Meet our March Batch!
We’re happy to introduce a new batch of Bridge for Billions entrepreneurs who started their incubation journey in March! For the next three months they will be working alongside their mentors, through our Eight Business Creation Tools, in order to strengthen and develop their businesses. Our March batch features an international group of 7 entrepreneurs and 7 mentors spanning 8 cities, and involving a variety of projects from sustainable waste management to accessible and quality mental health care.
Impacto en Psicología, Madrid → Paola Téllez - mentored by Maria Isabel Huasasquiche and Daniel Obeso
Paola Téllez, originally from Colombia and now living in Madrid, is the founder of Impacto en Psicología, a platform empowering those with psychological problems, including stress, anxiety and insomnia. The platform offers effective initial contact with professional psychologists from different educational backgrounds, allowing users to feel better understood and giving them the freedom to choose the professional with which they feel the most comfortable. Impacto en Psicología will offer key information to users, advising on the efficacy and methodology of certain therapies and promoting available resources as well as recent medical discoveries.
Paola’s mission is to offer quality mental health care at an affordable price in order to increase well-being, whilst also promoting the importance of taking care of your mental health. A professional psychologist, Paola was motivated by her first-hand experiences with the limitations of this branch of healthcare, notably the stigma associated with mental health issues as well as the lack of investment. Paola sees Bridge for Billions as the ideal program for social entrepreneurs and she chose the platform due to its highly intuitive and guided methodology via the Business Creation Tools.
Paola will be mentored by Maria Isabel Huasasquiche and Daniel Obeso. Maria, originally from Peru now living in Barcelona, is a Consultant in Innovation and Smart Cities at Doxa Innova & Smart. Maria has extensive experience in strategy and innovation consulting, particularly in the context of social entrepreneurship. She joined Bridge for Billions in order to inspire others to create innovative products and to learn from other entrepreneurs about the ideas and business models of tomorrow. Daniel is from Madrid and is currently Managing Director at MextrixLab Espana S.L, with expertise in e-commerce, entrepreneurship and business strategy. Daniel joined Bridge for Billions among other reasons as it offers the opportunity to develop his competencies in business strategy whilst also mentoring inspiring entrepreneurs.
Maria’s Place, Vail → Nichole Lindroth Bontrager and Maria Brady- mentored by Mireille van Reenen
Nichole and Maria are the international team behind Maria’s Place: both are originally from Sweden, with Nichole now living in Vail, Colorado and Maria living in Kells County Meath, Ireland.
Maria’s Place is a website for caregivers who are looking for support, education and resources, the focus being on the wellbeing of the caregiver. Support is provided via videos, articles and live video support groups. A GEO IP Directory allows caregivers and their loved ones to find local resources such as care facilities, transport, entertainment, etc. On a visually enticing platform both professional and non-professional caregivers are given an opportunity to bond with the person they care for via a wide variety of fun, high quality activities. The platform also enables users to share their experiences and interact with other caregivers.
Nichole and Maria’s mission is to provide a place for caregivers to feel supported, get educated, have fun and foster a positive outlook. Through Bridge for Billions the team hope to take Maria’s Place to the next operational level, expanding their company and gaining funding from investors. With a concrete, structured action plan, directed via Bridge for Billions’ business tools and an experienced mentor, Nichole and Maria feel they can attain the revenue generation stage.
The team will be mentored by Mireille van Reenen. Originally from the Netherlands and now living in Singapore, Mireille has extensive experience in consultancy and business strategy, having previously incubated start-ups through Delft University of Technology’s program. Her previous experience as a teacher and coach, and current work as a mentor at Aidha, a non-profit organisation in Singapore, has inspired her to join Bridge for Billions. Through the mentoring journey, Mireille would like to expand her experience and reach out to more early-stage entrepreneurs. She is also curious to see how an online community works, having previously only mentored with personal contact.
Coolukis, Vilnius → Auste Cerniauskaite — mentored by Kristina Mačianskytė and Simona Simulyte
Auste, living and working in Vilnius, Lithuania is the founder of CoolUkis a social initiative connecting people who want to grow their own food with people willing to share their land for gardening. CoolUkis creates an urban community and platform promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, whilst also providing members with the resources necessary to achieve this way of living.
