Rally helps entrepreneurs transform their ideas and existing work into sustainable ventures that create positive social change.
Rally was launched in 2017 by Central Florida Foundation, Entrepreneurs in Action, the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, Downtown Credo, Clean the World, and City of Orlando. Its positive impact is only gaining momentum.
Following Rally’s two most recent showcase events, several of the companies have been selected for further mentorship programs, business deals, and other accelerator programs. One such company is Tambua Health, “The Shazam of Lung and Heart sounds.” Tambua was selected as the best of Rally’s winter class, with a recommendation for a $25,000 investment from Entrepreneurs In Action, a partner impact-investment fund. BatterEASE, a full-service e-waste recycling program that also participated in the showcase, has been awarded a grant of $10,000 from the Rally: The Social Enterprise Accelerator Fund at Central Florida Foundation. Further participants included Community Connections Transportation, a network of independent contractors who serve seniors and the transportation disadvantaged, and Holding Space, a nonprofit dedicated to providing accessible and affordable life coaching and yoga to underserved populations.
“I leave every four-month class so energized by the passion and tenacity of these entrepreneurs and thrilled with the work we get to do,” says Ben Hoyer, chief operating officer of Rally and founder of Downtown Credo. “With just four ventures in four months, we are able to help build strategies to address real problems with the environment, health, whole-life wellness and transportation for our aging population. I’m very proud of these companies and honored to support them through Rally.”
Thanks to Rally, other early-stage companies are getting the leg-up and recognition they need in order to thrive. Rally graduates Omnimodal and Yaupon Brothers, for example, were Rollins 2019 Venture Pitch finalists. Omnimodal, in addition to EcoSpears, also received investment from Entrepreneurs in Action.
Last fall, Rally ran a boot camp in conjunction with Lift Orlando, which worked with seven food entrepreneurs in their footprint, and it has also had the opportunity to help Rollins College Upward Bound students explore, learn, and change the world through social good. Through the Social Entrepreneur of Distinction Program at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, Rally welcomed two year-long interns that helped support Rally.
It is Rally’s goal to be a regional draw for out-of-state applicants as well. With nearly a dozen out of state applicants to its most recent cohort, Rally is raising the bar for local applicants and also elevating Orlando as the place for social enterprise.
“We are finding that our program attracts more women and minority founders than traditional entrepreneurial efforts,” says Ben Hoyer, COO of Rally. “Our reputation as an impactful resource for early-stage social entrepreneurs is growing and we are learning more and more about how to uniquely help them.”