The Rundown: People & Places Making Impact in DC

DC’s impact ecosystem already contains an unparalleled mix of leading international development institutions, grant-making and social advocacy organizations, philanthropies, incubators and co-working spaces, social entrepreneurs, double bottom line businesses, and impact investors. Check out a run down of some of DC’s leading individuals, groups and companies in Impact.

WDCEP is constantly striving to showcase all of the great impact work happening in DC.  Someone fantastic missing from this list? Let us know at communications@wdcep.com.

Organizations Making Impacts

SEED SPOT

“The DC ecosystem invited SEED SPOT to DC to help further galvanize a robust Impact Economy. We have been consistently impressed by the caliber of talent and the commitment to sustainable change!”

SEED SPOT is an organization deeply rooted in the community. We are a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting all social entrepreneurs creating a product, service, or technology that improves lives or makes the world a better place. We support entrepreneurs by surrounding them with the right access to resources, mentors, business fundamentals, community partners, capital sources, and anything they need to succeed.

PeaceTech Accelerator

“There’s no better place to be than D.C. if you’re working in the social impact space. The resources you’ll find in this city for social impact tech are incomparable. Particularly in today’s complex global environment, there is an increased urgency to find innovative solutions for positive impact. We specifically focus on peacetech, which is recognized as the application of technology to assist communities in conflict and crisis zones.”

The PeaceTech Accelerator, located in Washington, D.C., is the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling startups from around the world hosted by partners C5 AcceleratePeaceTech LabAmazon Web Services and SAP NS2.

We are always interested in speaking to companies and non-profits that are developing and using cloud based technologies that help promote peace and mitigate violent conflict. Our next program starts on Monday, January 22nd and we are accepting applications until early December. We are also hosting a Shield in the Cloud Innovation Challenge for the most innovative startups, non-profits, government departments and global corporations working on innovative tech solutions for anti-corruption and transparency.

Vinetta Project DC

The Vinetta Project is a leading ecosystem and deal-flow pipeline supporting high potential founders across North America.  The Collective is our premium membership community for the top post seed companies in our pipeline. We provide our undivided attention to Collective members with a focus on 4 areas of support: capital & investors, strategic partnerships, visibility opportunities, and collaborative community.

Springboard Enterprises

Springboard is a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women. Springboard’s  programs and initiatives are how we source, qualify, advise, showcase and support the most promising businesses seeking capital or partnerships for product development and expansion.

NextGen Venture Partners

NextGen Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm that is powered by a network of hundreds of part-time Venture Capitalists, “Venture Partners.” Venture Partners with NextGen have busy day jobs building companies and creating new technology, but they spend a small amount of time working together to find, finance, and support the next generation of exceptional companies.

Rethink Impact

“We believe there is an opportunity to thrive as a company anywhere. That said, the DC area offers a unique intersection of private and public sectors that can accelerate a company’s growth.”

Rethink Impact is the largest, US-based impact venture capital firm with a gender lens that invests in female leaders using technology to tackle major challenges in health, education, environmental sustainability, and economic empowerment.”

We are looking for gender diverse leadership teams running businesses with $1-50M in annual revenue who are using tech to tackle major challenges in education, health, the environment and economic equality. Follow us @rethinkimpact or find us at www.rethinkimpact.com to connect with us!

LearnServe International

We bring together students from all across the Washington, DC area and prepare them with the skills of business leadership, innovative problem-solving, and cross-cultural fluency. Then we challenge them to lead community-based change in their schools, across the DC region, and around the world.Together we are building a new generation of global leaders and entrepreneurs poised to transform their communities.

Raffa

Raffa views every client, whether a nonprofit organization, a business, a government agency or an individual, as an invitation and opportunity to make the world a better place. We contribute to our clients’ abilities to achieve their missions and deliver their promises to the world. Our commitment to our clients’ success is the key to Raffa’s success.

From the practical back office solutions that keep nonprofit organizations compliant, effective and efficient to the deeper strategies that create sustainability, Raffa’s leading nonprofit specialists provide the financial and management expertise as well as the consulting, accounting and technology services that help our clients advance their organizational missions.

Chemonics

As an employee-owned for-profit firm, we strive to provide excellence and value. We set the highest possible performance standards, and we believe our ownership culture and streamlined company model reinforce our development mission, allowing us to be efficient and effective in promoting meaningful change around the world.We challenge ourselves each day to set ever-higher standards for our work in development. In 2010, Chemonics became the first firm of its kind to receive ISO 9001 certification for our Quality Management System, which ensures we can deliver maximum impact for our clients and beneficiaries for minimum risk.

