Innovation Blog

Partnering with BNY Mellon to Accelerate the Impact of Social Ventures – Part III


It takes a certain kind of person to be an entrepreneur. Our good friend and Board of Directors member Desh Deshpande said it best when he outlined the three types of people in this world: 

  • Those who are oblivious
  • Those who see a problem and complain
  • Those who see a problem and get excited

It’s safe to say that our startups are the latter. They get energized by massive challenges and uncertain paths towards growth. They thrive on activation, collaboration, and experimentation. Most importantly, they are hyper focused on creating massive impact. This is especially true for social impact startups, which dedicate their time and energy to solve some of the biggest issues affecting our society.

In the previous posts from this series, we shared details about our work with BNY Mellon and the recipients awarded $5,000 in scholarships for their work to improve food security. Selected for the strength and viability of their models, proposed solutions. and potential impact, here are the remaining winners of the 2018 BNY Mellon Scholarship for Social Impact:


To create a radically new cleaning experience, Ryan Lupberger set out to design green cleaners that actually clean. Current statistics claim that over 90% of millennials want to go green, but that simply hasn’t happened. Most green cleaners on the market haven’t updated the brand, innovated in their formula, and haven’t lived online.

Working with a group of extremely talented scientists, chemical engineers, and innovative laboratories in Puerto Rico, Cleancult was born to attract the next generation of responsible consumers. In addition to their non-toxic product line of dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, wool dryer balls, and more, Cleancult also launched Laundry for Life™ to donate one laundry package to every package sold to families and organizations in need in Puerto Rico, particiluarly those impacted by Hurricane Maria. To date, they’ve donated more than 100,000 loads of laundry.


Anyone who’s turned to the Internet to find a new doctor knows how difficult and confusing it can be to find quality care. Enter Dondoctor, a promising startup that enables patients to book, re-schedule, cancel, and find last minute available appointments.

Not only does Dondoctor make it easier for patients to seek quality care, but it also helps providers reduce missed appointments, lower operating costs, and improve patient satisfaction.


STEMgem was founded with a vision to empower socially-motivated teens to create real, relevant, impactful IoT devices and wearable tech. To get started, girls can create their own wearable from the STEMgem kit and connect to their online programming environment. From there, they can customize their device for sports, health, social channels, and even build their own mobile app to sync with their wearable. 

In addition to STEM technology, girls can also connect to a community of builders to share ideas, learn new skills, and code together. By enabling real-life exposure and experience, early feedback has shown that STEMgem increases girls’ motivation for STEM by up to 45%. 

This post is part of a three-part series introducing the winners of our BNY Mellon Scholarship for Social Impact. View the first part of the series here and the second part here.

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