Auste joined Bridge for Billions as she hopes to grow her idea for social change into a structured social enterprise. After winning the Changemaker’ON hackathon in Lithuania at the beginning of the month, Auste won access to our online incubation program. Through Bridge for Billions she hopes to work on her project in a more structured way, creating clear plans and projections which can be presented to new team-members or potential investors.
Auste will be mentored by Simona Simulyte and Kristina Mačianskytė. Simona, one of our global partners who we interviewed in this article, is a serial entrepreneur, training expert and business consultant with over 20 years of practical experience. From Lithuania, she is the founder of VOYAGE challenge and CEO of the European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute (ESEISI). She joined Bridge for Billions in order to motivate entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas to produce real results. By providing knowledge and sharing her own experiences, she wants to prevent entrepreneurs simply moving on to another idea when at seed-stage they are overwhelmed with more questions than answers.
WasteHacker, Vilnius → Cedric Charpenet and Saulius Balčiūnas- mentored by Frank Heemann, Simona Simulyte and Aidas Baubonis
Cedric Charpenet, originally from France and now living in Vilnius, Lithuania is the co-founder, with Sailius Bakciunas of WasteHacker. The project grew as a response to the problem of waste from importers within Lithuania, where between 10–20% of food is wasted before even going to retail. Their project uses waste to produce enzymes, natural biological catalysts which have a variety of uses in farming, food production and even in households. With extra research they discovered that the fermentation process used also produces methane, a pollutant worse than carbon dioxide but which can be used to produce clean energy. This energy could be sold back to the grid, providing a sustainable solution to the problem of shortages in local electricity production in Lithuania. Their product will allow for sustainable waste management on a large scale.
The WasteHacker’s team have also won Bridge for Billion’s three month incubation program via the ChangeMaker’ON hackathon held in Kaunas, Lithuania and through the platform they hope to structure and develop their business model in order to respond to key challenges: discovering how to sell a product still relatively unknown on the market, and tackling the relevant regulations with regards to waste management and biogas production.
Cedric and Saulius will be mentored by Frank Heemann, Simona Simulyte and Aidas Baubonis. Frank, originally from Germany now lives in Vilnius, Lithuania. For over 10 years he has been a managing partner and lawyer at the Lithuanian office of international law firm BNT, and has a wealth of experience in commercial legal practice across Europe. Frank joined Bridge for Billions after participating in the ChangeMaker’ON event as a mentor. He enjoyed working with participants, helping them develop and structure the legal side of their social entreprise. Through Bridge for Billions he hopes to continue helping entrepreneurs on a global scale via his knowledge and experience. Adias Baubonis, originally from Lithuania now lives in Fontainebleau, France. His expertise lies in mechanical and industrial engineering, he is currently head of Engineering at SCEMS. He joined Bridge for Billions in order to share his knowledge with entrepreneurs who have brilliant ideas but lack the technical competencies to get their project off the ground.
Those Worlds, Vilnius → Agne Ignataviciene - mentored by Simona Simulyte and Kristina Mačianskytė
Agne Ignataviciene from Vilnius Lithuania is the founder of Those Worlds, an online shop selling hand-made jewellery, clothes, bags, toys, kitchen accessories and seasonal items made by vulnerable social groups in developing countries. The e-shop, based in Europe, would source the artisanal work from small companies located in developing countries who employ members of vulnerable social groups. Those Worlds will collaborate directly with craft-makers and the e-shop will also provide information and news about producers, aid initiatives and fair trade. Agne’s mission is to provide an additional market and a regular flow of orders for small, usually relatively unstable, companies, taking a market-based approach to sustainably harness direct economic aid.
Like Auste, Cédric and Saulius, Agne was a winner of the ChangeMaker’ON event, through which she won our three month incubation program. Via the program she hopes to clearly restructure her communications and marketing strategy by gaining a clear vision of her target market. She also hopes determine the most suitable pricing strategy for her project, one of our 8 Business Creation Tools.
Agne will be mentored by Simona Simulyte and Kristina Mačianskytė, to find out more about them, check out CoolUkis’ project description above.
Want to join our April batch? There’s still time! Sign up here to start your 7-day free trial