Halal Beauty Cosmetics

Origin: IL | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Halal Beauty Cosmetics?

For Muslims who want to look and feel beautiful without compromising on their faith, Halal Beauty Cosmetics provides makeup that is made from 100% certified halal ingredients. Unlike other makeup brands, our cosmetics don’t use pork or alcohol based ingredients.

Company Leadership

Adeel Afshar

co-Founder & CEO

As Co-Founder and CEO of Halal Beauty Cosmetics, Adeel is instrumental in creating a brand by and for Muslims. Adeel graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Engineering Physics, which he leverages to navigate the complex cosmetic manufacturing process. In his free time, Adeel enjoys playing chess and training in Brazillian jiu jitsu, sometimes at the same time! Adeel is 25 years old and from Chicago, IL.

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Aisha Afshar

co-Founder & CSO

Aisha has over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry and is a successful entrepreneur, starting her own beauty salon that employs 5 beauticians. She’s the embodiment of the American dream. Having immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan at 16 years old, she’s gone from not finishing high school and juggling 3 jobs at a time while raising a family of five, to being a licensed cosmetologist and successful business owner. Throughout her journey, it’s been her faith and her community that has provided her constant support, and Halal Beauty Cosmetics is how she hopes to give back.

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Mighty Cricket

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Mighty Cricket?

Mighty Cricket is a next-generation protein company building a clean protein supply to sustain the world. Discover Mighty Cricket’s high protein oatmeals, protein powder supplements, and chocolate bars all made with sustainable proteins at MightyCricket.com.

Company Leadership

Sarah Schlafly

owner

Sarah Schlafly is a “cereal” entrepreneur—cricket cereal, that is. Her inspiration for Mighty Cricket was born out of a problem that bugged her: the harmful effects of industrialized meat. Before founding the clean protein company, Sarah worked as an accountant, chef, cooking instructor and digital marketer for a national food brand. She was awarded Inc. Magazine’s Military Entrepreneur Special Delegate, Feast Magazine’s Rising Star, and St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30.

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Harmonee

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Harmonee?

Harmonee is a simple app bringing communities together around a common purpose. Relationships between businesses and consumers are currently failing to fulfil either’s most important motivations. Harmonee realigns the relationship around shared values by matching both sides to nonprofits they have in common. In the app a business posts a question to a specific group of people and pledges a donation to a nonprofit that the group supports. People answer the question, giving the business insight and easily supporting the nonprofit they care about. Nonprofits collect donations and return meaningful value to the community. In this cyclical model businesses build strong relationships with their customers by listening well and sharing ownership. Nonprofits earn passive income and build deep support systems. People get to easily fund work they care about and help everyone come together to achieve their goals.

Company Leadership

Tara Nesbitt

co-Founder & CEO

Tara is an experienced strategist and marketer. Passionate about data and people, she understands the relationship between each component of a community. With over a decade of experience, Tara has learned how to make data relational. She knows that numbers on a page represent real people with complicated dreams and companies with the ability to do much more than turn a profit.

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Justin Trusty

co-Founder & CTO

Justin is an experienced entrepreneur and solution architect. He has worked in the data & consulting space for over a decade and has broad expertise across multiple cloud providers as well as in a variety of industries. He is passionate about data platforms, product management, and solution architecture.

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David Rygiol

co-Founder & CCO

David is a designer who has spent the past decade working with small businesses and nonprofits to build brands that connect with their audience. He also co-founded his own nonprofit that organized large groups of designers to collaborate on projects for social good.

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InfraLytiks

Origin: IA | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is InfraLytiks?

InfraLytiks has the main goal of “Making Data Meaningful”. We specialize in data analytics, Machine Learning and development of custom software & automation platforms for productization. We also own and operate a suite of geospatial and Artificial Intelligence products including Verified Data Analytics, Automated Inspections, InfraVIEU, InfraDrone & LiDAR NOW.

