This will mark the 6th edition of our Social Entrepreneurs to watch for list. If you want to check out the previous years of social entrepreneurs you can see them here (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Over the past five years I have had the great pleasure of speaking with over 400 social entrepreneurs while running Causeartist. It has been an amazing pleasure to watch many of these startups grow into companies and scale without losing their focus on impact.
With each new year brings new social entrepreneurs and new ideas on how to impact the world using our consumer power. This year the list brings many new faces to the social entrepreneurship space. Some of these new faces come from the traditional business world and are using their skills to now build ethical businesses that are changing the landscape of conscious business and ethical consumerism.
Some of the other new faces are brand new to business and have started their social entrepreneurship journey out of passion for an amazing cause. Its a beautiful thing to see so many individuals from around the world leaping into social entrepreneurship.
Without further I do, I am pleased to introduce the 35 Social Entrepreneurs to watch for in 2019. Its always challenging to create this list, because there are so many incredible social entrepreneurs around the world. I am thrilled to see what they will accomplish in this new year. Of course there will be amazing social entrepreneurs and innovators not on this list, these are just the individuals over the past year that I see doing incredible things and building ethical and sustainable companies.
Jazzmine Raine // Hara House
Jazzmine is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of Hara House, north India’s first zero waste guesthouse located in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. Hara House is a social enterprise that uses 20% of profits to provide resources and tools to youth to get involved in environmental action and access alternative forms of education. Youth and students in the city of Bikaner help run the house, the onsite community hub, and day tours for travelers to help lead the city and hospitality and tourism industry in India to a sustainable future.
At 18 years old, Jazzmine launched a non-profit organization called Raine for Water, which led her to travel the world learning the ins and outs of grassroots development, and social innovation in Canada, Ghana, and India. Before the age of 25, Jazzmine had the pleasure of working as the Operations Manager for a Indian NGO, and the Executive Director of a youth empowerment and social justice organization based in Mississauga, Canada.
Jazzmine is deeply passionate about responsible travel, conscious consumption, ethical fashion and community development. When not working on Hara House or other zero waste projects in India, she can be found developing content for social impact, innovative and non-profits organizations around the world.
Clarence Tan // Boddle Learning
Clarence Tan is an edtech entrepreneur that has been working in games and e-learning for over 7 years. He grew up in China, Singapore, and the US, and has experienced all private, public and homeschool education. He started his entrepreneurial journey back in 2011, while he was still a junior in college, developing educational games and learning platforms with friends he met online for government municipalities in Colombia, South America, as well as partnering with companies in North America to launch educational entertainment projects. Since then, he has been championing the positive impact of student engagement using educational gamification through his ventures and speaking engagements. He has the heart and mind of a creative and has always been fascinated by games and creative projects.
Clarence is currently the Co-Founder & CEO at Boddle Learning, an edtech company, founded in 2018, that has developed a game-based learning platform that delivers e-learning materials to K-8 students in game-format to engage and motivate them in academics. The game app also comes with a management platform that generates analytics & reports for teachers and parents to stay in the loop. Boddle is designed to use gamification to help elementary and middle schools benefit from higher student engagement and automated reporting.
Patrick Clarke // Cape Clasp
Patrick Clarke is from Boston, MA and founded a jewelry company called Cape Clasp. Cape Clasp was founded in 2013 by creating a bracelet shaped like Cape Cod. Through this humble beginning Patrick has went on to create a full fledged purpose-driven brand with a mission to #makewaves for marine life causes. For each of the companies designs, they partner with a different marine life organization and donate 15% of profits. In 2017, Cape Clasp donations totaled over $10,000 to partner nonprofits! Check out Cape Clasp nonprofit partners.
Michelle Valentin // Maui Raw
Health food alchemist, collector of experiences, and mother, Michelle Valentin also encompasses the role as the creative founder of Maui Raw. Over four and a half years ago she was inspired to start Maui Raw because she saw the need to make healthy foods crave-able. Michelle continuously strives to innovate products with the mission to grow and create positive impact in the world especially through food and nutrition.
