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 spring. After 15 funding cycles, the growing portfolio is now composed of 56 ventures, which are either led by Columbia University students, alumni, faculty or researchers, or advised by Columbia University faculty or researchers.

The most recent funding cycle represents three Columbia University schools, adding to the portfolio of TFSV ventures whose founding teams represent over 11 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 2022

  • Cohort Sistas, founded by Ijeoma Kola, ‘14GSAS ‘19GSAS PhD, is a nonprofit venture that supports Black women and non-binary people pursuing research doctorates by providing resources, mentorship, and community to improve educational, professional, financial, and mental wellbeing.
  • NYC Tree Pit Services, founded by Karen Horvat, ‘04BUS, is a hybrid venture that promotes healthy communities through the planting and care of NYC street trees and gardens while donating 10 percent of proceeds to climate causes.
  • Ophy Care, founded by Etizaz Shah, ‘21SIPA, and Zargham Khan is a for-profit, digital health platform that connects patients with doctors who speak their native language while also translating websites, medical intake forms, and notifications in their language of preference.
  • The Wash House, founded by the Pierre family, including Lily; Edward; Chase; Nile; and Lacie, ‘22BUS ’23SIPA, is a nonprofit venture that provides launderette services, development programs, and co-working spaces for aesthetic professionals in underserved communities to liberate the underserved from intergenerational poverty.