Impact Accelerator

2020 Cohort

NEXUS launched its inaugural Impact Accelerator in 2020 to support incredible social entrepreneurs within our community who are working on critical global challenges. It was proven to be an especially valuable time to work with this cohort and provide the founders with dedicated support, guidance, and a sense of community as they navigated the uncertainties and evolving challenges of the global pandemic.

Our inaugural cohort was selected after a highly competitive application process due to their talents, progress to date, and vision for impact. They represented the spirit of the NEXUS Community.

The entrepreneurs work on a wide variety of critical challenges including regrowing coral in labs to save reefs, increasing health equity and inclusion in media, using robotics to better connect the elderly and immobile into society, using a plant based technology to lock beaches and prevent coastal erosion and mapping the brain to solve Parkinson’s Disease.

Affordable telepresence robots that connect people with limited mobility to the world helping build a more inclusive society for the elderly and differently-abled.

Marita Cheng, Founder & CEO

High- performance circular economy design made entirely from recycled chopsticks.
Based in Vancouver, ChopValue is recycles chopsticks locally to produce beautiful wooden products.

Felix Böck, Founder & CEO

The world’s first commercial coral farm that can grow coral 50x faster than in the wild.
Based in Grand Bahama Coral Vita is building the world’s largest coral farm to save our world’s dying reefs.

Sam Teicher, Co-Founder & Chief Reef Officer

Using machine learning to fight brain-aging disorders like Parkinson’s.

Katharina Sophia Volz, Founder & CEO

The intersection of community health and tech combining meaningful conversations with AI to increase health equity.

Ivelyse Andino, Founder & CEO

A crowdfunding and inclusive media platform that celebrates diverse voices and fosters vibrant conversation by promoting independent filmmakers.

Emily Best, Founder & CEO

Shorelock technology helps protect and restore coastlines without dredging or purchasing new sand by “locking” beaches with a natural plant based protein that accretes sand onto beaches instead of seeing it washed away.

Blayne Ross, Co-Founder & CEO


NEXUS HQ interviewed each of the Fellows to learn more about their motivations for starting a company, their aspirations for growth, and the challenges they face during the era of COVID-19.


Let’s mobilize the incredible talents, resources, influence and access of our NEXUS Community to support our amazing fellows. We invite you to join us! If you are interested in serving as a mentor.

Other Support

Interested in supporting the Accelerator program or the cohort in otherways?
You can email