Four New Social Ventures Receive Seed Funding from Columbia’s Tamer Fund for Social Ventures

Dec 16, 2020

The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, a Columbia Business School program that provides seed grants to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures, has awarded seed grants to four startups this fall. After 11 funding cycles, the growing portfolio is now composed of 41 ventures, which are either led by Columbia University students, alumni, faculty or researchers, or advised by Columbia University faculty or researchers.

Although this most recent funding cycle represented Business School alumni, the founding teams of ventures in the TFSV portfolio represent over 10 schools across Columbia University.  Upon selection, these entrepreneurs gain funding and access to a wide variety of connections and resources available through the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and Columbia Business School.

The following Tamer Fund for Social Venture awardees were selected after their participation in an application screening round, a due diligence process with student teams from a Columbia Business School course, and a final pitch to the fund’s investment board.

Fall 2020

Borobabi, co-founded by Carolyn Butler, ’18BUS, and Meris Butler, is a for-profit organization offering a circular economy model for children's clothing rental and purchases.

The Harvest Fund, co-founded by Michelle Kurian, ’10BUS, and Ackson Joseph Mwanza, is a hybrid social enterprise providing an integrated agricultural service to lift small-scale Zambian female farming cooperatives out of extreme poverty.

Local Civics, founded by Beverly Leon, ’20BUS, is a for-profit ed-tech venture that enables students to build civic engagement and community leadership skills through gamified learning.

New Blue Project, co-founded by Andy Saunders and Brittany Nestor with COO, Jon Saunders, ’14BUS, is a nonprofit providing police diversity recruitment, revised training, and leadership development to repair the relationship between communities and law enforcement.


For more information about the social ventures and their founders, click here.

Find out about the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures and the online application here.

Application Deadlines: August 15 and March 1, annually

About the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures
Established in 2015, the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to early-stage nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid social and environmental ventures. In addition to funding, the ventures gain access to a wide variety of resources and connections available through the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. The Tamer Fund for Social Ventures was made possible by a generous donation by Tony and Sandra Tamer.


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