These Social Entrepreneurs Recently Completed the PeaceTech Accelerator


The startups are bringing data to social impact, and working to help small farmers. Applications are open to join the 2018 cohort of the D.C.–based program.

By James Cullum

   Inclusive Smart Cities Summit ©Allison Zaucha

The DC PeaceTech Accelerator just graduated its second international cohort of startups, including four based in the D.C. metro area. The eight week program started in November, and participating startups were recognized for their ability to help communities in conflict and crisis zones.

The Accelerator is a partnership between C5, PeaceTech Lab, Amazon Web Services and SAP NS2. The companies will learn to scale on the cloud, have opportunities to pitch to seed and angel investors and receive $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits.

Jerry White, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, founded the D.C.–based Global Impact Strategies two years ago. His company provides expertise in global predictive analytics by combining decision algorithms and the judgement of subject matter experts.

“What does the U.S. tax reform bill mean for your company? Or how about Brexit, or oil behavior in the Middle East over the next 16-18 months,” White told DC. “In a couple hours you can be up and predicting.”

Adil Yalcin is the founder and CEO of Alexandria, Va.–based Keshif, an easy to understand automated dashboard platform that acts as a digital filing cabinet for your company’s data.

“We’ve created fully interactive, fully synchronized dashboards with no effort for customers, just a couple of clicks,” Yalcin said. “This is particularly important for mission organizations like UNICEF, who don’t have previous experience or expertise with their visualizations to see emerging trends and impact potential.”

Annona is a D.C.–based platform that food exporters can use to aggregate crop production and manage their farmer suppliers. The company was founded in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015, and focuses on helping small-scale farmers by digitizing financial transactions.

“Farmers get paid really low amounts,” Zéluis Teixeira, Annona cofounder and COO, told DC. “All the retailers we buy our food from, they source from tens of thousands of suppliers around the world. We help bring in those small scale producers in a way that is fair to them.”

D.C.-based MARK Labs was founded in 2015 with the goal of quantifying social impact data with AI and blockchain technology.

“Fortune 500 companies alone commit upwards of $20 billion on corporate social responsibility initiatives,” MARK Labs founder and CEO Kevin Barrow told D.C. “It’s an enormous sum of money. Foundations spend another $40 billion, and ordinary Americans donate a third of $1 trillion every year. In other words, large sums of money are spent with great intentions and poor methods for capturing and accessing to see i those intentions are being achieved.”

The cohort also includes: 

  • Primo Wind is an efficient, lightweight, quiet and aesthetically pleasing wind energy systems that supply reliable power in wind speeds of 5-25 miles per hour.

  • Hala Systems, Inc. helps people extract information from dangerous and remote environments.

  • RedCrow is a mobile app that provides real time security intelligence via mapping, statistics and alerts. Today, RedCrow covers Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

  • Global Scribes is a global youth-driven nonprofit virtual exchange platform that facilitates culturally-enriching relationships within an environment free from politics, religion and socio-demographic segregation. 

More startups are expected to get support from the program in 2018. The application deadline is Jan. 12.

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