Kenneth Cole Grants Announcement

Previous Grant Recipients

Adrian Rodriguez

Stanford University

Adrian Rodriguez is using his grant support to develop Dynamic Speaking Label, an application for Google Glass to help people with vision impairments perform everyday activities like shopping, cooking, and house-hold chores with ease. Google has been so impressed by his work that they’ve given him extra pairs of Glass for every member of his team.

Emily Raleigh

Fordham University

Emily Raleigh is advancing the next generation of superstar women at the Smart Girls Group. She is using her grant to accelerate the Smart Girls Conference, a national gathering student and professional leaders. Check out her website here!
About the Kenneth Cole Grants

Kenneth Cole Grants will be awarded to Compass ventures that highlight the power of conscious consumption.

Conscious Consumption: Kenneth Cole Productions is living proof that buying shoes and clothing can mean more than equipping oneself with the latest fashion trends. What you stand in says a lot about what you stand for. With the advent of companies like Warby Parker, TOMS Shoes, LSTN, and beyond, engaging consumers to make a positive social impact is becoming an increasingly important pillar of social innovation. Ventures embracing this idea are eligible for this grant.

Preference will be given to ventures with the ability and plan to accelerate their ventures using the grant and those interested in creating a long-term relationship with Kenneth Cole Productions.

Winning grantees will be required to submit four quarterly reports on the progress of their venture to Compass Partners and Kenneth Cole Productions.


There will be four grants, each in the amount of $2500. Two grants will be for current Compass fellows and two will be for members of the alumni community. Previous awardees may apply for alumni grants, however preference will be given to those who have not previously received a grant.

Compass fellows and alumni must attend Shift Series to apply for these grants. There will also be a special gathering with Amanda Cole of Kenneth Cole Productions at Shift Series for all grant applicants.

Requirements and Criteria

Applications must include the following:

A compelling, professional pitch about the venture via video (maximum of 60 seconds):
• sent in .mov file
• video will be posted for public voting to determine which finalists advance.

A written application including:
• your name, email address, school, whether you are a fellow or alum, phone number, venture name, and venture website (if applicable)
• an explanation of the problem (social, environmental, or otherwise) the venture exists to solve.
• a well-articulated business model describing planned revenues and expenses for the next 12 months.
• a summary of requests for mentorship and additional non-financial resources from Kenneth Cole Productions.
• well-articulated next-steps including a clear plan to use grants funding effectively, articulating next-actions and line items for expenses, a comprehensive outline about effective next steps to advance this venture, and a commitment to work on the venture (while in school, if applicable) for the remainder of the calendar year.

Selection Process and Timeline

1. Video and written applications must be sent to Cindy Gao by Monday, March 30th at 11:59pm EST.
2. Kenneth Cole Productions will judge written applications and select finalists by April 2nd.
3. Online voting on videos of finalists (alumni and students) will take place in the social media community from April 3rd-April 8th.
4. Winners will be honored at Shift Series on April 11th.

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