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SEED SPOT Alumni Stories

KYA’s Got Your Back: Breaking Down Barriers Social Media Put Up

By: Youmna Sirgi, Content Curator Intern “I want to spark this idea that there is more to girls and women than their visual appeal on social media.” As an entrepreneur, speaker, published author, doctoral student in psychology, aunt, and now mother, Julia Garcia has seen firsthand how vulnerable young girls are in today’s society. A…

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Stephanie Schull: From Observer to Women’s Health Problem Solver

By: Youmna Sirgi, Content Curator Intern Stephanie Schull loves solving puzzles. Prior to starting her own company, she worked as a philosopher and was constantly looking for gaps other people might have missed while problem solving. Yet, despite this fascination with analyzing other problem solvers, Schull wasn’t able to stay in the ‘academic armchair’ for…

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Jen Cole: “Impact Won’t Happen if You Can’t Put in the Time”

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager Meet Jen Cole, an unstoppable woman of many talents. As our Phoenix Office Assistant, she has led the charge on keeping our home base immaculately clean and organized (Post-Its everywhere!) As a SEED SPOT alumna and co-founder of Young Artist Society, Jen empowers students to be intentional community leaders…

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13 Alumni Pitched to 500+ Attendees at 5-Year DEMO DAY

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager Five years, 421 adult alumni, 1,600 high school alumni, $10.2 million raised in capital, 2.2 million lives impacted, and ONE incredible event to celebrate it all. Last week, 500+ members of the Phoenix startup community packed the historic Orpheum Theatre to cheer on 13 high school and adult alumni…

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SEED SPOT Alum, Delighted By Hummus, Scores a Deal on Shark Tank

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager On Sunday, October 15th, SEED SPOT alumna and founder of Delighted By Hummus, Makenzie Marzluff, was submerged into ABC’s Shark Tank to score a potential investment deal from a panel of billionaire investors. After pitching her innovative dessert hummus (that’s still made from chickpeas), Makenzie received offers from Mr.…

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Imelda Hartley: Helping Domestic Abuse Survivors One Tamale at a Time

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager If you haven’t tried Imelda’s shrimp tamales, you cannot call yourself a true Phoenician. Imelda Hartley is a SEED SPOT alumna, a domestic violence survivor, a mother of 14 beautiful children, and a magical chef with exceptional talent at making mouthwatering tamales. Since participating in our Full-Time Program back…

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Carlos Martinez: “NEXT Helps Students Make Big Things Happen”

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager Carlos Martinez has never let his young age stop him from dreaming BIG. Though he’s only a sophomore in college, he has co-founded a business in SEED SPOT’s youth entrepreneurship program, interned for Congressman Raul Grijalva, and helped run Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Arizona! But don’t worry –…

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Tristan Gandolfi: Making Her Way to the Other Side of “Yes”

By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager Tristan Gandolfi is funny. Not in a forced or rehearsed way, but in a genuine way that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Her ability to infuse humor into difficult situations has been an uplifting lifeline for underserved community members for years, and her joy is…

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Anish Patel: A Youth Entrepreneur Restoring Focus on the Road

By: Chessie Dahut, Content Curator and Media Management Intern Anish Patel is an energetic and team-oriented youth entrepreneur that participated in the pilot program of SEED SPOT NEXT at Tesseract High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Anish grew up in Massachusetts and lived there for ten years before moving to Phoenix. After spending his first few…

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Lisa Morrow of Birdytell: “It’s Okay Not to Have All the Answers”

By: Bianca Buliga, Content Curator A little birdy told me that Lisa Morrow is one heck of an ambitious go-getter. A SEED SPOT alumna from Phoenix’s sixth cohort, Lisa is the entrepreneurial genius behind Birdytell, a social venture providing curated and hand-delivered gifting experiences in the metro Phoenix area. Beyond breathing life into Birdytell, she…

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