Future Founders Launches National Accelerator for Fellowship Alumni

Future Founders, a non-profit organization that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur, today announced the 23 entrepreneurs who are part of the 2018 Future Founders National Fellowship Alumni Accelerator.

The Alumni Accelerator is a program designed to engage those Fellowship alumni who have demonstrated significant traction as founders and have taken intentional steps to work on their businesses full-time. Participating founders will benefit from a national peer community of millennial founders, mentoring by our Entrepreneurs in Residence, entrepreneurship retreats, and volunteer opportunities through Future Founders programs. Select founders from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Fellowship cohorts were invited to participate in this prestigious program.

“Through the Alumni Accelerator, Future Founders can continue to support our most promising founders and give them additional runway to grow sustainable companies,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “The program will build on the success from our first two cohorts that generated over $3.4 million in revenue, secured $1.3 million in capital and created 44 full-time and 93 part-time jobs.”

This Alumni Accelerator is generously supported by Motorola Solutions Foundation (organizational founding sponsor), Capital One, The Coleman Foundation, The John E. & Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, Keywell Foundation, Accenture, EY, and Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund.

The 23 entrepreneurs represent seven states and industries ranging from agriculture and energy to consumer products and tech.

Sheldon Barrett, Cocovana, University of Florida, FL
Cocovana is a tropical lifestyle company focused on creating innovative tools for opening coconuts.        
2016 Fellowship

Mike Black, Told Media, Penn State University, PA
Told Media is a software development agency that focuses on building digital products for well-funded startups.
2017 Fellowship

Ryan Deitrich, Abandon Comfort, University of Tampa, FL
Abandon Comfort is a vlog about how minimalism has afforded Ryan and his girlfriend the chance to travel the world – by sailboat.
2017 Fellowship

Josh Doering, Seed Slide, Morningside College, IA
Seed Slide is a remote seed box opener that adds safety and convenience into farming operations by replacing the need to climb on top of wagons with the push of a button.
2016 Fellowship

Brandon Frisch, SpeakEazy, Inc., Illinois State University, IL
SpeakEazy is a web app that leverages virtual reality and a platform to connect with others to help people get feedback on and get over their fear of public speaking.
2016 Fellowship

Brendon Geils, Open Energy, Iowa State University, IA
Open Energy provides a software platform to optimize distributed energy technology while tailoring to each clients’ energy storage and generation needs.
2017 Fellowship

Andrew Glantz, GiftAMeal, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
GiftAMeal is a mobile app that donates a meal to someone in need each time a user dines at a partner restaurant.  
2016 Fellowship

Ryan Hesslau, foreverU, Trinity Christian College, IL
foreverU is a 501(c)(3) youth empowerment organization that exists to provide hope and support to struggling youth, ensuring no student walks through life alone.
2015 Fellowship

Isaac Hetzroni, Imprint Genius, University of Florida, FL
Imprint Genius creates unique promotional items with high ROIs for corporate and organizational marketing needs.
2017 Fellowship

Tom Iwema, IKG Property Maintenance, Inc., Trinity Christian College, IL
IKG Property Maintenance is a driven, quality service provider utilizing today’s best technology and techniques to provide painting, floor care, janitorial and certified mold remediation services to all of Chicagoland.
2015 Fellowship

Nika Koda, Hermit, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Hermit connects people who want customized art to artists with the right skill set to make it.       
2016 Fellowship

Jason Lees, GoSpot, Northwood University, MI
GoSpot is a unique water repellent designed for safe use on camera housings to ensure water spots don’t ruin footage while filming in wet conditions.        
2017 Fellowship

Liliana Leon, Winefolded + Wine Street Journal, Harold Washington College, IL
Winefolded specializes in producing wine-based experiences around the world for public and private custom events.
2015 Fellowship

Andy Marsh, TagPrints Digital, DePaul University, IL
TagPrints Digital is a social photo activation agency that builds tangible solutions that interact with social media at experiential marketing events, activations, and trade shows across the world.
2015 Fellowship

Daniel Natsagdorj, Deliveree, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
Deliveree is a B2B logistics technology marketplace that empowers restaurant delivery service by providing on-demand delivery personnel.        
2017 Fellowship

Vinesh Kannan, Omnipointment, Illinois Institute of Technology, IL
Omnipointment equips students and teachers with collaboration tools and analytics to make group work more rewarding. Omnipointment was acquired by Mimir.
2017 Fellowship

Matthew Rooda, SwineTech, The University of Iowa, IA
SwineTech provides farmers with the technologies necessary to reduce piglet deaths due to disease, starvation, and from their moms laying on and crushing them.        
2017 Fellowship

Callie Spiros, Kalí Zoë Designs, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Kalí Zoë Designs creates handcrafted fine jewelry that incorporates sustainability, health, wellness to bridge the gaps between mind, body and nature.  
2016 Fellowship

Stephen Tinney, The Bindle Stick, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL
The Bindle Stick is a practical and sustainable tool that redistributes the weight when carrying heavy groceries or other bagged items from a person’s hands to a more durable part of the human form, the shoulder.
2016 Fellowship

Tyler Turk, Crated with Love, Fresno State, CA
Crated with Love is a subscription box for couples that offers date nights and activities to better strengthen their relationships.
2016 Fellowship

Shannon Varcoe, ZYX Sticks, Lehigh University, PA
ZYX Sticks is an open-ended building tool that promotes creativity and hands-on play for kids and adults through spatial building, planning, and collaboration.
2017 Fellowship

Ben Weiss, Zcruit, Northwestern University, IL
Zcruit optimizes the college football recruiting process through predictive analytics, thus saving college football programs time and improving the quality of recruiting classes. Zcruit was acquired by Reigning Champs.
2017 Fellowship

Jackie Wu, Corvus Robotics, Northwestern University, IL
Corvus Robotics provides an advanced inventory and inspection solution for warehouse and manufacturing facilities.
2016 Fellowship