Byline Bank donates $15,000 to reward future business leaders and is pleased to congratulate the first cohort of graduates of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center’s Social Impact Incubator Program at DePaul University. Participants were challenged to scale and grow business ventures that have a strong social impact mission; they each received mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and a stipend of $1,000 from Byline Bank to help elevate their company.
“It was an incredible experience to mentor Caitlin Botsios of Helix Chicago, an educational social enterprise, and watch this talented group of startup entrepreneurs grow their concepts each week,” said DePaul Advisory Board member and incubator mentor Stephen Ball, Senior Vice President at Byline Bank. “These entrepreneurs are all looking to make a difference and it was truly exciting to see their ideas come to life in their final business pitches at the end of the program.”
Founders from 15 startups participated in a six-week bootcamp that included guest speakers, entrepreneurial curriculum, group discussions and assignments. These sessions provided resources to incubate and accelerate startups that have a clear social impact purpose to help their community, create jobs, support sustainability or otherwise create positive social change.
“We are thrilled at the completion of our first CEC Social Impact Incubator and grateful to Byline for their $15,000 sponsorship to help make this program a success,” said Bruce Leech, Executive Director and Clinical Professor at the Coleman Center. “The collaboration of our participants with each other and the instructors was fantastic, as they learned a lot from each other. We look forward to our ongoing support of these startups in leveraging our additional resources at DePaul and the CEC to help them move their businesses forward.”
DePaul’s Social Impact Incubator was launched earlier this year as a pilot program. Students, alumni and Chicago-area entrepreneurs interested in making a social impact through their businesses can gain the skills and tools needed for their business to be successful and provide jobs in their community. Plans call for Byline Bank and the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center to continue this valuable collaboration with a similar Social Impact Incubator in the fall.