Future Founders Launches Residency Program & Announces 2018 Cohort Members

Future Founders, a non-profit organization that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur, today announced the 18 entrepreneurs who were selected to participate in its inaugural Residency program.

The Residency, formerly called the Chicago Cohort, is an innovative six-month pilot program designed to empower diverse millennials to launch and grow businesses in Chicago. Participating founders will benefit from mentoring by seasoned entrepreneurs, skill-building workshops, a peer community, access to startup grants, and volunteer opportunities through Future Founders programs. The program will officially commence in January 2018.

“Through the Residency, Future Founders will empower even more local entrepreneurs and provide the key resources and network they need to build sustainable businesses,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “We’re excited about the potential of these founders and look forward to supporting their entrepreneurial journeys.”

The Residency is made possible through a generous grant from the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, which is sponsored by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, World Business Chicago, and ChicagoNEXT.

“We are thrilled to see Future Founders announce, source and now launch this new program dedicated to entrepreneurs who span industries,” said Jimmy Odom, Director of Inclusive Entrepreneurship, ChicagoNEXT. “Entrepreneurship is not always about buy-outs and IPOs, but it can be a lifestyle dedicated to innovation. Through this Residency program, Future Founders is supporting young entrepreneurs from underserved backgrounds, investing in their future and strengthening Chicago’s tech ecosystem.”

Acceptance into the Residency followed a competitive application and interview process during which members of the entrepreneurial community provided feedback on the candidates. The 18 entrepreneurs who were selected for the 2018 Residency represent 15 companies, including solo founders and co-founders. The Residents’ businesses represent industries including arts, consumer products, food and tech.

Congratulations to the 2018 Residents and their businesses:

Founder: Alonso Tapia
A-PART is a fresh, online art experience for the 21st century. Rent or buy prints and photographs from both emerging and established artists.

Founder: Asim Zaidi
Bondfire is an app that allows up-and-coming musicians to easily schedule unique and secure on-demand meetups with their fans like never before.

Clearmaze Technologies, Inc.
Founders: Mustafa Hoda & Nadim Kerdjoudj
Clearmaze Technologies streamlines the community college transfer process in three steps, effectively ensuring no student loses credits when transferring.

E-Z Clean
Founder: Gonzalo Adriazola
E-Z Clean is a mobile app and online platform that allow users to simply select and subscribe to a cleaning plan tailored to their needs.

Elite Development
Founders: Gabriel Soler & Josh York
Elite Development is a remote-based training business that offers individual training at an affordable price to baseball players around the country.

Gheko Technologies, LLC
Founder: Jimmy Moore
Gheko Technologies, LLC makes durable and affordable wearables that enhance function and treat patients with peripheral neuropathies and related medical conditions.

HowDoWe, Inc.
Founders: Mike Anderson & Brian Letzter
HowDoWe, Inc. is a technology service that provides schools and associated school groups with a platform for all their fundraising needs.

HUE Productions, LLC
Founder: Tyler Bradley
HUE Productions, LLC is an educational entertainment company that utilizes the arts, entertainment and media to inspire social change.

Founder: Ifeanyi Charles
Maestro10 is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced private soccer coach who can help improve athletic performance and reach individual goals.

Match Langua
Founder: Amal Amaskane
Match Langua creates unique community-based oral language, cultural and networking experiences in Chicago by matching native speakers with language learners for authentically cultural and oral language learning practices. Travel globally through languages locally.

Popped Handmade
Founder: Carla Miles
Popped Handmade offers natural, handmade beauty products that ease the mind with high quality ingredients, pamper the body, leaving skin soft and smooth, and lift the spirit with light, invigorating scents.

Founder: Eddy Mejia
The best shoe storage solution for shoe collectors, resellers, and enthusiasts.

Founder: Michael Williams
StarveBelly is a logistics business integrated with an online food delivery platform that serves as an intermediary between independent take-out outlets and customers.

Tubby’s Taste Vegan Dessert for Everyone
Founder: Danielle Tubbs
Tubby’s Taste Homemade Vegan Baked Goods and Ice Cream tastes great – not just for vegan food.

Founder: Safia Abdalla
Zarf is a content marketplace where writers can sell access to their independently published work through subscriptions or one-time sales.