Maui Raw is a vegan, non-GMO, raw-foods producer that making health foods delicious. Their vegan spreads do not make you choose between healthy and tasty. They use all natural and organic ingredients, coupled with probiotics, to create a versatile part of any meal. Customers use their products as dips, sauces, condiments, and even desserts. With vegan, non-GMO, non-dairy and raw products becoming mainstream, Maui Raw is positioned to become a major player in the market. Capital is being deployed to expand our volume and reach. They are investing in a larger processing facility and innovative packaging technologies that will allow their products to ship to all domestic and international markets. Best of all, they source their ingredients locally to guarantee quality and to keep Hawaii farming strong.
Marco Bollinger // Lokal Travel
Co-founder & Chief Storyteller at Lokal Travel, a social enterprise that makes it easy to book eco adventures and cultural travel around the world that supports local communities.
Award-winning filmmaker and photographer Marco Bollinger believes that inspiring meaningful travel is the key to a more connected, empathetic and courageous humanity. He and his team at Lokal work to transform the way the world travels by connecting travelers to unique, impactful experiences around the globe. Launching in 2019, Marco hosts an eco adventure travel show taking celebrities to spectacular destinations to connect with the issues facing local people around world.
During his career, the Peruvian-American artist has photographed Beyoncé and Obama, directed projects for the United Nations Refugee Agency and Time Warner Cable, and with his Lokal co-founder, danced for 107 hours in a full-body scarlet macaw costume to crowdfund their first feature documentary. From living in New York, L.A. and Tokyo shooting youth subculture, to years spent documenting Lebanon’s refugee camps; he holds to his belief of living the story to find the human magic of his projects. He has won several awards including PDN’s Best Portrait of an Artist, and an Indie Fest Humanitarian Award. Watch his award-winning documentary film 2.5% – The Osa Peninsula, about the impacts of tourism in Costa Rica, which inspired the founding of Lokal.
Durell Coleman // DC Design
Durell Coleman is the namesake founder of DC Design, a social impact design firm dedicated to addressing our most pressing social challenges through Human-Centered Design. In his journey as a designer, Durell has worked alongside governments, foundations, non-profits, companies and those they serve to shift entrenched systems toward paradigms that function better for everyone.
He has worked to redesign aspects of the foster care system, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new educational models for the 21st century. Trained in mechanical engineering (B.S) and sustainable design (M.S.), he is a two-time alumnus of Stanford University and its famous Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school). As an educator, Durell regularly lectures on social impact design, innovation, and leadership at Stanford University.
He has taught design thinking to refugees designing solutions to challenges in refugee camps, students seeking to create a more inclusive campus, and corporate executives from Sony, Oracle, and Santander. He is the creator and director of Design the Future – an award winning STEM program run in collaboration with top universities that teaches high school students to design products for individuals with physical disabilities. He is an expert in multi-stakeholder, human-centered design; has been awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service as a result of his work; and is one of the subjects of the PBS documentary: “Extreme by Design,” which is used as a design thinking teaching aid all over the world.
Martin & Lise Johnston // Crafted Society
Husband and Wife duo, Martin and Lise Johnston from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Both Lise and Martin have worked with many global lifestyle brands over their careers. But they wanted to combine their passion of beautifully made products with a deeper purpose to contribute to society in a positive and impactful way.
Martin had joined TOMS, the One for One® company, in early 2012 as the Managing Director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) to lead TOMS’ business expansion and strategic direction in more than 45 countries. In partnership with NGOs, business partners and through the purchases of customers around the world, TOMS pioneered the social enterprise concept in the USA – and it would be here that Martin saw the power of using business to have a positive social impact.
Lise Bonnet-Johnston is a Dutch businesswomen who has 15 years experience in the Fashion industry. She graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and always wanted to innovate within the industry. Lise started her career in retail and visual aesthetics; working for established fashion houses Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger. After meeting her future husband, Martin while they were both at Hilfiger Europe, they set up a successful fashion distribution company in 2003, representing several brands in multiple markets in Northern Europe. Some well-known brands in their agency were Sweet Years, Blauer USA, Odd Molly, Nautica, & Aquascutum.
Crafted Society is a social enterprise redefining what a luxury brand is and should be. Crafted Society was born out of a passion to create exquisite hand crafted products with the most talented artisans of Italy. And also use the products as a vehicle for positive social impact while helping to preserve authentic and traditional craftsmanship. To preserve the crafts the artisans must transfer their knowledge to the next generation but this is an increasingly difficult task, mainly due to the ‘secrecy’ which has surrounded these talented humans for decades. Crafted Society decided it was time to challenge convention, the founder decided it was time for TRANSPARENCY to triumph over secrecy.