The Case Foundation

The Case Foundation, created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, is a diverse and dynamic institution by design. We create programs and invest in people and organizations that harness the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact. Our partners are changemakers with ideas that have transformative potential and can lead us to uncover new, more impactful ways of addressing chronic social challenges.Our efforts to drive social change are focused on three key pillars: revolutionizing philanthropy, unleashing entrepreneurs and igniting civic engagement.

Halcyon House

Halcyon seeks and celebrates creativity in all forms and galvanizes creative individuals aspiring to promote social good. We bring together diverse groups of changemakers in art and social enterprise and provide a safe haven for their bold ideas to take flight. Halcyon offers an ecosystem of advocacy that encourages socially engaged creatives to learn, freely experiment, sometimes fail, and advance their talents and visions. In doing so, we foster new pathways to knowledge and resources, and help innovators transform their inspiration into impact.

Clean Choice Energy

DC is a mecca of top talent from all over the world who have chosen to devote their lives to bettering the world whether through NGOs, governmental agencies or social benefit companies like ours.”

CleanChoice Energy is a leading renewable energy company with the mission to make clean energy accessible for everybody.

We’re excited to be launching the first residential community solar project in NYC this fall as well as coming up on 100,000 customers for our 4-year-old retail business. We just won an award for being one of the fastest growing private companies in America, and we know it has everything to do with the millions, if not billions, who want to live a better life on a healthier planet and put their dollars (in our case utility bills) to work building a sustainable future.

People Making Impact

Ebony Pope, Village Capital


“DC’s proximity to the Department of Education, Energy, Agriculture and the government entities addressing some of our nation’s most critical problems provides a great foundation as the launching pad for impact companies.” – Ebony Pope, Senior Manager, US Ventures

Village Capital finds trains and invests in entrepreneurs solving critical, global issues.We are currently looking for early-stage companies for our health, energy and agriculture and pathways programs. VIsit our website vilcap.com to learn more!

Janice Omadeke, The Mentor Method

“DC’s impact network has helped me grow and scale my business. The supportive community has given me a platform and direct access to resources is fueling growth” – Janice Omadeke, CEO and Founder

The Mentor Method is a social enterprise that provides curated mentor matches, connecting the next generation of tech leaders with change-making mentors seeking to hire diversely.

We’re excited to provide free pilots for companies that want to increase their inclusion rates. Whether it’s to meet their next great diverse candidate or using our platform internally, our platform helps them save time, money, and resources.

Pamela Sorensen, BetterWorld Telecom

“DC is GREAT for impact companies because of the people, the talent, the willingness to collaborate and execute. We can do well by doing good with the best energy, focus, motivation and inspiration that thrive in the region. We are attracting the best and the brightest and are a fresh market for those who believe in the Triple Bottom Line. Now is the time!” – Pamela Sorenson, Director of Business Development and Community Relations

BetterWorld Telecom (a certified B Corporation) is a 14 year old national B2B technology and telecommunications solutions provider which delivers high-touch, white glove, boutique client servicing for particularly for non-profits, NGO’s, associations, B Corporations, social enterprise and social mission driven organizations and businesses.

We are looking to work with other B Corps, Benefit Corps, mission and impact driven businesses and non profits on a national scale. Since we are based in the DC region, we have a passion for working with those in our backyard, but our clients expand throughout the US.

Shelly Bell, Black Girl Vision

“Washington D.C. is great for impact companies because as the nations capital we are the hub of America’s human experience. I believe that the majority of people in the Washington, D.C. metro area realize that while change is not easy it is the only necessary constant in our society.” – Shelly Bell, CEO and founder

Black Girl Vision is a national network for professional and entrepreneurial women dedicated to creating/connecting women of color to access to funding and social capital.

Black GirlVision is transitioning into becoming Black Girl Ventures. We are looking for more entrepreneurial women of color to support through our pitch competitions, courses, membership and networking opportunities. We would like to see all people supporting women of color at our upcoming “Boss Up!” Pitch Competition on October 26, at WeWork 80 M SE, 6-8pm.

Abby Skeans, EMBC

“D.C. is the perfect environment for companies who are pursuing social impact because we inhabit the critical space where policy change, economic flourishing, and social consciousness collaborate to do good for the most vulnerable of society.” – Abby Skeins, Strategic Advisor

I advise philanthropy, government, and the private sector on: (1) new areas of impact, giving, and policy, (2) cross-sector strategies and partnerships, and (3) brand and charitable model development.

