Trustee Spotlight: SEED SPOT

This is a joint blog post written with the help of Courtney Klein, Co-Founder & CEO of SEED SPOT.

Imagine being part of a community of social entrepreneurs who are launching new products, services, or technologies to improve the human condition. Imagine going through a rigorous 16-week program designed to test your assumptions, validate your business model, and accelerate your progress. Then imagine being surrounded by mentors, experts, and advisors on a weekly basis who care deeply about your success. On top of all of that, imagine having access to capital opportunities to secure funding for your venture.

Those are just a few of the beneficial services of SEED SPOT, an incubator focused on supporting social entrepreneurs. Since its launch, SEED SPOT has supported over 100 entrepreneurial ventures and, since 2012, SEED SPOT has been endorsing entrepreneurs on Kiva Zip.

seed spot

Entrepreneurs need a solid business model and a real plan for attracting, keeping, and growing customers. SEED SPOT works exclusively with entrepreneurs developing a product, service, or technology that tackles a major human, environmental, or social problem. Through a rigorous 16-week program, SEED SPOT entrepreneurs are challenged to dive deep and ensure that they have a strong value proposition, customer validation, confidence in revenue streams and pricing, a strong business model, a solid understanding of capital requirements and how to raise them, and confidence in pitching their venture to donors or investors.

One of the major challenges for early stage ideas is capital. "Kiva Zip is an incredible place for entrepreneurs to secure early stage funding at 0% interest," states Courtney Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of SEED SPOT, "But Kiva Zip does more than that. It is a hub of inspiration. It draws in a community of believers. Entrepreneurs need inspiration, capital, support, and community to bring their dreams to life."

SEED SPOT has endorsed several borrowers as a Kiva Zip Trustee, including Robert at Paper Clouds Apparel. Robert used his $5,000 loan to spread awareness about his company, a nonprofit that raises funds for special needs schools and organizations while showcasing the creative minds and artistic abilities of individuals with special needs.

robert

SEED SPOT also endorsed Derrick at Boogüd. Derrick used his $5,000 loan to buy equipment for his bamboo bicycles company. With every sale of a bamboo bicycle, Boogüd donates a handcycle to disabled child in need.

derrick

Now through January 24th, SEED SPOT is looking for the top 12 social entrepreneurs in the country to run through their Spring 2014 program. SEED SPOT is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona but has the technology in place to support entrepreneurs anywhere in the world. As a nonprofit, SEED SPOT charges a nominal flat fee and does not take equity in the ventures selected for their program.

Read more, hear from SEED SPOT alumni, and apply online by January 24th at: http://seedspot.org/apply/.

You can support a SEED SPOT entrepreneur on Kiva Zip by making a loan!

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Posted by Courtney Klein, Co-Founder & CEO, SEED SPOT, Kiva Zip Trustee

Jan 9, 2014

Courtney is an Arizona native and graduate of Arizona State University where she received her undergraduate and master’s degree in Nonprofit Management.

Previously, Courtney served as the Co-Founder & CEO of New Global Citizens, the result of a nonprofit organization she launched in her senior year of college on a $1,000 seed grant with a mission to educate, empower, and invest in young people to change the world. New Global Citizens now serves youth in 14 states across the country and works with grassroots partners in over 30 countries around the world. Additionally, Courtney worked as the Director of Strategic Planning & Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

In 2011, Courtney was recognized by Splashlife Magazine as one of the nation’s top 30 Civic Leaders under the age of 30. In 2009, Courtney was named “One of 12 Women Who Move the Valley” by Arizona Foothills Magazine. In 2008, Courtney received the first Athena Award for young professionals, and was honored by bizAZ as one of “35 Entrepreneurs under 35”. In 2007 she was named one of “20 Woman to Change Arizona by 2020” by Arizona Woman Magazine and the Arizona Republic. In 2006, Courtney was profiled in the Arizona Republic as one of Arizona’s most intriguing Chief Executives, highlighted as one of the six to watch. Additionally, she was honored by the Phoenix Business Journal’s Power Book as a “Power Generation Up-and-Coming Leader.” In 2005, Courtney was honored as a Hon Kachina Honoree and in 2002 was named Woman of the Year by the Diocese of Phoenix.

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