Undergraduate student, Kelsey Talley, class of 2019, marketing and international business major and global poverty minor, writes about a field trip with the Social Innovation Fellows program on September 13, 2018, at the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center in Washington, D.C.
The Social Innovation Fellows (SIF) program kicked off their academic year by attending the wrap-up, demo day event hosted by SeedSpot DC and Booz Allen on September 13, 2018. The event showcased the progress-to-date of 20 different entrepreneurs who had participated in SeedSpot DC's two-day venture accelerator program.
“I learned from this trip that no matter where you are in life or what you have, you can always start a new venture to help out the community or even just volunteer helping others,” said Micaela Franks, a finance and marketing double major.
“Networking was also an important part of the evening,” said David Kirsch, SiF’s faculty champion and associate professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. “The SIF students had the opportunity to meet with some of the entrepreneurs, sparking questions and ideas that will carry over into our classroom conversations and back out into our community-oriented activities.”
“Something that stood out to me the most is how many of these businesses arose from personal experiences,” said Shawn Linzer, a double major in information systems and operations management & business analytics.
Kirsch highlighted the focus points from each of the presenting companies:
- Spiraling Up Solutions: Professional development through coaching, training, and consulting
- Grassroots Fund: Peer-to-peer fundraising
- 3 Blocks: Supporting activists in DC
- Layover USA: Resources & community building for international students
- Citizen Ex: Helping individuals such as veterans navigate government resources
- Women in Data Science: Promoting data science careers among women
- Preserve Present Solutions: VR tech to preserve history
- Barbershop Embedded Education: Tackling mental health disparities
- Fist Bump: A better network of resources for children with disabilities
- Transparent Cause: Help corporations with donations through a reporting system
- Snowflake: Personalized recommendations (better than Yelp!)
- Creative Incubator: Documenting impact
- Edge Enablement: Technology specialized for individuals with physical disabilities
- Seraphim: Financial security for the unbanked
- Malo Business Center: Training, resources, & connections for youth
- Social Health Registry (SHR): Eliminating stigmas surrounding STDs while increasing testing & transparency
- Capitol Corps: Localized political news
- Wikigirl: Promoting tech careers among women
- Home Farm: Resources and information about maintaining gardens
- Revive Recruiting: Matching candidates and employers
Amulya Uppala, a junior finance major, added “I learned the importance of public speaking skills and conveying meaningful information in a short period of time to compose an effective pitch. The ideas that I connected to most were the ones that appealed to my compassionate side, but also provided solid numbers or statistics for their current accomplishments and future goals.”
Learn more about the Social Innovation Fellows program at the Smith School.