Company Leadership

Akash Vidyadharan

Chief Technology Officer

Akash Vidyadharan leads full stack project and product development at InfraLytiks for 5+ years. He holds a BS & MS in Aerospace Engineering and a M.Eng in Systems Engineering from Iowa State University.

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Kevin Prendergast

President

Kevin Prendergast is the President of InfraLytiks and leads business development, sales and marketing. He also has 35+ years experience in leading insurance, software and healthcare companies as President and CMO roles.

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Tyler Carter

Chief Operations Officer

Tyler Carter leads operations and administration at InfraLytiks and has 5+ years of experience in business development, administration and company operations. He holds a BS Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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Total Orbit

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Total Orbit?

Total Orbit offers turn-key proprietary software WITH services from engagement experts to create personalized digital learning and engagement environments. Each custom-created “orbit” leverages an organization’s existing information and educational tools to create personalized journeys and tracks that engagement down to the individual user level, with system triggers in support of desired outcomes. While the platform and process is widely applicable to various industries and use cases, the core product – CareOrbit – focuses on healthcare in support of patient engagement and education. Orbits are tailored to each patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan and are delivered via a responsive, device agnostic web app. It’s like a virtual mentor in the palm of their hand for the 99% of the time patients are not directly in front of their care team.

Company Leadership

Michael Margraf

CEO/President

As CEO, Michael is responsible for running all facets of the business. He has spent nearly 20 years leading successful technology startups. Mr. Margraf is an investor and currently serves on the board of a healthcare offering CaringBoost.com. He also actively participates and has served as a technology advisor on the boards of numerous educational foundations for local schools and universities. Michael holds degrees in Business Administration and Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis.

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David P. Scott

Chief Counsel/Director of Operations

David is an experienced C-level executive and attorney with Fortune 500 (DoD) and Global Law Top 50 (law firm) experience. He has co-founded several start-ups, served as CEO and COO of several businesses and serves on the boards of several privately held businesses (MedTech/Defense/Robotics/Media/CleanTech/SaaS). David has lived the entire early stage to hyper-growth experience — launched, landed, raised, crashed, survived, rebounded, grown, and exited. David also runs a high-tech accelerator.

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Jeff Coburn

Chief Strategy/Content Officer

Our engagement expert sat on the global strategy board of one of the largest marketing agencies in the world, charting the path to transforming engagement platforms and thinking, as well as running teams and engagement efforts for clients including Verizon and Microsoft, among many others. Mr. Coburn holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

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Soilless

Soilless

Origin: TX | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Soilless?

At Soilless, we are a team of passionate designers who are creating an innovative indoor gardening system that allows users to grow their own fresh, healthy food no matter where they live. Our patent-pending vertical design is perfect for urban dwellers who want a personal garden but don’t have the space to grow. Our system ships flat-packed to your door and can be easily set up right out of the box. We even ship seeds and nutrients to you every month to ensure a seamless growing experience. Compared to our competitors’ systems, our system can grow larger and healthier plants, is more sustainable, and is 4x more cost-effective.

Company Leadership

Westen Johnson

CEO

Westen’s background is in Industrial Design and living systems. He is passionate about creating designs that are both beautiful and functional. He graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2019 with a BFA in Industrial Design.

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Julie Joo

Co-Founder

Julie’s background is in Product Design and branding. She is passionate about connecting with users to create meaningful solutions and believes good design should be accessible to everyone. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2019 with a BFA in Industrial Design.

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Equalizer Games

Origin: TX | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Equalizer Games?

Equalizer games is a sports and education AI software platform that helps athletes improve player IQ through virtual coaching and interactive training: helping athletes improve their game and safety before they ever take the field. This platform allows the coach to speak to the player away from the field through a web portal that provides teaching and tracks assessment of the player’s virtual practice from his or her mobile device. Our communication system increases engagement and allows for training away from school all at the fingertips of the student-athlete.

Company Leadership

John Tomlinson, Jr.

co-Founder & CEO

Co-Founder and CEO, John has over 27 years of QB coaching experience in high school, college, and the NFL. John’s experience with developing players’ IQ and on-field skills at all levels of football and knowing what triggers the IQ for student-athletes to produce successful results on the field are the ingredients he uses to fuel this product.

