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Logista Response and Poly Platform Peer-Selected as Part of the Climate Justice for Migrants and Communities of Color Program

The startups will receive USD 100K each to continue building solutions for communities affected by climate change

Washington, DC (December 5, 2023) Village Capital, with support from the World Education Services (WES) Mariam Assefa Fund, announced that Logista Response and Poly Platform were peer-selected to receive investment capital directly from the WES Mariam Assefa Fund as part of the Climate Justice for Migrants & Communities of Color initiative.

The climate-focused program – one of the 10+ programs that Village Capital ran this year in this sector globally – supported ten startups from six states creating innovative solutions to help migrant communities and communities of color mitigate and adapt to challenges related to climate change all across the United States. 80% of the cohort headquartered outside of tech hubs in the US, 50% led by a female founder or C-suite member, and 80% led by a BIPOC founder or C-suite member. 70% of the cohort is led by migrants. Village Capital and the WES Mariam Assefa Fund’s partnership has succeeded in empowering founders to respond to a wide range of natural disasters impacting underserved communities. 

The cohort participated in three interactive online workshops to complete a milestone achievement plan and gathered in Washington DC for three days of in-person workshops. On the final day of the program, Logista Response and Poly Platform were top-ranked by their peers. The participant startups evaluated each other through a funder lens, using Village Capital’s peer-selected methodology. Through the accelerator program, the startups participated in four hybrid capacity-development workshops and received mentorship from industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners.

“As climate change continues to disproportionately impact migrants and communities of color, there is an urgent need to ensure that these communities can prepare for and respond to the impacts of natural disasters. WES is excited to invest in Logista Response and Poly Platform as they build inclusive solutions to climate resilience,” said Smitha Das, director of mission investing at WES.

The peer-selected startups will receive USD 100K in investments from the WES Mariam Assefa Fund and all participant startups will receive USD 20K in equity free funding to support their operations. With the training and funding received, they will ensure that migrant communities and communities of color have access to innovation that can help them respond to the impacts of climate change.  

“Climate disasters discriminate on who they affect. Climate disasters are disproportionately affecting marginalized communities. Climate justice is on the forefront of everything we do in emergency management,” said Drew Downing, Co-Founder at Logista Response. 

“Climate justice is the very fabric of our company. After working in federal and local government, I could see the problem in real time: the disconnect between municipalities and residents in marginalized and lower socioeconomic communities. Tech brings the opportunity to meet people where they are – on their devices – increasing civic awareness and engagement,” said Kamel Greene, Founder and CEO at Poly Platform.

The peer-selected startups are working on:

  • Logista Response (Upland, CA) saves lives, reduces costs, and increases productivity during disasters by leveraging data to better predict logistics needs.
  • Poly Platform (Arlington, VA) is a smart-city platform that facilitates the digital transformation of all government departments, allowing them to be more accessible to residents while amplifying the voice of city officials.

For more information, reach out to Yireth Villaverde at Village Capital (yireth.villaverde@vilcap.com).

About Village Capital 

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth.

Village Capital has operated in the US since 2009 by running over 45 accelerator programs. VilCap has supported more than 897 startups from over 43 states and 23 entrepreneur support organizations (ESO) working in sectors such as financial health, health equity, justice tech, and sustainability. Learn more at www.vilcap.com and follow @villagecapital.

About the WES Mariam Assefa Fund

World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. Through its grantmaking, impact investing, and partnerships, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund seeks to advance economic and social inclusion for immigrants and refugees. The Fund supports greater opportunity, wealth, power, and justice for the individuals and communities it serves. Learn more at wes.org/fund.