New Incubator: Black Girl Ventures x Halcyon


Georgetown-based Halcyon, a nonprofit that supports talented individuals with great potential in the arts, science and social entrepreneurship, has partnered with Black Girl Ventures, for its latest incubator intensive program . Halcyon’s incubator intensives are tailored, focused experiences for specific groups of entrepreneurs.

From Los Angeles and New York to Atlanta and Houston, Halcyon and partner Bank of America are celebrating Black and Brown women startup founders. Ten new Halcyon Fellows are joining the supportive community.

“It’s always the people that excite us the most,” said Halcyon Chief Development Officer Samantha Abrams. “The ventures participating in this program are all brilliant businesses, poised to grow and scale, but the founders behind them are the true inspiration.” She added: “Black and Brown women founders face more challenges than white entrepreneurs when it comes to securing opportunities and resources, so the resilience they’ve shown, even before beginning this program, tells me they’re the right fit for a program like this one.”

Starting in a few weeks, the fellows will participate in remote skill-building programming. Over the summer, they’ll meet for a weeklong residency at Halcyon’s headquarters at 3400 Prospect St. NW. The purpose of the summer event is to connect the women with a national network of support and investor capital.

“I’m very grateful to be part of the Black Girl Ventures x Halcyon program,” said Laura Thomas, founder and CEO of Effective to Great Education. Geared to the most vulnerable students, her startup develops cultural trauma-informed social emotional learning technology with underserved school communities in D.C. “Effective to Great Education is like the grassroots FitBit for school climate and culture, so at this moment I see ourselves growing through our research and product development,” said Thomas.

New Halcyon Fellows Omolara Fatiregun and Laura Thomas. Courtesy Halcyon.

Similarly, Omolara Fatiregun — currently in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a Harvard doctoral program — is honored to be a Halcyon Fellow. She is eager to come back home to D.C. for Halcyon programming and grow her venture, called “Thrive!” Fatiregun described her project as a community of “brilliant women of color who are building social enterprises that will make this country more fair and equitable.” Thrive! works with local governments to move money away from programming that is injurious to communities of color, instead investing in interventions that have been empirically proven to break cycles of poverty.

“We’re lucky to have each of these entrepreneurs in our community, one that will be with them not only for the duration of this program, but for their whole lifetime as entrepreneurs,” said Abrams.

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