UnLtd USA, Austin’s first incubator for entrepreneurs solving pressing social and environmental problems, has selected its first cohort. Six impact enterprises have been chosen to receive seed funding and a full year of Incubation Support. The entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of over 80 applicants and went through a rigorous selection process that included pitching to two Final Selection Panels composed of business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. The year-long program kicks off in September. Entrepreneurs will receive seed funding, on-going mentorship and training from the UnLtd USA and their network of partners and mentors.
UnLtd USA 2014 Cohort (In alphabetical order)
Dustin Fedako & Eric Goff, Compost Pedallers
The Problem: We are throwing valuable resources in the trash. Americans send over 35 million tons of organics to landfills each year, where they produce methane, a greenhouse gas 20x more harmful than carbon dioxide. Due to a lack of convenient composting options, city dwellers have no choice but to send their organic resources to landfills, while nearby gardeners are left in need of the fertilizer those organics could be creating.
The Compost Pedallers are a bike-powered compost recycling program that makes composting simple and rewarding. Their mission is to transform an entire city’s organic waste stream into local food, all without burning a single drop of fossil fuels.
Cheyenne Weaver & Diana Griffin, GirlsGuild
The Problem: The modern working environment is characterized by a gender gap amongst leaders in certain fields where women are in a minority, such as technology, entrepreneurship, film, art, architecture, engineering, etc.
GirlsGuild is a marketplace for skills, knowledge & techniques, using a hands-on apprenticeship model in fields where the gender gap is unacceptable. GirlsGuild’s collaborative community provides real-world opportunities for girls and women to learn one-on-one from women leaders in their chosen field, building skills, confidence and creative voice.
Igor Holas, Mentegram
The Problem: Effective mental healthcare requires data driven insights, and yet the only 11% of clients return their daily tracking forms completed.
Mentegram improves the treatment decision-making of mental healthcare professionals through more robust, and more engaging daily tracking tools.
Hudson Baird, PelotonU
The Problem: Each year over a quarter of a million students graduate from Texas public high schools. Of these, less than 30% enroll in four-year colleges. More than half of freshmen who enroll never graduate, and those who do carry an average debt of $25,000 before interest. At the same time, 90% of the fastest growing jobs in Texas require post-secondary education.
PelotonU blends online education and in-person mentorship to help working students get through college with greater learning and less expense.
Lauren Foster & Ben Shank, Stretch
The Problem: Over 50 million tight budgeted individuals and families struggle to make healthier food purchasing choices, oftentimes sacrificing personal health for immediate cost. Stretch pairs cash on hand or budget with delicious, easy to make nutritional chef recipes and coupons.
Michael Hanan & Lloyd Minick, Ten Acre Organics
The Problem: Conventional agriculture accounts for 80% of global water usage.
Ten Acre Organics is working to build the most sustainable and productive ten-acre farm in the world, as a model that can be replicated around cities everywhere, reducing water usage by up to 90%.