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“I felt like me and my siblings were the only ones who had lost a parent,” Genevieve said. “We felt totally alone.”
SLAP’D took off as a finalist in the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC), run by Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The SNVC is the social impact track of the University of Chicago’s nationally ranked accelerator program, the Edward Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge.
Genevieve credits the SNVC and coaches at the Rustandy Center and Polsky Center for giving SLAP’D direction and clear metrics for success. The Polsky Accelerator also set SLAP’D up for longevity, she said.
Asher has plans to grow SLAP’D on a national scale and to establish the website as a gateway for grief resources, not as an alternative to professional help.
Thoughtful and well-spoken, Asher said his goals include recruiting teen contributors for social media and to write focused, timely content, such as a blog about grief during holidays. He’s also reaching out to bereavement centers in an effort to partner and share resources.
SLAP’D has raised more than $60,000 on Indiegogo and seen more than 13,000 unique visitors from around the globe. Genevieve has also helped the site gain exposure by writing blogs for high-profile publications, such as the Huffington Post and Option B.
The siblings say they want to keep SLAP’D in the university family. Their mother, Dr. Dana Suskind, works at the University of Chicago Medicine, as did their father, Dr. Donald Liu. Asher is working out of the Polsky Exchange.
SLAP’D will remain a platform “by teens for teens,” said Asher, who recalls Genevieve working long hours to launch the venture. Now he appreciates why his sister was working so hard on something that’s become important to so many people.
If you’re interested in learning more about SLAP’D, visit the startup’s website.
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Finalists will compete for at least $100,000 in cash prizes at the SNVC virtual finals event on Tuesday, June 2.16 Teams Advance in the 2020 Social New Venture Challenge