Dave Spandorfer // Janji
Dave Spandorfer started Janji, along with his co-founder and teammate Mike Burnstein, while he was a runner in college. Janji, which today helps fund clean water projects and takes inspiration from places around the world, has grown to become the largest give-back running apparel company. The company is sold in over 250 stores around the world and has funded dozens of clean water projects around the world.
Kristy Chong // Modibodi
Kristy’s the CEO and creator of Modibodi. She’s a mum on a mission, a fash-tech entrepreneur and a social advocate for women’s health issues and rights.
With over 13 years in senior PR roles for organisations including McDonald’s Australia, sanofi-aventis and Edelman PR, Kristy’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the business.
Fast forward to 2011, when the concept of launching her own business ignited. After the birth of her second child, Kristy’s experience with “unmentionable” bladder leaks made her determined to start her own brand. One that would change our mindsets – and the planet! – by changing underwear for the better.
This ambition saw her design, develop and scientifically prove her patented Modifier Technology™ leak-proof undies and transform this into the Modibodi™ collection: a reusable, sustainable range of tops, singlets, period and sweat-proof undies as well as swimwear, created to liberate us all from endless amounts of landfill.
Kristy’s vision is to build a brand that makes the world better by empowering every bodi to make real, positive change. As part of this vision, Modibodi™ actively supports causes and organisations close to our heart, such as Days for Girls.
Matthew Spataro // Karma
Matthew is the co-founder of KARMA, a decentralized mobile social network that utilizes blockchain technology and a tokenized ecosystem to reward people for doing good things in the world. Prior to KARMA he was the founder of multiple SaaS products to help businesses automate and scale their social media marketing. Matthew lived in Medellin, Colombia where he is very involved in a foundation for orphaned children called Coloreando Mis Derechos.
Tony Weaver Jr. // Weird Enough Productions
Tony Weaver Jr. is founder and CEO of Weird Enough Productions, a new media production company dedicated to creating positive media images of black men and other minority groups. After training with the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, and the Acting Program at Elon University, Tony recognized that there was a severe lack of positive roles for black men.
Volunteering with black males in his local community showed him how widespread this misrepresentation was, and the devastating effects it was capable of having on minority groups. With the intention of changing the media narrative of black men, Tony founded Weird Enough Productions at age 20. Tony has been the recipient of the Leadership Prize and the Black Excellence Award, and participated in the NBCUniversal Fellowship Program. *source
Hyungsoo Kim // Eone
Hyungsoo Kim is the founder of Eone and a graduate of MIT. During his time at MIT he noticed that his friend and classmate couldn’t tell time — due to his impaired sight. Too embarrassed to use his talking watch and interrupt the lecture, he’d discreetly whisper to his sighted friend Hyungsoo for the time.
This sparked an interest in Hyungsoo, because he figured there had to be an alternative to a talking watch for individuals without sight. After doing some initial digging, he found that there weren’t any quality alternatives to what his friend was stuck with. Inspired by the conviction that everyone has a right to time, Hyungsoo collaborated with designers and individuals with vision impairments to create a watch that everyone can use — sighted or blind.
Eone is short for everyone, reflecting our desire to serve people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The brands first product, The Bradley, debuted on Kickstarter and closed as the 13th most funded design project of all time, received 4,400 preorders from 65 countries, and raised $594,602. Designed in collaboration with the blind, The Bradley allows you to see and touch to check time.
Nikki Reed // BaYou With Love
Film audiences have embraced Nikki Reed since she stormed the industry with her award-winning 2003 breakout role in THIRTEEN. She has since become best known for her role as ‘Rosale Hale’ in the TWILIGHT SAGA. Reed has also appeared in small-screen programs playing characters such as the original American flag maker ‘Betsey Ross’ on FOX’s historical fantasy television series SLEEPY HOLLOW.
In 2016, Reed produced and starred in Thomas Dekker’s horror JACK GOES HOME, which premiered at the 2016 South by Southwest Film Festival. This followed her starring role in the indie film ABOUT SCOUT opposite Jayne Seymour, Ellen Burstyn and Danny Glover and the family drama A SUNDAY HORSE alongside Ving Rhames and William Shatner. She also recently appeared in an episode of the Emmy Award winning docu-series Years of Living Dangerously, a show dedicated to saving the planet from climate change.
