Start or grow a business for good.

9 Alumni Ventures to Participate in SEED SPOT Demo Day 2021

Voting is open from May 7th through May 10th!

The all virtual event will feature entrepreneurs from SEED SPOT programs ranging from 2014 – 2020.

Demo Day looks a little different this year. . . it’s completely virtual! Pitches will debut on the SEED SPOT site on May 7th and audience members will have until May 10th to vote for the venture they believe to be the most impactful. The event is sponsored by the Arizona Commerce Authority, and by Title Sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton, who will select the winner of the #GrowTheGood Award and the Most Promising Innovation Award.

Meet the ventures pitching this year!

  • Venture Name: PositiveHire
  • Founder: Michele Heyward
  • Program(s): 2-Day Launch Camp, Impact Accelerator, Pro Series, Pivot Camp
  • Mission Statement: To create inclusive cultures for, accelerate the careers of and prepare Black, Latinx & Indigenous women in STEM professionals.
  • Michelle’s “Why”: As a civil engineer, I worked on construction sites and not the traditional office setting. I thought other engineers were rubbing elbows with upper management and getting raises and promotions. But what I learned was completely different! Many of my friends and classmates were not progressing in their engineering and science careers. Instead, they were encountering many barriers and given less technical work. In some instances, they were assigned projects but were excluded from meetings discussing their projects. I immediately knew this had to change because this wasn’t a pipeline issue like employers claimed; it was a cultural issue. I look at the bigger picture of the issues in my industry. I acknowledge workplace cultural issues that are typically ignored. My startup, PositiveHire focuses on changing workplace culture first, retaining underserved talent, and then diversifying the talent pipeline. Employers want to start with recruiting which isn’t the issue – without reforming the culture, there is very little underserved talent that is attracted to your company. I am taking a stand that many have not, by uplifting underserved women.
  • Venture Name: T|W Tote
  • Founder Name: Sherika Wynter
  • Program: Impact Accelerator
  • Mission Statement: As a luxury brand, T|W Tote wants to change how people view sustainable products. Consider the T|W Tote a look great and feel great purchase. Our product guarantees to boost your confidence and inspire intrigue with this professional-looking bag.
  • Sherika’s “Why”: 85% of professionals carry lunch to work versus buying food. Among those are people who carry their lunch in plastic bags. In America, we consume 100 billion plastic bags a year. We knew there had to be a better way to carry lunch and be mindful of our planet.
  • Venture Name: DISRUPTIA
  • Founder Name: Paula Porras
  • Program(s): 2-Day Launch Camp, Impact Accelerator
  • Mission Statement: Reduce the gap between talent and available job vacancies, through agile virtual learning paths, creating wealth to society actors.
  • Paula’s “Why”: DISRUPTIA exists so people like Kevin, a 21-year old who doesn´t have education or job opportunities, can change their life paths getting a first job that allows him to pursue his dreams and support his family.
  • Venture Name: OkaySo
  • Founder Name: Elise Schuster
  • Program Name: SEED SPOT in partnership with Innovation Next | Power to Decide
  • Mission Statement: OkaySo envisions a world where all individuals know and love their bodies, identities, and selves so that they can live freely and authentically as who they truly are. We do this by pairing young adults with trained experts through a secure and confidential free app accessible on all smartphones, and connecting teens with partner agencies who can provide deeper support where young people live.
  • Elise’s “Why”: Both of our co-founders grew up in environments where we didn’t have access to support or information about sexual health, relationships, or identity and were left to figure everything out for ourselves. We both had times, especially as LGBTQ-identitied teens when we felt really alone in navigating our lives and could have really used a trusted adult to talk to. We’ve both worked in a lot of different areas of the sexual health world but what we saw was that despite a lot of amazing programs, there were still huge gaps for young people, both in how they could get the information they needed and what information was available to them. We met people every day who had questions about identity, about navigating relationship dynamics, about pleasure that were never addressed by anyone in their lives. That is why we started OkaySo – the two of us imagining a world where an entire generation of young people can make decisions about themselves and their relationships without shame, fear, or misinformation because the support they need is available whenever they need it, wherever they are.
  • Venture Name: Drone Pixel
  • Founder Name: Maria Alejandra Rodriguez Le Maitre
  • Program: YLAI/SEED SPOT Partnership
  • Mission Statement: We help TowerCos and MNOs save time, money and reduce human risk by providing vertical inspections of telecom towers using Drones, GIS and Artificial Intelligent.
  • Maria Alejandra’s “Why”: I want to eliminate high risk on professional humans talent for climbing the tower just for an inspection, improve the efficiency of network expansion connecting people around smart drone data enhance with power ArcGIS solutions. I’m from Venezuela a passionate woman leading and promoting technology and gender equality.
  • Venture Name: BreezeBubble
  • Founder Name: Arohi Jain
  • Program: Pro Series
  • Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide quality breathing to millions of people around the world to enable active healthy and happy lives.
  • Arohi’s “Why”: I am passionate about solving the problem of people being unable to active and healthy lives because I have personally experienced the problem of pollution.
  • Venture Name: Yearly
  • Founder Name: Josh Kligman
  • Program: Impact Accelerator
  • Mission Statement: At Yearly, we believe nonprofits can showcase their impact and get donors to engage with their cause differently.
  • Josh’s “Why”: We exist to help nonprofits hear “wow” from stakeholders and yield greater donations.
  • Venture Name: Krypton Kombucha
  • Founder Name: Joseph Schiarizzi
  • Program: 2-Day Launch Camp
  • Mission Statement: Create healthy drinks & products that inspire sustainability, and help people live their best lives.
  • Joseph’s Why: Krypton Kombucha was originally created by Joseph, after he developed stomach issues during his 2019 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. After living with intestinal problems he found that kombucha was the only thing that made him feel great, like being given a tiny amount of superpowers. The kombucha brand was created as a result to spread that feeling, create a healthier alternative to soda & alcohol, and promote environmental sustainability.
  • Venture Name: CoderHeroes
  • Founder Name: Brianne Caplan
  • Program: 2-Day Launch Camp
  • Mission Statement: CoderHeroes is a marketplace that makes coding education accessible to all students.
  • Brianne’s “Why”: Computer science is one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs. Students from certain groups are being shut out of the field — this means that technology is failing in its role as the “great equalizer.”

Lauren McDanell

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