Halcyon focuses on strengthening social enterprise ecosystems—what does that look like in practice?
To strengthen ecosystems, you have to know them really well. So, I think it starts with two-way communication between our fellows and partners. Our programming offers a lot for fellows, but it has to be evolving constantly based on what they tell us they need help with, or where they tell us the gaps are. We have also forged strong partnerships with other organizations here in DC and beyond – these relationships are also crucial to evolving the way we support our fellows. It’s even more true of our intensive programming, which is tailored for specific groups. For example, to successfully build a program for women tech founders in Bahrain, we have to be constantly listening to their needs and to the partners we have there. The same goes for Halcyon’s work beyond our fellowships for social entrepreneurs – strengthening the ecosystem through funding vehicles is something we’re doing because fellows, and our own research, told us that funding gaps were presenting a major challenge for social entrepreneurs. And of course, at the end of the day, we know by buoying each and every founder who comes in our door, we’re making them better equipped leaders in any ecosystem they’re a part of.
What has Halcyon been focused on over the past year?
Like lots of other folks, this past year has been about finding ways to keep our programming rich and impactful through virtual channels, while also determining the best and safest way to return to in-person programming. But from my perspective as the intensive manager, the most exciting thing happening is our three 2021 intensive programs. We’ve got the 2021 Bahrain Women’s Intensive, the Black Girl Ventures x Halcyon Intensive, which supports Black women founders across the U.S., and the Opportunity Intensive, which supports ventures in the DC region that are based in, or primarily serve, government-designated Opportunity Zones. All three of those programs have in-person residencies happening this summer, so it’s awesome to be back on site and creating live programming to supplement the virtual programming they’ve had so far this year.
What upcoming programming, initiatives, or events from Halcyon are you most excited about?
Our intensive program residencies are a great chance for folks to learn more about our programming and get introduced to tons of interesting impact-driven startups (and their founders!) Over the next couple of months, we’ll introduce all those fellows on our social media channels, have Instagram takeovers from fellows while they’re in residence at Halcyon, and host showcases for two of our intensive programs. Follow us @halcyoninspires for all that good stuff, and visit our events page to register to join the virtual audience for the 2021 Bahrain Women’s Intensive showcase coming up July 22, or the Black Girl Ventures x Halcyon Intensive showcase on August 12. The Opportunity Intensive showcase isn’t until December, since that program runs all year, but you can also register to be on the list to learn more about that event when details are released. It’s a busy summer, so it’s a great time to check in on what Halcyon is doing, meet our fellows, and come to an event!
Intensives Manager at Halcyon.