Entrepreneurs Give Back at Philanthropitch Columbus

Last week, I served on the panel of judges at Columbus’ first Philanthropitch event, a social impact fast pitch competition on a mission to scale innovative nonprofits. I was privileged to represent the START fund, our region’s first-ever entrepreneur giving fund that supports nonprofits with big ideas for connecting and improving our community.

Philanthropitch was presented by Kiwanis Club of Columbus and co-hosted by SocialVentures, with a mission to provide risk capital to expand philanthropies’ impact and fund initiatives that aren’t covered by traditional grants.

Seven Columbus-based non-profits took the stage as competition finalists; pitching their mission and goals to a very enthusiastic audience. The voting then began, resulting in more than $100,000 awarded from corporate sponsors, community organizations, and ticket sales across the seven finalists.

This inaugural Philanthropitch event was special for our community, and for the START fund, because it brought awareness to the many successful and promising nonprofits in our region that are doing great work. I am proud that two of the Philanthropitch finalists—Freedom a La Cart and ROX-Ruling our Experiences received funding from the START fund.

Meet the Seven Philanthropitch Finalists

ECDI: From capital to education, ECDI assists Ohio’s entrepreneurs with a one-stop-shop business services model, suited to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, regardless of their stage of business.

Equitas Health: Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio) is a regional community-based healthcare system and federally qualified community health center look-alike. It is one of the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations.

Freedom a La Cart: No person should be bought or sold for sex. Not here in Central Ohio. Not anywhere. Freedom a la Cart brings hope and help to survivors of human trafficking so they can build a new life of freedom and self-sufficiency. Giving a woman practical job skills and developing strong work ethic is vital for creating a pathway to freedom. Freedom a La Cart has created a safe place of restoration where survivors can heal, learn, and grow as they prepare for sustainable employment within our community.

Furniture Bank of Central Ohio: Providing furniture to individuals and families in need due to poverty or other severe life challenges the Furniture Bank’s goal is for all central Ohio families to live in furnished homes, strengthening family units, improving quality of life, and building a better community.

Modcon Living: A nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining homes and neighborhoods by providing reliable, affordable home repair and modification services, while serving vulnerable homeowners.

ROX Ruling Our Experiences: ROX equips girls with the knowledge and skills to live healthy, independent, productive, and violence-free lives. ROX exists to create generations of confident girls who can control their own relationships, experiences and decisions. ROX is committed to providing innovative, relevant and evidence-based programming that contributes to a safer, accessible and equitable world for girls.

YMCA of Central Ohio: An inclusive organization of men, women and children, the YMCA of Central Ohio community is  joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living, and fostering a sense of social responsibility.

Philanthropitch received more than 50 applications for the Columbus event. The seven finalists not only gained access to capital, but received top-notch pitch coaching to raise awareness among donors across the Columbus region.

Kristy Campbell is the COO of Rev1Ventures, a startup studio in Columbus Ohio. Based in the Midwest, and in the number one city for scaling startups, Rev1 aligns innovators and founders with corporate and research partners to access customers and markets, helping entrepreneurs build great companies. With a proven track record of identifying, guiding and investing in high potential startups, Rev1 helps companies solve real problems for markets in need of real solutions. Rev1 has $90MM in capital under management, providing a capital continuum from corporate and community partners, as well as Ohio Third Frontier. Rev1 is among the Most Active Seed Investors in the U.S., according to PitchBook.