A colleague and I have just launched The Pomona Society, an organization that leverages the unique talents of women in impact to promote the economic flourishing of women and children in the District of Columbia. We’re excited to gather for a planning meeting in November to discuss all that might be accomplished in 2018 and beyond!

Marla Blow, FS Card

“As an entrepreneur, I’m privileged to work in a community where the creative juices are always flowing and you have the support you need at your fingertips. Offices like the District’s Economic Development Team and local tech incubators like Halcyon and 1776 have been our local champions every step of the way. DC also boasts enthusiastic private and public capital partners – all of which have been critical for my growing fintech company. The unique access to policymakers and thought leaders is only possible in our nation’s capital; and this, coupled with the diverse and vibrant local culture, make DC a great place to work and live.” -Marla Blow, CEO

FS Card leverages advanced analytical techniques, sustainable product design, and behavioral incentives to offer a scalable unsecured credit product in a market where reasonably priced credit options are scarce.

At FS Card we are looking for additional investors and capital partners who share our vision to deliver honest mainstream financial products to underserved consumers.

Alex Neckles, ImpactAssets

“People come to Washington DC form around the globe to help make the world a better place. The ecosystem of change makers in the region is second to none.” -Alex Neckles, Regional Director, Distribution

ImpactAssets is essentially a community foundation at a global level that allows people to grant and invest their donated assets for impact.We are looking for individuals and advisors that are interested in making double the positive impact with their charitable dollars.

Dale Pfeifer, Goodworld

“DC is the home to the world’s most powerful charities so the best place in the world to build a philanthrotech company.” – Dale Pfeifer, Founder and CEO

The Goodworld enables people toinstantly give—and charities to instantly receive—money right in their social media streams. It’s simple, seamless and secure.

We are being featured as one of twenty startup changing the future of money at Money 2020

Ben Powell, Agora Partnerships

“DC is an incredibly diverse city that draws changemaker, people working in everything from nonprofit to government to international affairs. DC people understand the complexity behind making a sustainable change and the necessity of collaboration to drive it.” -Ben Powell, Founder and CEO

Agora  Partnerships works with entrepreneurs to chart the path from idea to global impact. Agora strengthens entrepreneurs’ business models and prepares them to access the impact investment market through custom business services, world-class consultants, and globalnetwork access.

Long term, we are looking forward to continuing to grow our presence across Latin America and the Caribbean.  Short term, we are excited to meet with other DC changemakers at the Impact Clubhouse!

Jan Baker, Impact Hub DC

“Washington, D.C. is the gateway to inclusive entrepreneurship that fosters a tight-knit community of impactful changemakers focused on creating equitable systems that create a better city for a better world.” – Jan Baker, Business Development & Community Experience

Impact Hub is an inclusive co-working & events space for a member-based community of social entrepreneurs, activists, and creatives taking action to drive positive social and environmental change. Impact Hub DC is DC’s home for social innovation and thought leadership. On a daily basis, our community are solving real problems that affect every Ward of this city and beyond.

Stellar events on a weekly basis that do more than just convene the community, we educate, connect and innovate. https://washington.impacthub.net/events-calendar/

Karen Wawrzaszek, Rockefeller & Co.

“We are at a unique time in Washington where the untapped potential has the support of growth enterprises, philanthropy, and policy advocation!  There is no other place in this country situated to convene all parts of a local economy with these levers” – Karen Wawrzaszek, Managing Director

Rockefeller & Co. has decades of experience in using capital for enterprises that advance society as a whole. We help our clients think about how impact investing can be expressed in their total balance sheet.

As I embarked on bringing the national conversation around impact investing to a local level, I uncovered a desire among philanthropic and wealth owning women to be part of an engagement model that looked at specific solutions that had a positive effect in the community and moreover, a consistent group of like-minded women that were passionate about helping move the needle for women and that were willing to be accountable to that goal.  Thus, “Pamona Society” was born with my friend and co-founder, Abby Skeans.

I am looking for wealth owners and entrepreneurs that want to be deeply engaged in and a part of creating solutions for the “new Washington”…a Washington that leads the country in reducing poverty and closing the wealth gap by removing barriers that keep all individuals from becoming economic participants. This model will serve as a roadmap for other communities to follow.