Halcyon Incubator launches in D.C. for social startups

March 24, 2014

The two-century-old Halcyon House is now home to D.C.'s latest incubator.

S&R Foundation on Monday announced the program, dubbed the Halcyon Incubator, which will provide social entrepreneurs with space to both live and work, as well as coaching and mentorship.

As Kate Goodall, S&R's chief operating officer, explains, the incubator is looking for projects in their first two years and addressing a wide range of social challenges. "We'd like to see someone maybe working on tackling high re-incarceration rates alongside someone working on clean water," she said.

They seem equally agnostic on geography and corporate structure. 

"We're not insisting that these social entrepreneurs come with an understanding of where they're going to scale their projects. They could scale to be a government solution, or a nonprofit, or a for-profit, or a combination," Goodall said. "We're creating a program that is going to help them identify where best to scale, and which areas to find some of their funding."

The plan strikes the balance "between nurture and pressure," Goodall said. In the first four-month phase of the program, entrepreneurs will be both living at working at Halcyon House. After that, they will spend another four months just working there. Finally, they will transition to one of WeWork's D.C. locations for four to eight months. 

"We're building in ways for that overhead to just gradually be taken on by the entrepreneurs themselves," she said. The incubator is not taking an equity stake in its companies.

S&R Foundation was created by Sucampo founders Ryuji Ueno and Sachiko Kuno.

The Incubator's first class is slated to launch on Sept. 1. Head here for more details and application info.