Tarrson Fellowship: A Runway for Fund-raising

Tarrson FellowThe Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship at the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is the capstone social entrepreneurship resource. The fellowship provides funding and advising to graduating students or recent alumni of the University of Chicago, while they raise philanthropic or venture capital for their social enterprise.

In 2017, Ron Tarrson,72 (XP-31), managing partner and director of Santa Fe, New Mexico–based Santa Fe Aero Services, created the Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship. The Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship is a part of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program and received matching funds from John Edwardson, ’72.

To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must be committed to working full time for their startups, which should be incorporated, based in Chicago, and focused on social or environmental impact.

To receive information about the Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship and other programs offered through the Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program, sign up here.

The three inaugural fellows all participated in the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge. Each received $20,000 and an additional $5,000 for web development, office space, or other resources. The fellows are:

Hannah Meyer,17, of Provide

Meyer graduated from Booth’s Evening MBA Program. Provide, which won first place in the 2017 SNVC, aims to lower administrative burdens for child-care providers so they can focus on offering high-quality care to more low-income families. The venture offers a software-based, back-office solution for child-care center owners, allowing them to enroll in government subsidy programs, manage licenses and accreditations, and maximize tax deductions.

Jake Mikva,17, of GoodWerk

Mikva graduated from Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program. GoodWerk, a 2017 SNVC finalist, is an online platform that increases civic engagement by connecting citizens with candidates and causes that share their values. Its mission is to convert online “slacktivism” through content that generates a donation, not just the click of a “Like” button.

Matthew Davidson, Current Student, of Tallgrass

Davidson will graduate from Booth’s Evening MBA Program in December 2017. Tallgrass, a 2017 SNVC participant, endeavors to create a supply chain for capturing, transporting, and processing the hides of humanely raised cattle for sale to leather-goods makers. Tallgrass allows leather-goods makers to better serve a growing demographic of increasingly conscientious customers by providing hides harvested from cattle that have not been raised on commercial feedlots.

“Taking a new idea out of an academic program is never easy, but the Tarrson Fellowship offers committed entrepreneurs a chance to sustainably grow their organizations.”

—Ron Tarrson, ’72 (XP-31), in a conversation with Chicago Booth


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