January 13, 2023
Saikon Gbehan Isijola wins first prize at pitch night
Epic Renewal awarded Equity Prize
PROVIDENCE, RI – Fourteen companies graduated from Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s (SEG) Impact Accelerator Program last night and pitched their venture concepts to potential investors. Saikon Gbehan Isijola of the Law Office of Saikon Gbehan LLC won first prize and was awarded $3,000. Based in Providence, the Law Office of Saikon Gbehan helps individuals navigate life’s most challenging situations. The firm specializes in providing support to individuals through the immigration process.
Graduates of the 23rd Cohort of SEG’s Impact Accelerator Program.
Photo Credit: SEG
Last night’s graduating class represented the 23rd cohort of the Impact Accelerator Program. To date, 273 companies have graduated from the program.
“The Impact Accelerator provides a model of best practice for inclusive entrepreneurship and impactful enterprise. The entrepreneurs and business leaders who come through this program make an immediate and lasting impact in their community,” said Hina Musa, SEG’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer. “Rhode Island has all the pieces in place to build a vibrant startup economy that’s strengthened by social enterprise, and I have no doubt that these 14 creative entrepreneurs will be a core part of the foundation of that startup economy.”
“This is an incredible honor and a clear validation of the positive impact that my firm has on our clients’ lives. The SEG Impact Accelerator has given me support and access to networks that are opening doors for growth. SEG’s emphasis on inclusive entrepreneurship and social enterprise is so important for business owners like myself who face a range of barriers, and that benefit extends well beyond our companies,” said Isijola. “Our businesses serve communities that are overlooked and it is both inspiring and comforting to know that an organization like SEG is able to provide resources and connections to capital to help our business ideas take root.”
In addition to the Law Offices of Saikon Gbehan LLC’s award, Caleb Grant of Maisey’s Tree Farm L3C won second place in the pitch competition and was awarded $2,000. Maisey’s Tree Farm, based in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, sells custom milled, sustainably harvested lumber and supports a variety of nature-based programs for youth.
“I was totally shocked, and actually began to tear up, when I received this prize. Donating my time and forest access to a class of neurodivergent students this year – for monthly forest science field trips – has been a dream but also a gamble. And trusting that customers would be interested in purchasing eco-forest products to support these inclusive types of youth programs was also a gamble,” said Grant. “There was a rush or relief to see that others, like SEG through this prize, are willing to back my bet because they care just as much as I do. These funds will allow me to finalize the farm’s collaboration with South Side Community Land Trust, bringing youth from Providence, Central Falls, and Pawtucket to hike the farm, learn about eco-forestry, and create crafts from sustainably harvested wood.”
Tess Feigenbaum of Epic Renewal, a community composting organization based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, won the Equity Prize.
“We are honored to be recognized with this award, and look forward to the impact we can create with this support for our community and our planet. The Accelerator was absolutely invaluable for us as we look towards the future of our organization, and we could not be more grateful for the support of the SEG team and ecosystem throughout the journey,” said Feigenbaum.
The SEG Impact Accelerator provides founders and entrepreneurs with practical tools, networks, and resources to validate their business ideas, understand their potential customers, and formalize their growth strategies. The 10-week program is the most advanced module SEG runs and builds on strategies and workshops in the Ideation and Incubator programs. The next cohort will start in mid-March and applications will be accepted until February 8. More information is available at www.segreenhouse.org.
The full list of graduates includes:
AdvanceBox (Geoff Capraro) – Southborough, Mass.
AdvanceBox delivers simple, lifesaving tools for time critical emergencies paired with technologies so that laypersons have the guidance needed to effectively intervene and help save lives… in advance of the arrival of the ambulance.
Maisey’s Tree Farm L3C (Caleb Grant) – Hopkinton, R.I.
Seeing the forest for the trees: Maisey’s Tree Farm sells custom milled, sustainably harvested lumber and supports nature-based programs for youth.
Reimagine Resources (Julianna Scheidhauer), St. Louis, Missouri
Reimagine Resources connects businesses and individuals to a fit and healthy lifestyle through end-to-end fitness resource solutions and providing a marketplace for all things fitness that inspire results and a fit lifestyle.
Law Office of Saidon Gbehan, LLC (Saikon Gbehan Isijola), Providence, R.I.
The Law Office of Saikon Gbehan, LLC helps individuals navigate through life’s most challenging situations, including assisting those seeking to attain the American Dream through immigration processes and representing individuals who have suffered major losses as a result of an accident.
Smanch Solar-Powered Mobile Clinic (Anna Ishaku), Hawul LGA, Nigeria
Provides life-saving medical care to women of childbearing age living in isolated communities across Hawul LGA in Nigeria.
Cereal for Dinner (Emily Derecktor), Providence, R.I.
Cereal for Dinner is building the first digital “playbook” for living with depression by providing practical, user-centric, and customizable tools and resources that help with coping day-to-day and taking realistic steps toward healing.
The Nest (Danielle Sturm & Charlotte von Meister), Providence, R.I.
The Nest is a sustainable fashion collective fighting the toxic cycle of overconsumption and textile waste through decluttering services, our secondhand store, community events, and educational workshops.
Epic Renewal (Tess Feigenbaum), Pawtucket, R.I.
Epic Renewal is a community composting organization committed to building a zero-waste world by keeping food waste out of landfills and using it to improve soil health and support resilient, sustainable, and equitable food systems.
Sponsors of the Future (Aditi Maheshwari), East Greenwich, R.I.
Sponsors of the Future (SoF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in Rhode Island, that creates programming to empower neurodivergent communities. SoF bridges the gap between stakeholders that are meant to work together to fulfill communities’ unmet needs.
Mindy Independent (Tracey Sutherland), East Providence, R.I.
Mindy Independent is a nonprofit organization that serves elementary-aged children in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Through our dynamic and responsive programming, we help children discover and love their authentic self by building a foundation of social-emotional skills, helping serve their highest purpose.
Plant Docs (Sandra Musial, MD), Riverside, R.I.
Plants Docs is a physician-founded and -run nonprofit that serves to educate medical professionals and the public on the power of whole food plant based nutrition to prevent, improve, and reverse obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.
Boxy (Hannah Ung), Cranston, R.I.
Boxy is a platform that allows city residents to monetize their underutilized living space as a storage space for college students on an hourly, daily, and monthly basis.
FHG (For His Glory) Project, LLC (Oyeniran Oyewale), North Providence, R.I.
FHG provides prompt, trusted, and reliable non-emergency medical transportation to eligible members such as Medicaid recipients in their service area.
Little Maven Lemonade (Mariana Silva-Buck), Barrington, R.I.
Celebrating our immigrant heritage one Lemonade at the time.
PVD House (Betha Wood), Providence, R.I.
Not for profit, Queer-friendly affordable housing and affordable small business space, who’s rent supports transitional aged youth.
About Social Enterprise Greenhouse: Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) accelerates impact by providing inclusive support and networks for entrepreneurs and businesses committed to positive societal and economic change. SEG fosters an ecosystem of diverse stakeholders who work to enable a more just, equitable, and resilient economy. SEG is based in Rhode Island and operates statewide virtually and from sites in Providence, Newport, and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Its network of 1,800+ enterprises and 200+ business and community leaders contributes time, expertise, and funding to grow Rhode Island’s social impact ecosystem. To learn more, visit www.segreenhouse.org.
Mike Raia, Half Street Strategic Consulting (for SEG)
401-340-9425 | firstname.lastname@example.org