top of page

Meet the 2022 Social Impact Cohort

StartingBlock Madison announces the companies chosen to participate in the 4th Social Impact Cohort. Through the 9-month program, founders receive free co-working space at StartingBlock and programming to help them grow and scale their social impact ventures.

Meet the nine businesses chosen to participate in this year’s cohort!

Parsley Solutions, PBC, Lana Wood – Parsley is the first tool of its kind to bring together Employer Benefits, Public Benefits and Personalized Workforce Training in one place to help individuals navigate the benefits cliff and advance their careers. Pursuing a career while navigating public benefits can be difficult. Parsley’s Net Income Forecasting Tool helps users calculate their true net income at critical career decision points, by incorporating Private and Public Benefits eligibility and forecasting Long-Term Earning potential. Learn more.

Green Pastures Living, Anne Micheals – An innovative approach to senior housing that is small scale and in rural communities. It’s designed for those who wish to age in place in a familiar environment of abundant green and growing spaces. Personally, Anne experience this with her own father, when there were no opportunities for rural senior housing for him. She desires to use her experiences and human service expertise to maximize the best possible transition into senior housing for all involved. Learn more.

Beyond Words Productions LLC, Jamie Perez – Perez is a former TV News reporter turned freelance videographer focused on emotional, heartfelt storytelling that elevates a person or business’ message. She’s created videos for non-profits that have helped them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in several hours, videos for businesses for internal or marketing purposes that make others care about them who would have otherwise not given them a second thought, and videos for company job descriptions that elevate the transparency employees are now looking for in applying for jobs. Learn more.

Let’s Teach Ourselves To Code, Max Koch –

Anyone can learn how to code from free resources available in any library or online, but many find this method alone isn’t enough to succeed. Let’s Teach Ourselves to Code combines quality, free resources in a social and educational environment to allow aspiring programmers to overcome obstacles, together.

Let’s Teach Ourselves to Code started in Auckland Central Library in New Zealand in October 2020, and gained a following of over 200 people with its initial program.

Stellar Tech Girls, Marina Bloomer – Stellar Tech Girls inspires and empowers middle school girls to see their potential as engineers. Although 74% of middle school girls express interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), only 15% of working engineers are female. A girl is more inclined to study STEM subjects and pursue a STEM career if provided with increased exposure to STEM activities, career paths, and role models. Stellar Tech Girls provides an inclusive, fun environment for girls and nonbinary kids in Wisconsin to learn about engineering through hands-on experiments. Learn more.

Main Street Thrive, Diane Reiner – Main Street Thrive is a program to help small mom and pop and MainStreet businesses THRIVE. The 100-page guidebook will help them by creating new promotions, saving on expenses, and getting assistance with discovering new paths to help their business succeed.

Mini In, Gretchen Erdmann-Hermans – Mini In is an online job marketplace application connecting locals who need tasks done with those seeking work. The platform is searchable and offers convenience, safety, and privacy for both job posters and job seekers. Mini In connects people to employment opportunities through an easy-to-use platform. Verified users can safely post and find part-time and peer-to-peer jobs within their communities using parameters tailored to the local gig-job market, such as proximity, scheduling, and age.

The Layered Onion, Linda Syth – The Layer Onion is a social impact company created to eliminate the stigma of mental health by sharing and promoting works by artists with lived experience. Everyone has a story to tell or a picture to be seen. For some, that is easy; but for many others, it is a task that can feel insurmountable. Our goal is to make it easier to share their work and ease the burden. Through their collaboration platform, they facilitate a vibrant community of artists and creators who grapple with mental health.

Sharing Wellness, Nisa Giaquinto, , Sarah Dimick, and Sarah Boatman – Sharing Wellness strives to make wellness practices accessible to those in caretaking professions who experience high rates of compassion fatigue and burnout. They will provide wellness services to these agencies that are funded by donors/companies and link individuals to donors in order to access mental and physical wellness services. 

Keep an eye on our social media channels and email newsletter to hear more about these founders and the work they are doing throughout the year.


bottom of page