corporate partners, and others before handing the mic over to the entrepreneurs themselves. Each team had 30 seconds to pitch their idea to the crowd.
In order to be selected for the Seed Spot program, ideas must be social in nature. In other words, they have to do some sort of good for the community at large. The start-ups can be either for-profit or not-for-profit, but they have to be able to demonstrate a strong revenue model. This year's cohort included several ideas that focus on directing money from a specific industry into the local economy as well as several food-related ideas.
For the next four months, the entrepreneurs will be working at Seed Spot full time, doing workshops, building mentorships, and receiving other business-related training. More than 25 other ventures were also selected to participate in an evening-only program held on Monday nights.
Meet the new class of Seed Spot ventures:
"We identified that there was a massive disconnect between our politicians and the individual voters that they represent, so what we're creating is ... an online communication platform where we tell you everyone that represents you from the national level down to the local level. Additionally we'll give you legislation alerts on legislation that affects you."
Mission: To bring healthy, grain-free, gluten-free, high nutrient dense snacks for health conscious individuals.
"... We've created a social platform for the independent music community. We're giving resources and tools for artists to not only create and customize tours, but also manage them while on the road."
"Oskaka Sun Blendery provides a really fun and welcoming environment where we make truly healthy smoothies and juices that are delicious, affordable, and made with love. ... This allows Americans all across the country access to really healthy options on the go."
Celebrate Autism (non-profit) Founder: Jenny Anderson
"Our goal is to change the way that America thinks about autism, and shift the perspective to the people that are living with autism today instead of the cause and the cure."
Crash Pad Founders: David Sodemann and Jacob Powell
"Crash pad is a local concierge for vacation rental travelers and we utilize mobile and location-based advertising to direct travelers to some of the greatest spots in Phoenix." "Our mission is to direct the billions of dollars that are spent by travel and tourism annual in Arizona, direct that to the local economy. We truly believe that ... these local spots make Arizona what we want to represent to people when they come vacation here."
Xplore Box Founder: Rebeca Rodriguez
"As an engineer working in the industry, I participated in a lot of education and outreach events. Through these education and outreach events I saw that kids were most engaged when we gave them hands-on kits to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Through Xplore Box I hope to get these kids excited by setting up everyone [with] a hands-on kit through a monthly subscription service. "
"All College is a mobile application and website that helps college students save money in almost every aspect of their everyday life. It will also allow local businesses to reach out to and target college students and anyone else that really lives in that college community." "According to Alloy Media Marketing in 2011, $55 billion was spent by college students in the nation. So what we want to do is redirect that money into the local economy."
Lotus Wei Founder: Katie Hess
"At Lotus Wei we believe that one of the most powerful and effortless ways to find more balance is through plant-based remedies. We create flower remedies that work along your acupuncture meridians to give you more clarity, creativity, and energy within minutes. I'm on a mission to make flower remedies as widely accepted and well-known as yoga as a method to find balance."
"Roster Recharge is a sports software platform that makes coaches be more productive and accountable. The website has 21 tools to help coaches in a variety of ways..."
Q Approved Founder: MoniQue Shaldjian
"Q Approved is one of the first comprehensive food allergy training certifications around the world I would say. So we're certifying food handlers ... and we're creating a network of allergy conscious restaurants and making a networks that's accessible to diners everywhere."
AguaSac Founder: Liesl Harder Kielp
"AguaSac is 8 oz. of artesian spring water that comes from Sedona. It is refillable and flexible. Last year unemployment for the masses was ... a little below eight percent and for developmentally disabled was well over 13 percent. And Agua Sac pouches are custom labeled -- the printing and the application -- by developmentally disabled."
"S.O.U.N.D.S. stands for Students Opening Up New Doors with Strings. We are a non-profit music education program that gives lessons to students ... violin, viola, cello, and base. Our mission is to teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences for children."
"The Manifesto Project is dedicated to the idea that young leaders are the future of our state ... for Arizona to be competitive both economically and culturally in the decades to come, we need to ensure that we do a better job of mentoring and engaging our young leaders here and now ... Manifesto Project has worked tirelessly to both identify the needs, concerns, and desires of out young leaders in the state and to match them up with like-minded organizations that will work to create effective, actionable, and aggressive change."
Kate's Counterpane Founder: Kate Milliken
"There is a gaping need for people to find emotionally completing user-generated content in the healthcare space ... We plan to be the YouTube of chronic illness support and revolutionize the way you find support online."
For more information visit the Seed Spot website.