Kenneth Cole Grants

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

Here at Compass HQ, we’re excited to continue our partnership with The Kenneth Cole Foundation through this new grant opportunity for Compass Fellows and Alumni. Our vision for the Kenneth Cole Grants is to support ventures that highlight the power of conscious consumption and have a clear plan-of-attack to make an impact. The Kenneth Cole Grant is made possible by the generous people at The Kenneth Cole Foundation. There will be four winners of the Kenneth Cole Grant.

Why 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. That is why Compass ventures embracing this idea are eligible for this grant.


There will be four $2500 Kenneth Cole Grants to be used during the summer of 2014 (and beyond) for members of the Fellowship community.


The entrepreneur (applicant) must be the founder or co-founder of the venture they’re applying with, and they must be a Compass Fellow for 2013-14 or a member of the Compass Alumni Community. They must provide:

  • A compelling, professional pitch about the venture via video (maximum of 90 seconds) made via YouTube. This will ultimately be shown publicly to determine the final winners of the Kenneth Cole Grants.
  • An explanation of the problem (social, environmental, or otherwise) the venture exists to solve and what the planned solution is.
  • A well-articulated business model describing a budget for planned revenues and expenses for the next 12 months.
  • A clear plan to use grants funding effectively, articulating next-actions and line items for expenses over the summer.
  • A commitment to work on the venture (while in school, if applicable) over the subsequent summer and year.
  • An explanation of how their venture highlights the power of conscious consumption.


  1. Announcement of the awards!
  2. Video (via YouTube or mpeg4) and written applications will be submitted. – Due March 8th 11:59pm eastern standard time
  3. Based on written-application criteria, finalists will be selected. Their videos will be made public and the online community will cast their vote! Online voting takes place March 24th-31st
  4. The winners will be selected and honored at Shift Series. April 5th.
  5. Post-award monitoring – 
The recipients of the funding will be required to produce biweekly updates about their venture progress. This will enable Compass to monitor progress and assist with any challenges that arise.


First Name*

Last Name*

Email Address*


Are you a Compass Fellow or member of the Alumni Community?*

Phone Number*

Venture Name*

Does your venture currently have any online presence (website, social media, etc.)?

What problem are you trying to solve and what is your proposed solution? How does your venture embody the idea of "conscious capitalism"?*

Please provide a your organizational budget for the next 12 months, including anticipated expenses and revenue.*

What immediate/near-term next-steps will you take if you win the Kenneth Cole Grant, and how will these advance your venture? Please provide a timeline.*

VIDEO - Please provide a link to a video in which you are giving the elevator pitch for your venture.*

The video must be 90 seconds or shorter, and please submit it through Youtube or send an mpeg4 file to Your video can be password protected or public. If it is private, please provide the password before you list the URL. Know that finalists's videos will ultimately be shared widely through social media, so please try to ensure the video is well-produced as well as filled with good content

If you have any co-founders, please list how many.

Any other information we should know?

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