Two GreenHouse alumnae win big bootcamp prizes for their startups

Thursday, October 15, 2015

St. Paul’s GreenHouse alumna Renishaki Kamal (BA ‘14) won $25,000 for her venture, Fidget, winning second prize at the Communitech Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp pitch competition this month, while alumna Rachel Thompson (BSc  ’15) received $2,500 for her venture, Marlena Books, from SoJo’s recent #SOCENT Idea Bootcamp.

Kamal’s venture develops tools for children with autism, but the businesses Kamal competed against were from a variety of sectors, including travel, construction, and financials. There were a total of eight contenders for the $100,000 prize money, chosen to compete from across the country – coming in second place was a significant accomplishment.

Renish and other winners with their 'cheques'

Kamal, second from right, with her 'cheque'

The SoJo Bootcamp had a total of $5,000 to award, and was a six-week training program for aspiring social entrepreneurs that used a blended learning approach, combining in-person programming with online learning. Thompson’s Marlena Books, which provides reading materials for adults with dementia, was one of two winners of the pitch competition – also a big achievement.

Rachel and the other SoJo winners

Thompson, second from the right, holds up her certificate

“We are very proud of both Renish and Rachel’s recent accomplishments as they pursue their social ventures full-time, said Tania Del Matto, Director of St. Paul’s GreenHouse. “To know that they got their initial start with GreenHouse is a source of inspiration for our current GreenHouse innovators.”

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