Finnovation Lab Announces Next Cohort
Minneapolis-based accelerator Finnovation Lab on Tuesday announced its fifth cohort of impact-driven entrepreneurs.
Finnegans Brewing Co. launched Finnovation Lab in 2017 to empower and support professionals and entrepreneurs who use business to address environmental, economic, and social issues.
Each fellow receives a $50,000 living stipend, a $3,000 health care stipend, access to advisers and mentors, and a dedicated workspace in the Finnovation Lab. The Fellowship Program is operated by the Finnovation Institute, a nonprofit funded by a grant from the Bush Foundation.
“We’re thrilled to announce our fifth cohort of smart, savvy, socially mindful leaders,” said Connie Rutledge, CEO of the Finnovation Institute, in a news release. “These nine entrepreneurs have already proven to be creative problem solvers who are passionate about using the tools of business to turn their ideas into creating a lasting and scalable impact and we’re eager to see them raise their own bars through this program.”
The selected fellows and their areas of business impact include:
- Anthony Drews: founder of Naske Games, a board and hand game company aimed at supporting Native language acquisition and preservation.
- Jennifer Glickstein: founder of Dress Up to Calm Down, a business that creates weighted costumes for children who suffer from anxiety or sensory dysfunction.
- Tommy McBrayer: president of Don’t Shoot Guns, Shoot Hoops, a community-based business that combines team sports with violence prevention programming.
- Rosemary Olatunbosun: creator of éso, a line of beverages dedicated to health and wellness using ingredients sourced from West Africa.
- Hilary Otey: founder of Queermunity Real Estate Collaborative, an initiative for the LGBTQ community.
- Ben Pressley: co-founder of Impact Outfitter, a marketing tech company that aims to “reroute” dollars earned through companies’ affiliate programs to sustainability-related causes.
- Dr. Ayanna Quamina: A naturopathic doctor who hopes to create a mobile clinic to help BIPOC individuals and women.
- Lakisha Witter: An organic farmer with Live Organically who plans to build a technical education course for students with learning and developmental disabilities.
- Tang Yang: Owner of Hmong Specialty Plants and Herbs, which she aims to transform into a cultural hub for teaching and learning about plant medicines.
The nine fellows were selected by a group of community leaders and former fellowship program alumni.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to make a positive impact on our communities and the world, and these nine entrepreneurs are poised to do just that,” said Jacquie Berglund, founder of Finnegans Brew Co. and Finnovation Lab. “Immersing themselves in the Finnovation Fellowship Program for the next nine months will help them focus their passions while learning the practical skills and logistics to turn these impactful ideas into functioning businesses without worrying about how to cover their basic living needs.”