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PSU Social Innovation Incubator adds members
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications, Portland State University
Posted: January 20, 2012

(Portland, Ore.) January 20, 2012 — The Social Innovation Incubator (SII) at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration has added six new members.

Five of the ventures have been accepted to the SII’s 6-month Circuit Program, a mentoring program in which diverse entrepreneurs meet monthly as a group. EcoZoom, a clean cookstove distributor, has been accepted to the Vector Program, the SII’s one-on-one consulting program. All members receive mentoring, business and pitch coaching, and access to potential advisors and investors while connecting with like-minded peers.

PSU’s Social Innovation Incubator works with ventures that address social and environmental problems through business models. Of the ten that it has worked with since 2010, six have attracted external funding from investors, donors or awards. Although most new members are still in early stages of development, the SII also offers incubation to established organizations launching new initiatives.

“Our ultimate goal is to remedy problems in society as quickly as possible,” says Cindy Cooper, Social Innovation Incubator founder and director. “When you are dealing with hunger, poverty, pollution and other major social ills, time is of the essence. We work with social innovators to create stronger, higher impact business models and bring them to scale more quickly.”

New members, Social Innovation Incubator, 2012:
Bright Neighbor: Online sustainability platform that enables and rewards offline peer-to-peer borrowing and renting.
Cascadia Experience: Leadership, sustainability and conservation training for professionals through hands-on outdoor projects.
EcoZoom: Certified B Corp making cooking safer for people and the planet by designing, manufacturing and distributing high-efficiency cookstoves all over the globe.
Elkarti: Handcrafted, leather fashion accessories to create employment in Morocco, with a portion of proceeds donated to Moroccan orphans.
Junk to Funk: Uses avant-garde “trashion” (trash fashion) as art for social change to transform how people think about waste.  
Meditation Momma: Taking the mystery out of meditation and making it an accessible alternative, without the harmful side effects of medication, to the stresses that dominate modern culture.

About the Social Innovation Incubator
A program of Impact Entrepreneurs in Portland State University’s School of Business Administration, the Social Innovation Incubator catalyzes economic, social and environmental prosperity through entrepreneurial action. The SII works in partnership with PSU’s Center for Global Leadership in Sustainability, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Portland State Business Accelerator.

For more information, visit www.sba.pdx.edu/sii or contact Cindy Cooper (cynthia.cooper@pdx.edu).

# # #

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (#12-009)

By:
David Santen, Office of University Communications
Portland State University
santend@pdx.edu | 503-725-8765

Source:
Cindy Cooper, Social Innovation Incubator, School of Business Administration
Portland State University
cynthia.cooper@pdx.edu | 503-725-3746