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Marcus Matthews

CTO

20+ years of sports game development and entrepreneurship, including development of original NBA 2K and NFL 2K for Sega. He’s our catalyst for technology innovation, development, and communication with our potential software development partners.

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Kathy Tomlinson

co-Founder & president

Co-Founder and President/COO Kathy has over 22+ years of finance and customer service experience. Kathy is helping shape operations of equalizer games as it continues to evolve. She is also the catalyst of building the idea of IQ development for Equalizer Games’ future tools.

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ZenHammer

Origin: TN | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is ZenHammer?

ZenHammer is a mobile app designed for small residential subcontractors to manage their critical workflow items and invoicing. The app allows them to create a job, track and manage that job, and then send an invoice to the client and get paid through credit card or direct deposit. ZenHammer aims to make the small subcontractor’s work life easier and more efficient so they can be more productive and as a result, make more money.

Company Leadership

edwin Williams

ceo

Edwin Williams is an enterprising entrepreneur and Founder with a natural curiosity and a voracious appetite for information. He also excels at connecting people with ideas to people with resources or more ideas, and following-through to facilitate development of meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships. He has been central to the development and launch of numerous community events in Johnson City, TN such as “Pitches and Pints” and the construction competition, “Battle of the Build”.

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Robert pryately

VP business development

Robert is a Financial Analyst and operational business partner at Spytec GPS. He has a track record of success advising on both finance and strategy. Robert’s educational background (MBA, Vanderbilt University) and his eye for both the top line and everything between the top and bottom line showcase his financial consulting skills. He understands competitive advantages and coaches his teams for success.

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matthew mayfield

vp of sales

Over 20 years in entrepreneurial sales mostly pertaining to the tech and health industries, including owning of a successful gym, a fitness management and consulting company, and lastly a wellness adventure tour, I hold 2 patents, have designed an app, and I am on the board of directors of an emerging tech company.

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We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.

Bask & Bloom Essentials

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Bask & Bloom Essentials?

Bask & Bloom Essentials was founded by Candera Thompson, born and raised on the beautiful island of Abaco, Bahamas. Candera took her island remedies and love for herbal tea and used them to create a line of products. She was inspired after suffering from severe postpartum hair loss and shedding. Bask & Bloom Essentials is a beauty brand focused on multi-textured curly hair that offers intense moisture with protection from breakage. We offer a full line of curly hair products containing high quality ingredients with unique ayurvedic herbs and extracts, that promote immediate and long lasting results. The name Bask & Bloom holds true to what we seek to achieve with every customer using our products, radiant (Bask) and healthy, flourishing hair (Bloom). The name also pays homage to her island upbringing including the color scheme of the entire brand. With features in many publications such as Black Enterprise, Cosmopolitan & Allure as well as a growing following across multiple platforms, Bask & Bloom is emerging as a one-stop beauty brand to bounce back to healthy, flourishing hair.

Company Leadership

Candera Thompson

CEO/Founder

Candera Thompson was born and raised on the beautiful island of Abaco, Bahamas. She received a track scholarship to attend college at the age of 16, and moved to the USA where she completed in BS in Marketing and her MBA. After working in Marketing, Consulting and Sales for 8 years, she launched Bask & Bloom Essentials. Having suffered from severe postpartum shedding and hair loss with her 3 kids, she wanted a full line to help women bounce back to healthy, flourishing hair. She took a few formulating courses while doing additional research to connect with the best cosmetic chemists to help her launch a successful line. While networking and building a community, Candera has had the opportunity to speak on varies panels sharing her story of growing a beauty brand, how to stand out in a saturated market and continues to offer guidance to new, women-owned brands in the industry. She has been featured in many publications including Black Enterprise and Rolling Out and serves as a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs in her local community. She continues to give back through charitable donations and virtual/in-person events.

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We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.