In addition to her thriving acting career, she is also recognized for her fashion sensibilities. In October 2015 she partnered with Freedom of Animals to launch a bag line made entirely from recycled plastic from the ocean and landfills. She then co-founded her lifestyle brand BaYou with Love in 2017 alongside stylist Morgan Bogle. BaYou with Love aims to provide upscale, eco-friendly fashion and beauty products created in accordance with Reed and Bogle’s shared passion for design, creativity, and sustainability.
Ben Conard // Five North Chocolate
As an advocate for fair trade, Ben has worked with businesses and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally to drive positive economic impact to marginalized farmers, artisans, and producers in the developing world. For his work in the movement, Fairtrade International named Ben one of 2016’s Top 10 Biggest Fair Trade Advocates in the World and #1 in the U.S. His passion for fair trade has taken him on the TEDx stage and on-the-ground to fair trade farms in Ecuador and artisan workshops in India.
Dedicated to great taste, consumer health, and sustainable sourcing, he founded Five North Chocolate®, an award winning, Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® supporting cacao farmers around the world by creating deliciously nutritious, Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate snacks. Five North is proud to celebrate diversity and is the first brand ever to feature the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce seal on a packaged good. Ben has shared his chocolate with President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and famous designer + philanthropist Donna Karan.
Jehiel Oliver // Hello Tractor
Jehiel Oliver is the founder of Hello Tractor, an innovative shared-economy platform that makes tractor usage affordable to marginalized farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Jehiel is responsible for the overall management of the Hello Tractor team, strategy, and partnerships. Prior to Hello Tractor, Jehiel founded Aya Consulting, a boutique development. At Aya he worked in over ten countries, including conflict zones. Through his work in agriculture and rural markets, Jehiel recognized a real need for low-income (majority women) farmers to access affordable farm machinery, leading him to found Hello Tractor.
In addition to his duties at Hello Tractor, Jehiel also served on the board of H4H, Inc., an impact investment fund providing mortgage reinsurance for South African communities affected by HIV/AIDS. He also serves as board treasurer of Shared Interest, a loan guarantee fund for agriculture and financial sector development in sub-Saharan Africa. Jehiel began his career in the U.S. investment banking and private equity industries. *source
James Yurichuk // Wuxly
James Yurichuk grew up just outside of Toronto in a household where respecting animals and the environment was second nature. An avid football player during high school, James went on to study Sports and Environmental Studies at Bishop’s University in Quebec before being drafted 4th overall to the BC Lions in 2009.
After four years with the Lions, which included a Grey Cup Championship in 2011, James moved back to Toronto to play for the Toronto Argonauts. As the cold weather set in James was disheartened to see his hometown drowning in fur-trimmed parkas, so he immediately got to work creating a line of premium fur-free and down-free winter jackets under the label Wuxly Movement.
In addition to his efforts to protect Canadian wildlife, James also served as an ambassador for the Argos’ White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women, as well as the Argos’ Huddle Up program to prevent bullying in children. In 2014, James’ work in the community was recognized when he received the Jake Gaudaur Veteran’s Award, which recognizes the CFL player “who best demonstrates the attributes of Canadian Veterans in times of war, military conflict, and peace.
Jake & Caroline Daneys // Fair Harbor
Jake Bio: Jake is 24 years old and is the CEO and co-founder. Jake started Fair Harbor with his sister Caroline in 2014 when he was a Junior at Colgate University. Jake is an avid surfer and aquatic enthusiast. Jake has continued to build Fair Harbor full time since he graduated Colgate in 2016.
Caroline Bio: Nicknamed as the “tree hugger” of the family, Caroline started Fair Harbor with Jake during her a senior of high school. She is currently 22 years old and finishing up her senior year at Colgate University. Caroline is a certified yoga instructor and passionate about cooking.
Fair Harbor is a lifestyle brand based on the simplicity of summer and our dedication to the environment. We make swimsuits out of recycled plastic bottles to help protect the places that we love. It is our mission to create high quality performance products that embody the pureness and simplicity of Fair Harbor, NY.
