The last time I found myself standing in front of a live audience was back in 2019, at what ended up being the last In-Residence Showcase that Miller Center was able to host in-person at Santa Clara University.
I had recently returned from maternity leave and was so excited to be able to gather with everyone and be part of a larger community working collectively to create sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Little did I, or should I say we, have any idea of what the next two years would end up looking like, how lonely it would feel, and how much we realized we took for granted the inherent value of being physically together.
Well here we are, two years later, happy and grateful to announce a successful completion of Miller Center’s 2022 In-Residence program. This year’s In-Residence was the Center’s first in-person event at Miller Center’s new home in the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. It was incredibly energizing to reconnect in person, and to see so many familiar faces among our entrepreneur alumni, mentors, and the broader SCU community. As much as we all love Zoom, I think we can all agree that the real magic of an In-Residence happens when we all come together.
In line with Miller Center’s goal of focusing efforts on entrepreneurs with the highest potential, this cohort was composed entirely of Miller Center alumni entrepreneurs. For many of the participating entrepreneurs, this was their second and, for some, even third time participating in a Miller Center program.
During the week of April 2-8, these entrepreneurs participated in in-depth mock investor meetings, one-on-one meetings with mentors and bespoke consultants, and peer networking events that included wine tasting, an impromptu concert, hiking in redwood forests, and honing presentation skills. The week culminated with a showcase event in the SCDI Courtyard. Additionally, Miller Center provided sessions designed specifically for our mentor cadre as a chance to encourage mentor peer learning and engagement with each other.
This year also marked Miller Center’s 25th Anniversary, so the In-Residence kicked off with a special welcome reception in which we awarded six social entrepreneur alumni recipients Miller Center’s newly launched Social Impact Excellence Award.
The 16 alumni enterprises invited to participate in this year’s In-Residence represent some of the most promising leaders directly addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, climate resilience, or the intersection of both.
With this particular cohort of alumni, we have enterprises creating sustainable livelihoods for artisan and fishing communities that are giving Kenyan and Filipino women dignity and agency over their own lives.
We have enterprises working with smallholder farmers in Nicaragua, the Philippines, the Ivory Coast, and Cameroon to ensure food security, access to capital and fair market prices for their crops.
We also have entrepreneurs working to ensure that the future of energy is clean energy, by equipping hospitals in Nepal with solar energy, to organizations who are ensuring hard to reach populations in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, and Uganda have access to clean water, affordable biogas and solar home systems.
And with that, it is my pleasure to continue to welcome the most recent graduating In-Residence cohort to the Miller Center community of alumni.
- Anthill Fabric Gallery
- Bidhaa Sasa
- Deevabits Green Energy
- Gham Power
- Grassland Cameroon
- Grassroots Energy
- iKure Techsoft
- Rio Fish
- Village Energy
If you would like to learn more about each enterprise, we encourage you to watch their Showcase presentations here as well as their recorded pitches here. You can also reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in Miller Center fashion, I’ll end with a quote:
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that comes with community.” – Dorothy Day
A heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in making this year’s In-Residence a success. You bring the magic to our community.