In 2020, the Halcyon Incubator saw its single largest cohort in the history of the program, a feat made possible by a hybrid in-person and virtual model, and necessitated by the challenging environment COVID-19 created for early-stage entrepreneurs. As our fellow community continues to grow, our team works to build funding vehicles to help invest in their success, and this year we launched the Halcyon Angels to do just that, supporting not only Halcyon’s social entrepreneur fellows, but impact-driven businesses from the broader ecosystem.
Incubator Cohort 12 was in the middle of its residency when the pandemic hit and lockdowns began, but channeling true Halcyon nimbleness, they adapted well to finishing their programming virtually, and celebrated their hard work with an online showcase that proved our event programming could hold its own – and even expand its reach – in an online setting. Cohort 13 joined us a few months later, building camaraderie across continents, with fellows in Uganda, Malaysia, Canada, and the U.S.
We also welcomed the 2020 Opportunity Intensive fellows, all of whom are based in or serving DC’s Opportunity Zones. With monthly programming that ran throughout the year, the Opportunity Intensive fellows experienced every twist and turn of 2020 together, participating in two week-long residencies and culminating in a memorable showcase event. The success of this first cohort inspired us to seek funding to expand the Opportunity Intensive, and in September we announced a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to grow the Opportunity Intensive to two cohorts per year, reaching the greater DMV region starting in 2021.