Adam Force // Change Creator
Activist and entrepreneur with 15 years of professional business experience. After working 10 years at WebMD as Director of Strategic Marketing Adam started his second business, Change Creator, a non-traditional media and education platform for conscious entrepreneurs with over 100+ expert interviews from the top minds around the world reaching 150+ countries.
Mandeep Kaur // Tribes For Good
Mandeep is the Founder of TribesforGOOD and believes that patriachary is holding us (Indians) back. With more than a decade of experience working with social impact organizations, she founded TribesforGOOD with mission to inspire a generation who wants to support and work with social impact businesses. The aim is to bridge the talent gap faced by social change organizations in India by connecting them to an international talent pool of students, millennials and early retirees.
Through their flagship services Social Impact Journeys and Volunteering 2.0, the company enables individuals to participating in solving the social, economic and environmental problems of 21st Century. Each participant is put on a unique journey, tailored to their interests and skills, in which they are able to, not only improve the immediate lives of people at base of the pyramid and their immediate surroundings, but also be able to impact the lives of the many generations to come! The Impact is two fold – one enabling changemakers and second bridging the talent gap for understaffed grassroots changemakers. By 2021, TribesforGOOD aims to reach 1 million beneficiaries.
Wes Hurt // CLEAN Cause
Wes Hurt began drinking and smoking pot in his teens and shortly after high school began experimenting with hard drugs. Daily drinking was already the norm, but his drug use gained momentum and for the next decade he used almost anything available to him.
Throughout his late 20s and into his early 30s, Wes somehow managed to build a highly successful cupcake business despite being under the influence of drugs and alcohol almost daily. Outwardly, the “Cupcake King” seemed on top of the world, but soon his addiction spiraled out of control into a roughly 35-Vicodin-a-day habit. And when opiates weren’t enough, he started smoking crack. Unbelievably, not even this was Wes’s rock bottom.
Negative consequences did little to deter Wes’s addiction. Six stints in rehab and one in a psychward; the deterioration of his marriage and complete loss of trust from everyone he loved; getting fired as CEO of his own company; rolling a car in Hollywood; two DUIs; jail time, injuries, and, finally, sleeping on the floor of a beat-up warehouse—none of these were enough to make Wes recognize that his addiction was robbing him of his life.
So what was the turning point? Late one night, lying on that warehouse floor, staring up at the ceiling, Wes felt something he had never felt before – a prolonged eerie fluttering in his heart. For the first time, he knew his addiction would take his life; if not that night, then soon.
That same night, Wes called his wife and shared his fear that he was not going to live much longer. She had previously taken a tough love position, refusing to watch him die in front of her, but that night, she asked him to come home “right now” if he wanted to get clean. And although the voice of his addiction screamed “no”, he knew it was time.
From that day on, Wes devoted himself to working on his sobriety and repairing his relationships. Day by day he took the necessary steps to get and stay sober. And through it all, his entrepreneurial spirit persisted. He recognized that creating something personally meaningful could be helpful to his own sobriety. Further, he realized that creating something to help OTHER addicts stay clean could be revolutionary. Thus CLEAN Cause was born.
Dounia BOUNAHMIDI // Folks & Tales
Born and raised in Morocco, Dounia is the founder of Folks & Tales, a social impact-driven company reinventing ancestral craftsmanship techniques and cultural symbols while empowering local communities. Her interest in social entrepreneurship started during her years in Business School where she conducted a thesis on the subject and learned how shifting business models can make a real difference. After graduating from college in France, she decided to go back home and start a project exploring one of Morocco’s biggest resources: ancestral craftsmanship.
Folks & Tales partners with artisans in different cities and remote villages, mastering different ancestral techniques that have been passed down from one generation to the next, creating unique handcrafted home goods with a story to tell. The impact-driven label aims at preserving these crafts by providing economic opportunities and giving back to the communities.
Courtney Apple & Bill Glaab // Hand in Hand
With a strong desire to start a social business, married couple Bill Glaab and Courtney Apple researched possible products for years. It wasn’t until stumbling upon an article stating that over 5 million children die a year from water related illnesses that Hand in Hand Soap was born. Wanting to create a common household product that could also save lives, in 2011, Bill and Courtney started with just one bar of soap and a simple business model: Buy a bar, give a bar. Partnering with world-wide child advocacy group, My Neighbor’s Children, Hand in Hand chose to donate to a number of orphanages in Haiti, a country they continue to work in today.
