The Schwarzman Scholars Startup Institute is a multi-day incubator program open to all Scholars and Tsinghua University Students working to start a business or social enterprise. Each year the institute includes events such as entrepreneurial speed dating, guest speaker sessions, alumni panels, and ideation sessions. It culminates with the presentation of Scholars’ projects on Demo Day.
This year, five teams pitched their ventures to a panel of judges including Heather Hartnett, General Partner and CEO of Human Ventures, and Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation.
Mangrove Collective Investments, presented by Cynthia Liao (2021), provides public access to clean infrastructure investing by creating a platform that reaches small and medium businesses to rise crowd investment for cash equity, tax equity, and debt while providing a sustainable alternative to meet the clean energy targets of the Paris Agreement.
Through Nayaraq Stories, Annie Kuster and Sara Surani (2021) are working to achieve gender equality through a series of workshops that support female leaders and foster sustainable development. Ninety percent of the women who have taken part in the program come out feeling more empowered to enact change in their community.
Mariem Bchir’s (2021) Leaps provides a mobile app that ensures teachers have better access to training and resources while matching them to schools through the use of AI.
Inspired by her life story, Grace Amponsah (2021) started the Bowney Initiative, a network providing girls with a one week training program that teaches basic skills, knowledge, and values essential to excel at school and in everyday life.
Tomas Alvarez Belon (2021) co-founded Canopi as a solution to the rising environmental concerns posed by the amount of energy required to make a cryptocurrency transaction. Canopi offers carbon offsets to allow companies to be carbon neutral.