This will mark the 7th edition of our Social Entrepreneurs to watch for list. If you want to check out the previous years of social entrepreneurs you can see them here. 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019
Over the past six years I have had the great pleasure of speaking with over 500 social entrepreneurs around the world while running Causeartist. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch many of these startups grow into companies and scale without losing their focus on impact.
Of course these are not all the amazing people around the world doing spectacular things in their respective fields. These particular social entrepreneurs are just the ones that have stood out to me over the past year.
Evin Floyd Robinson & Jessica Santana // America On Tech
Evin Floyd Robinson is one of the co-founders and President of America On Tech (AOT), an organization preparing the next generation of technology leaders. AOT’s work has been featured in media outlets such as CNN, Forbes, TechCrunch, BET, PBS, Black Enterprise, Univision and other leading publications.
Robinson started his career as a technology consultant at Accenture advising global investment banks and financial institutions on technology transformations. He has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, Black Enterprise Modern Man List, City & State NYC Tech List, and is a Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow, a TEDx presenter, SXSW EDU featured speaker and an Inaugural Black Enterprise Tech Prep Presenter.
Robinson is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc and an alumni of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Robinson’s commitment to entrepreneurship and philanthropy is evidenced by his world travels and work in countries such as Turkey and China. He graduated with degrees in Economics, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, and Information Management from Syracuse University.
Jessica Santana is one of the co-founders and CEO of America On Tech, a nonprofit organization on a mission to prepare the next generation of technology leaders. AOT provides students with access to the development, mentoring, networking and professional experiences that prepare them for degrees and careers in technology. Their work has been featured in major media outlets such as Forbes, CNN, Wells Fargo, Sirius XM Radio, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, BET, Black Enterprise, AlleyWatch and The Network Journal.
Prior to AOT, Santana worked as a technology consultant for global brands such as JPMorgan Chase, Accenture and Deloitte. She has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and NYN 40 Under 40 Rising Stars list. She is an Ashoka Emerging Innovator, Pahara Institute Next-Gen Leader, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, former Entrepreneur in Residence at General Assembly, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, Camelback Ventures Social Innovation Fellow, Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, JPMorganChase Global Enterprise Technology Leader, Morgan Stanley Emerging Leader, Deloitte Future Leaders Apprentice and one of 50 Visionary Women Leaders to Watch by Innov8tiv Magazine. Santana was also one of the inaugural technology anchors on Univision.
Santana has presented and spoken to over 50 different audiences that include SXSW Edu, TechCrunch, Google for Entrepreneurs, White House, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Her commitment to philanthropy and community engagement is evidenced by her world travels and work in parts of Europe, China and South America to work with nonprofits, private companies and social enterprises that better local communities and economies. She graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting and Information Technology from Syracuse University.
Alex Stephany // Beam
Alex Stephany was inspired to build Beam after getting to know a homeless man at his local Tube station in London. The man had spent decades out of work. Alex would buy him cups of coffee and pairs of socks, but could see his condition going from very bad to even worse.When the man had a heart attack, Alex asked himself: “What could we do to make a real difference to that man’s life?” The answer lay in giving him the skills to support himself. Alex knew that’d cost much more than a coffee. But what if everyone chipped in?
Beam is a crowdfunding platform that enables new career opportunities for homeless men and women. Beam uses technology and global citizens to help fund skills training and education to homeless individuals. With the Beam platform, you can help someone start a new career and leave homelessness for good.
Before Beam, Alex ran the parking app, JustPark, which he grew from 2 to over 40 people and still support as a Board Advisor. At JustPark, he had his first experience with crowdfunding when he led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round – what was the largest crowdfunding round for a startup in history.
He is also the author of a book on the sharing economy called The Business of Sharing, and also advised the city of Seoul as part of the Mayor’s Sharing Economy Advisory Panel.