For Bill and Courtney, it wasn’t only important to create a business that gave back, but also one that was environmentally and ethically responsible with products made from sustainable resources. As such, Hand in Hand products contain organic and fair trade ingredients and are all palm oil free. Today, Hand in Hand has four core products across four signature scents. These products can be found in major retailers such as Target, Ulta and Amazon. In 2018, Bill and Courtney hosted a party in Haiti with 2,000 children in celebration of their one millionth donated bar of soap.
Jess Charwin & Ann Davis // Venture with Impact
Jess Charwin – Jessica (Jess) is the co-owner and marketing director of Venture with Impact. She is an engaging storyteller with over 5 years of experience in marketing communications in the financial industry and the startup world. Jess is also a globetrotter, an aspiring polyglot and, in past (career) lives, she has been a non-profit founder, a professional artist and a jazz singer. A self-proclaimed foodie, she spends her free time in search of the best street food and local coffee wherever she roams.
Ann Davis – After surviving cancer and subsequently traveling to over 40 countries in my 20’s, Ann found her most valuable and fulfilling travel experiences to be the instances when she stayed in one place, and worked with the local population – forming relationships and learning about their culture in the process. At the same time, she saw friends and colleagues struggle between the desire to maintain careers that provide financial security and the desire to travel and work for the social good. Life is too short not to have it all, so she founded Venture with Impact with the dream that working professionals could share in these same experiences while still working from their jobs. Prior to founding Venture with Impact, she worked for 4 years as a teacher in the New Orleans and New York school systems, initially through Teach for America. Additionally, the age of 18, she founded Swim for Success, a nonprofit dedicated providing free swimming lessons and water safety skills to New Orleans Youth.
The mission of Venture with Impact is to expose professionals to new cultures, people and ideas so that they may be more informed and empathetic world citizens, and in the process, provide a positive social impact.
Cayley Pater & Andy Ives // Made Trade
Cayley Pater and Andy Ives have been part of the conscious consumerism movement ever since they first met in Fair Trade Club at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Since then, Cayley’s career has brought her to Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, working with diverse populations for women’s and girls’ empowerment initiatives. Most recently, Cayley ran the ethical fashion label, Darzah, for four years — taking it from initial concept to established wholesale and retail business. Andy has spent his entire professional career in advertising, digital marketing and product development.
During her time in ethical fashion, Cayley noticed the growing number of incredible social enterprises creating beautifully designed products. At the same time, Cayley and Andy continued to encounter a huge problem: discovering amazing ethical brands was no easy task. In 2018, they saw an opportunity to make exceptionally made, ethically sourced products more easily accessible while also helping social enterprises tell their stories, and increase their impact.
With their passion for quality craftsmanship, supporting artisans, and their commitment to ecological sustainability, Cayley and Andy launched Made Trade in the Fall of 2018 with a mission to make Made Trade the ultimate online destination for conscious consumers who love design. Made Trade curates responsibly made clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, lighting and furniture, with a growing catalog of 1500+ products from makers and artisans in the US and around the world. Shop according to your values on Made Trade and discover beautifully designed fair trade, sustainable, USA made, heritage and vegan products.
Kevin Malinowski, Ross Howe, & Jon Bradley // Nimble
Kevin Malinowski – Kevin is a Co-founder of Nimble (Nimble for Good, PBC.), a consumer tech brand committed to improving the customer experience with better, more ethical personal tech products, and currently serves as Head of Brand & Marketing.
For over a decade, he led brand marketing and communications teams focused on amplifying the products and brand direction of startups to multinational corporations across a range of industries, including non-profit, legal, education, sports, consumer goods and technology.
A New Jersey native, Kevin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach. He also holds an Associate’s degree in Media Studies from Ocean County College in New Jersey. Kevin currently lives in Marina del Rey, California.
Ross Howe – Ross is the CEO and Co-founder of Nimble. Prior to co-founding Nimble, Ross was part of the founding team at mophie, the tech-accessory leader, specializing in mobile power for smartphones and other devices.
Ross joined mophie at the pre-revenue stage in 2006 and helped build the business to over 300 employees and $250M+ in revenue by 2015. He served in many senior roles, including Vice President of Marketing, while leading direction for brand and product development, packaging and online sales.
His most recent role was Vice President of Digital Strategy, overseeing commerce and direct-to-consumer operations for all ZAGG brands. A San Diego native, Ross earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Design Management from Parsons School of Design in New York City. He currently lives in Costa Mesa, California.
Jon Bradley – Jon is a Co-founder of Nimble. For over a decade in his role as Creative Director at mophie, a global leader in mobile accessories, Jon was the driving force behind ideation and production of all marketing and creative campaigns. He managed development of product and packaging, imagery and video content, event materials, and was a primary architect in creation of the brand’s voice, helping define the visual language of the tech accessory industry.
A Michigan native, Jon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Communications from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He currently lives in Huntington Beach, California.
Nimble makes portable chargers and tech products made from sustainable materials, like recyclable aluminum and plant-based bioplastics. They are super sleek, featuring soft-touch TPE which requires less energy to produce, and are also 100% free of plastic packaging and harmful inks and dyes.
The social impact brand has also partnered with Homeboy Recycling to help make recycling e-waste easy and accessible. Every product comes with a disposal pouch to empower you to responsibly recycle your old e-waste. Simply print the pre-paid label from Nimble’s website and send it to their team to recycle your e-waste for free!
Dave Mauro // MAURO Seed
David Mauro is the founder of MAURO Seed Co, a social enterprise with a mission to use sustainable agriculture to fight hunger. MAURO sells garden seeds and for every pack of seeds they sell, they donate one to someone in need – Grow one, Give one. To date, they have given enough seed to produce over 3 million pounds of food.
David started the company because he saw how food handouts are temporary and can foster dependency. He learned that seed has the greatest ability to feed the most people at the furthest distance at the lowest cost – year after year. Building a company with giving built in to the business model allowed him to scale his personal giving efforts of renewable seed.
The garden seed industry is made up of really old companies whose customer connection is based on the appeal of a printed catalog. MAURO’s customer relationships go much deeper because they are connected by a meaningful cause. Plus, they are appealing to a new generation of hyper-informed consumers are rejecting industrialized food production practices like GMOs, toxic herbicides and pesticides.
Aline Sara // NaTakallam
Aline Sara is the Co-founder and CEO of NaTakallam, a social enterprise that connects refugees and displaced persons with work opportunities in the language sector through the freelance economy.
Lebanese, born and raised in New York, Aline completed her Baccalaureat at the Lycée Français in New York City and graduated in psychology from Tufts University in Boston. She then moved to Beirut and worked in conflict resolution and human rights before transitioning into journalism, focusing on human and women’s rights and wider socio-political affairs before, during and after the Arab Uprisings. In 2012, Aline returned to New York for her masters in International Affairs at Columbia University. She then worked as an international election observer in Tunisia, Guyana and Haiti while continuing to write as a freelancer on the side.
In 2015, in light of the challenging work situation for the million+ Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and while searching for ways to practice her own Arabic skills, Aline came up with the idea for NaTakallam –to hire refugees as online tutors– which has grown into a larger social enterprise working in multiple languages and communities. To date, the venture, which is disrupting the way we typically think of humanitarianism, has provided over half a million dollars in cash to displaced people worldwide. Besides income to refugees on the one hand and a service to students and clients on the other, NaTakallam helps foster intercultural exchange and raise awareness around the daily challenges of fleeing conflict zones, notably through its academic partnerships with schools and universities (including Columbia, Duke, GW, Tufts, Yale and more).
James Bartle // Outland Denim
James Bartle is the founding CEO of Outland Denim, the denim brand setting a new standard in fashion manufacturing. Driven by the desire to curb the trafficking of girls into the $99 billion illicit commercial sex industry, Bartle created Outland Denim to generate training and employment opportunities for women vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Over six years he developed a unique business model that would enable each seamstress to gain a covetable skill set in tailoring while earning a living wage, receiving ongoing support and life-enhancing education, and finding a career path in crafting artisan quality jeans.
In 2016, he took Outland Denim to scale, securing international investment and distribution to further the company’s mission to employ more young women while concurrently investing heavily in supply chain and environmental stewardship. In 2019, Outland Denim will realize the establishment of its own wash and finishing house facility, making it unique in the industry. With a background in manufacturing and start-up ventures, Bartle has taken a hands-on approach to developing Outland Denim, working closely with his teams in Cambodia and Australia to ensure the best opportunities and outcomes are created to see Outland succeed in its mission.